A small, 20 person, professional services firm had all the costs, headaches and limitations that come with managing and maintaining in-house servers. The servers supported their entire operations--including email, their external website and their file share of operating documents stored in nested folders. The environment was becoming increasingly complicated and impossible to manage and although they hired an IT services vendor, the costs were starting to exceed $5,000 annually. Additionally, while the employees had the ability to remotely access their work, it was through an often slow and unreliable VPN. The company was soon instituting a work-at-home policy, and customer projects were taking employees offsite more frequently. The need for remote access was growing fast.
The firm knew they had to make a change, but worried about making a switch to the cloud. While it would save them money, and shift the burden of managing the servers to the service provider, the effort would be time consuming and risky. They had email accounts they didn’t want to lose and had over a terabyte of operational data, which they knew much was out-of-date and redundant. They didn’t have enough time in the day to get their regular work done and adding the data migration task on top would be overbearing to employees. What happened if they lost their email? And wouldn’t it take someone months to cull through the data and only move what was current and used? Plus they knew the information needed to be better organized--employees were wasting valuable time searching for the information they needed.
The company moved to Microsoft Office365 and sitesprout. Office365 allowed them to take advantage of Exchange Online for email and SharePoint Online for housing both their critical documents and their external website. In addition, Office365 included a great collaborative tool in Skype for Business, which provided instant messaging, webinar capabilities, and VoIP for calling remote employees.
sitesprout was used to jumpstart their intranet development and house all their business information in an organized and intuitive manner.
Business Value Derived
The company realized a savings in the first year of over $5,000. In addition to not having to pay for the outside vendor to manage their environment, they no longer had to purchase equipment or software and as an added bonus, with Skype for Business, they avoided the need to purchase a separate webinar service. Plus they now had IM and voice services for remote employees. Employees could easily access information from anywhere at any time.
The purchase of sitesprout, on top of the Office365 accounts, supplied them the SharePoint framework for effectively organizing their data and all the support they needed to seamlessly move it. And employees had on-demand training to learn the new tool at their convenience.
In less than 6-weeks, they were fully operational in cloud. Today, their in-house servers are gone as well as any need for outside server support. The servers were decommissioned and donated to non-profits.