Amphigean required a system that could support its employees in communicating more effectively, helping them provide a better service to customers. Excalibur Communications, a Microsoft Partner, assisted the firm in moving to Microsoft Office 365, delivering the latest Microsoft communications technology over the Internet. With Office 365, employees can hold virtual meetings, saving time and travel expenses, and they can coordinate their diaries and process documents wherever they are in the world.
Specialist telecommunications consultancy Amphigean has a core team of employees that work in different locations throughout the UK and overseas. The firm used a variety of cloud-based services for hosting, document sharing, and email, but these were not integrated and were purchased from a number of different suppliers. Peter Greaves, Director, Amphigean, says: “We wanted to keep costs low to maximise the value for our customers, and still use the latest enterprise applications in an integrated way to improve our responsiveness.”
The company’s existing POP3 email had some major drawbacks. For example, it didn’t synchronise well if the team tried to use their smartphones and Microsoft Outlook on their laptops. “Employees would regularly lose emails when they switched to their smartphones,” explains Greaves.
The system didn’t provide shared diaries for the team to coordinate meetings and keep track of what everyone was doing. Nor did employees have any method to cost-effectively meet to work on projects together. Team meetings could cost £1,000 just for travel, accommodation, and subsistence – in addition to time lost in travelling.
But Amphigean couldn’t justify buying on-site servers for email and file storage, and this concept didn’t fit with its ethos of using cloud-based services. With four of the team living in Kendal, one in Wales, and Greaves near Chichester – and with a large team of associate consultants based throughout the world – the firm needed a solution that supported multiple, geographically dispersed offices.
Excalibur Communications used its expertise to help Amphigean go live with Office 365 over the course of a weekend, moving existing email archives and redirecting incoming messages from the POP3 account to the new email service. Amphigean chose the version of Office 365 that includes licences for Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus. This full Office suite of applications was easily downloaded and installed on each user’s laptop. Amphigean is now reaping the benefits of:
- A professional email service that works well across different smartphones, enabling everyone to stay in touch and respond to customer requirements.
- Shared calendars so everyone knows what’s going on and who is free to assist.
- Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus licences, which provides the latest desktop productivity tools and an upgrade path to future versions.
- Shared files, enabling collaborate online working.
- Online conferencing, which enables user to chat via IM or voice and video links.
- One bill, one point of contact for all its telecoms and IT needs.
For more on Office 365, and to get a free 30-day trial, visit the product page on the Small Business website.