Kelly Services—putting nearly one million people to work every year, one great hire at a time

Read the Office 365 case study and Skype for Business case study for an in-depth look at the Kelly Services digital transformation.

Today’s post about Office 365 was written by Timothy Kroeger, manager of global messaging and collaboration services at Kelly Services.

Kelly Services pro pixKelly Services was founded in Detroit in 1946 by William Russell Kelly to help the fast-growing auto industry find trained secretarial staff. We’ve evolved in the last 70 years into a global organization that identifies and employs a vast array of talent, including engineers, teachers, software developers and other professionals.

We take a lot of pride in what we do, and we like to say that we succeed one hire at a time. To succeed consistently and quickly, we must be able to communicate and share information immediately—in a café, a car or a customer location.

We were one of the first companies in the world to use Microsoft Office 365, starting with Microsoft Exchange Online for email, then OneDrive for Business for document sharing and SharePoint Online for collaboration. Moving email to the cloud back in 2009 was quite daring, but we recognized the value of using cloud services to help dispersed teams work together more efficiently. With a totally digital workplace, we’re able to respond to customers in seconds or minutes, not hours or days, which is critical to maintaining our competitive edge.

The beauty of our move to the cloud from a competitive perspective is that we’ve outsourced a considerable amount of development to Microsoft. We focus on staffing, and Microsoft provides us with great productivity software to support our efforts. And the pace of innovation pouring out of Microsoft through Office 365 is quite impressive.

In the last year, we’ve added Cloud PBX and PSTN Calling, new features in Skype for Business Online, to integrate telephony into our Office 365 suite. Employees no longer chase down voicemails left on an office phone. We’ve given them each a phone number that follows them wherever they go. And we’ve empowered them to set up their own call management rules, which puts them in the driver’s seat and takes a huge administrative burden off my staff. With these features, the company is able to respond to customers faster and win business.

We see lots of opportunity to use Skype Meeting Broadcast, in conjunction with Office 365 Video, for town hall meetings with up to 10,000 participants from all over the world. Skype Meeting Broadcast provides far better audio quality and a much easier interface than other web conferencing solutions that cannot scale this large. It also allows viewers to watch in real time, pause or start whenever they want, which is critical for attendees in different time zones.

We’re using Office Delve to find information quickly. For example, when preparing to work with a new customer in a particular field, rather than starting from scratch, our executive coaches use Delve to search for up-to-date industry research and briefing documents that a colleague in another location may already have developed. We also use Delve Analytics to gain insight into how we’re using our time—our most valuable resource—so that we can be more efficient and effective.

Email is perhaps the most critical application at Kelly, and Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection gives us even greater protection against the rising tide of malware threats, especially targeting our executive and financial staffs.

The constant innovation coming from Microsoft is great for Kelly, because with every new service, we get higher productivity and new ways to engage our customers, at nearly no cost to us. Since using Office 365, my team’s role has changed dramatically. We’re much more engaged with the business, solving problems, empowering employees to use these tools, and supporting the company on its continuous journey of transformation.

—Timothy Kroeger