Today’s post was written by Peter Baker, senior director of information technology at EMCOR Group.
A good way to describe the culture at EMCOR is to reference the many awards we’ve received for excellent customer service and safety. We provide mechanical and electrical construction, industrial and energy infrastructure, and facilities services to commercial, industrial, utility, and institutional customers around the world. For 10 consecutive years, EMCOR has been named among the top five “World’s Most Admired Companies” in the Engineering and Construction Industry by Fortune, and in 2018, EMCOR was ranked #1. Our IT team concentrates on helping employees build on that culture of customer-focused service and safety, so we can continue to differentiate ourselves from the competition and serve customers with excellence.
We stand out by taking advantage of the latest opportunities for IT advancements—when it makes sense for our business. That’s why we turned to cloud computing now. Cloud-based solutions are typically more cost-competitive than on-premises solutions. In addition, we want to reduce the administrative burden of on-premises solutions so that IT staff can focus on business-critical areas. For example, we will be able to collaborate more effectively across multiple divisions and business units using Microsoft 365 cloud-based workplace services. It’s easier for our employees to share information with each other, customers, and suppliers. Also, a modern, intelligent workplace helps EMCOR compete for talent among today’s younger workforce.
We chose Microsoft because we felt it has the most comprehensive set of cloud-based components for a large enterprise. EMCOR needs enterprise-class messaging, applications, infrastructure, mobile security, collaboration tools, document management solutions, and governance capabilities. Microsoft offered the widest array of integrated solutions for each of those areas.
In making the transition from an on-premises IT organization to a cloud-friendly IT organization, one of our biggest anticipated benefits is that we’ll have a more standardized IT infrastructure that’s easier to support and secure. Microsoft fully supports our commitment to security and data privacy as defined by internal and customer-driven requirements. With solutions such as Microsoft Azure Key Vault, EMCOR can encrypt its data and control the encryption keys. This was a major differentiator for us. Also, we plan to use Azure Information Protection P2, a component of Enterprise Mobility + Security, along with Customer Lockbox for Office 365—a deal maker for moving to the cloud—shortly after our pilot project. Enabling Customer Lockbox is a must for EMCOR because it helps us meet our customers requirement that we control access to their data. We’re in the early stages of configuring our tenant, and so far things are going well.
As a result of moving to a Microsoft cloud platform, EMCOR has a much closer business relationship with Microsoft. We’re counting on Microsoft to remain the leader in enterprise-class, cloud-based messaging and workplace tools. Meanwhile, the total set of capabilities we gain with Microsoft 365 E3 provides value. EMCOR obtains multiple software and service elements wrapped in a single unified price, and all services and software will remain current and fully patched with little effort on our part. This frees our IT staff to focus on issues more critical to supporting revenue generation and business operations.