Mobile staff at Butler Technologies benefit from the same reliable, robust and stable communications platform as office-based staff, following a Microsoft Office 365 deployment by MJ Flood Technology.
Thirty staff at technology distributor and IT services firm, Butler Technologies now have consistent, seamless access to email, document sharing, data storage and web conferencing, irrespective of whether they’re based in the office or out on the road.
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“With cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 we have increased confidence in the system,” says John Carney, financial controller with Butler Technologies.
“It’s more robust with great flexibility, particularly for staff out on the road who aren’t sitting here, physically connecting to the server.”
John Carney, financial controller with Butler Technologies
IT Infrastructure Review
A change of IT support provider gave Butler Technologies the opportunity to review their IT infrastructure. A number of problems were identified, which would require significant capital investment. This news came as no surprise to Carney.
“We were experiencing major connectivity and VPN issues for mobile users on the road. MJ Flood Technology, in partnership with O2 advocated a move to cloud-based technology as a new platform. We considered the company as pioneers of this technology and experts in this field.”
“I can’t stress how much downtime there was previously,” explains Carney. “But once you move to the cloud, there’s no downtime except if your internet connection goes, and even then most companies have backup internet. You can even pair to your phone.”
“It became very apparent to us that MJ Flood Technology were the experts in cloud computing. A more robust exchange between internal support and field-based staff was what we wanted and Microsoft Office 365 is perfect for that.”
John Carney, financial controller with Butler Technologies.
Moving the company’s email to the cloud immediately solved some major problems for the company.
With Windows XP going end of life, it gave the company an opportunity to standardise on desktop software. They settled on Windows 8, which according to Carney is “much easier to manage”. The cloud migration also presented the company with a flexible “pay-as-you-go” model.
“The Opex versus Capex benefit is great. You can turn the tap on as new staff arrive. The flexibility is huge.”
It also solved a major challenge around large email backup.
“Microsoft Office 365 negated the need for a large backup of Exchange mailboxes,” says Carney. “People don’t archive their email and with such huge mailboxes, the Exchange email server was constantly going down. The only way we lose email content now is if we lose internet connectivity or the entire Microsoft service goes down.”
Maximum productivity for mobile staff
Microsoft Office 365 has also improved the workflow for mobile staff at Butler Technologies. With SkyDrive Pro, each member of staff can store vital sales information, which they can access on tap as they visit customer sites.
“Everyone has a private drive that gets backed up. So on Monday morning, the sales staff can cache their personal drive for the week and they don’t have to connect back in. The sales team can access the documents and information they require on their terms,” says Carney.
Training drives adoption and usage
In deploying Microsoft Office 365, Carney placed a big emphasis on training. Without exception, all staff had to attend in-depth sessions, which covered Windows 8, Office 365 email, Lync and SharePoint.
“Microsoft Office 365 had been in place for more than a month, prior to the training and there was zero usage of Lync and SharePoint,” according to Carney. “Having sat in on all sessions, it was very evident that staff didn’t even know how to find SharePoint. But now, they have been trained to a very high level and they’re expected to use it. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve that without the training,” he says.
Training is something that Carney recommends to other companies deploying Office 365.
“I think it’s pointless if they don’t and is extremely worthwhile,” he says.
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