Companies of all sizes, all around the world are making the move to cloud computing, with immense benefits. Today we learn from ISS Facility Services A/S why Microsoft was the best decision for their expanding business in their move to embrace cloud computing!
“With Office 365 you get a simple, user-friendly service coupled with a transparent and reasonable pricing policy. This strategy suits ISS extremely well.”
–Morten Wagner, Global IT Sourcing, ISS
ISS Facility Services A/S
The Denmark-based, multinational corporation, ISS Facility Services, provides a wide range of facility services: cleaning, support, property services, catering, security services and facility management. A targeted acquisition strategy has made ISS one of the world’s largest facility services companies with operations in more than 60 countries, and the company has provided Microsoft Exchange Online, the e-mail component of Office 365, to more than 20,000 staff in more than 50 countries to support their work. Microsoft Exchange Online enables the company to build up a unified, centrally manageable, e-mail platform for a large number of personnel, across diverse IT environments. Personnel have full and easy access to mailboxes where there is an internet connection, without requiring a VPN or access to the local ISS network.
The company’s acquisition strategy also created a challenge for Morten Wagner, Global IT Sourcing, ISS, and his team. The challenge was to rationalize the existing email systems and to implement a single, worldwide solution that delivers a unified, centrally manageable, e-mail platform for a large number of personnel across diverse IT environments. Within ISS, email is the primary mode of communication and the myriad of email systems that employees were using was not compatible with the company’s strategy of simplifying communication processes to work collaboratively worldwide.
For the past five years, ISS had been searching for a central, cloud-based e-mail solution to roll out across the group in order to standardize the email service. Microsoft’s cloud system was considered but the Group IT division felt, until 2010, that the system was insufficiently mature.
IT Solution and Benefits
In June 2010, it became apparent that Microsoft had fully invested in cloud-based services, which was reflected in development of Office 365 (formerly BPOS) a highly respected, robust and stable solution. The ISS migration strategy was based on migrating national offices with the largest number of personnel first, and then focusing on the smaller offices. Initially, this procedure resulted in successful migration of 8,000 employees to Microsoft Exchange Online from the six largest ISS countries. This was undertaken seamlessly without losing e-mail access or data in the process Most of the remaining 17,000 key staff were planned for migration by Q2-3/2011. The migration project to Exchange Online was a great success, and according to Morten Wagner, one of the most encouraging results has been how well ISS staff have adjusted to using Exchange Online.
The switch to Office 365 has made it possible for IT personnel at ISS to prioritize their time now that they are no longer expending energy on administration, or on operating mail servers, and “that releases resources which we can be focused on developing ISS business applications,” says Morten Wagner.