In today’s post we hear from Affirma Consulting on why Microsoft Office 365 was the best decision for their business in their move to cloud computing!
“We believe businesses will choose to move to Office 365 due to user familiarity, interoperability with Office, and importance to business operations.”
--Michael Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Affirma Consulting
Located in Bellevue, Washington, Affirma Consulting is an award-winning consultancy and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner focused on business, technology, and creative consulting with specialization in mobile, cloud, business intelligence, Microsoft SharePoint, and custom development. Founded in 2001, its 40 consultants have expertise and skills that strategically align with its customers’ needs, making Affirma Consulting a trusted advisor for its customer base.
Affirma Consulting decided to explore cloud-based solutions for its own IT infrastructure, to evaluate how those solutions can provide value for its customers. With consultants working in virtual-based project teams outside the office, the firm wanted to improve its communication and collaboration capabilities so that consultants could continue to exceed customers’ expectations in service. Some consultants used third-party, consumer-focused instant messaging or conferencing tools, but there was no consistency across the organization. In addition, these tools did not integrate with applications that consultants used every day for project execution and team collaboration, such as Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint Server. Brown says, “We believed that a lack of consistency in real-time communication tools that people used made it more difficult for our dispersed team members to get a hold of each other, and quickly respond to our customers.”
IT Solution and Benefits
Affirma Consulting moved to Microsoft Office 365 as a part of its evaluation of hosted productivity solutions. Office 365 brings together Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft Lync Online, and Microsoft SharePoint Online with the latest version of the Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop suite. “We looked at other cloud-based solutions, and many either offer limited functionality or they had a more consumer-based approach to communication or productivity tools,” says Brown. “In our opinion, the Microsoft Office and Microsoft server applications are still the best productivity tools in the marketplace for businesses. With Office 365, Microsoft has expanded these familiar services to the cloud, while Office continues to be the familiar front end. We believe businesses trust Microsoft for their productivity and collaboration solutions. Because the Microsoft cloud strategy is a natural extension of their trust, we believe businesses will choose to move to Office 365 due to user familiarity, interoperability with Office, and importance to business operations.”
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As an early adopter of Office 365, Affirma Consulting believes that Office 365 is a smart choice for businesses because employees can continue to work with products they are familiar with, such as Office Professional Plus, as they move to the cloud. Brown says, “Microsoft developed a strong value proposition and road map for Office 365. With the familiar user experience and platform of enterprise-ready products, Office 365 makes sense for us and our customers.” Both Affirma Consulting and its customers can expect to reduce IT costs and administration, improve employee productivity and team communication and collaboration, and better manage licensing complexity.