Media Company Saves $250,000 on Startup with Office 365

Today we learn from Flashboard Media on why Microsoft was the best decision for their business in their move to embrace cloud computing!

 “With top of the line security and mobility, Office 365 has vastly better functionality than Google.”

-- Jirí Pavlik, Owner and Managing Director, Flashboard Media

Flashboard Media
Flashboard Media develops and operates outdoor LCD billboards for advertisers in the Czech Republic. As a startup, Flashboard wanted a low-cost yet powerful IT solution that enabled it to dedicate its limited budget toward digital signage technology and expansion efforts. Flashboard Owner Jirí Pavlik wanted a cloud-based IT solution from day one to avoid buying costly servers and hardware to store important documents and handle large emails from customers.

IT Challenges
Flashboard’s small staff works from different locations across the Czech Republic, and employees rely extensively on mobile devices to stay connected. Workers needed the ability to share documents and access them from any location, often on a smart phone or iPad. Customers and employees frequently exchanged video and graphic-intensive files through email, which quickly filled up mailbox storage and slowed productivity. “A customer will send a 15-second video spot in an email and that file can be 16MB—and they don’t know it until there’s a problem,” says Pavlik. “This locks up email on our end and slows our processes.”

Solution and Benefits
When Flashboard Media examined its storage and productivity needs, it decided that Microsoft Office 365 most closely aligned with its goals. The company wanted to spend its money on digital signage technology, not servers and hardware. Pavlik said he would have had to spend $250,000 upon startup with an on-site IT solution. “A cloud-based solution is attractive to a startup like Flashboard. There was never any question about whether we would work in the cloud—just which cloud would better fit our needs,” recalls Pavlik.

Flashboard considered using Google Apps and Google Docs, but employees found the Google applications difficult to use. “Google Cloud Connect is an online storage solution like Microsoft SharePoint Online, but it’s a totally different service. With top of the line security and mobility, Office 365 has vastly better functionality than Google,” adds Pavlik. Flashboard also eliminates the need to hire one additional IT professional with Office 365.

Employees use SharePoint Online to share and access documents remotely, and they have been testing processes to see how the application increases productivity. Employees create documents and store them in a SharePoint Online library that enables workers to collaborate on versions and replicate documents that can be published on Flashboard’s website. In addition, employees can exchange graphic-intensive files with Microsoft Exchange Online, which provides 25GB of mailbox storage and the ability send files up to 25MB in size—even on mobile devices. “These applications enable us to avoid overhead costs—by not investing in a physical office location—because employees can connect and collaborate from anywhere,” notes Pavlik.

Office 365 provides Flashboard with the security features it sought to keep its data protected in the cloud. It also enables the company to easily integrate new users as its workforce grows, and manage permissions to keep information private.

Read the full case study.


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