Real World with Microsoft
Online Services: Interview with Andrew
Jamieson, Acting CIO, ASPEQ Limited
As part of
the Real World Microsoft Online Services series, we spoke
to Andrew Jamieson, Acting Chief Information Officer at ASPEQ Limited, about replacing
Gmail from Google Apps and managing its messaging and collaboration environment
with Exchange Online, a component of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online
Standard Suite. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Can you give us
a quick summary of what ASPEQ Limited does and who you serve?
Jamieson: ASPEQ Limited
delivers high-stakes assessments to help organizations test personnel for
positions that require a high level of skill and responsibility. We develop the
examinations and custom technology solutions that agencies and businesses use
to manage their assessment processes. Originally founded to assess pilots, air
crews, and engineers in the aviation industry in New Zealand, we have since expanded
into new industries, such as transport, building, and financial services, and we
have moved into new regions internationally.
Q: What was the
biggest challenge ASPEQ Limited faced with Google Apps?
As we expand, we need the capacity to serve new customers, but at the same
time, we want to avoid the cost and trouble of technology custodianship. We
wanted to explore cloud computing, and in 2009 we adopted Gmail. Despite the
assurances from Google that Gmail would interoperate with Microsoft Office
Outlook, our employees could no longer use shared Outlook folders through
Gmail, and it often took too long to process email messages. The problems were
threatening operational efficiency and creating staff issues. Employees
complained of lost productivity and major process interruptions almost from day
one. It was a significant problem that had to be dealt with.
Q: Can you
describe how you are using Exchange Online?
We migrated our email environment to Exchange Online in March 2010, and upgraded
our computers with Microsoft Office 2007 and Office 2010 productivity software.
Because Exchange Online operates so seamlessly with Office Outlook 2007 and
Outlook 2010, our email environment works much better.
Q: What kinds of benefits are you experiencing
by using Exchange Online?
we moved to Exchange Online, we have achieved the benefits we anticipated from our
first decision to explore cloud-based options. We’ve reduced our IT management
burden, while enhancing our infrastructure and improving business performance. By using Exchange Online, we can spend
considerably more time writing applications and producing solutions for our
customers because we don’t have to worry about managing email.