Companies of all sizes, all around the world are realizing immense benefits from cloud solutions. Today we hear from events and hospitality firm, iLUKA, on why Microsoft was the best decision for their business in their move to expand and embrace cloud computing!
UK-based, iLUKA is a specialized agency which develops and delivers coordinated, strategic activations for sponsors at global sporting events such as the world’s largest athletic games and the FIFA World Cups. Its clients include the world’s biggest banking, oil, and pharmaceutical companies. While the core company is made up of around 116 people, for a big event such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, staff numbers rise to more than 1,000.
Each employee needs access to the company email system, and the ability to work on documents using Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel. This presents a financial challenge for iLUKA. Buying conventional software licenses outright is expensive if they’re needed for just one or two months. It also means that the company has to scale its email servers quickly to cope with significantly increased levels of traffic. In addition, the firm’s large clients expect it to have enterprise-level IT systems, and demand the highest standards of security, reliability, and resilience. This is especially the case for the London 2012 Olympic Games, where companies are spending tens of millions of pounds on sponsorship. They can’t afford the reputational damage that a technical issue might cause, even if it happens down in the supply chain.
IT Solution and Benefits
Microsoft Office 365 was the answer to both of these challenges. The company decided to switch from on-premises servers to Microsoft Office 365 to provide email for its staff. It also gives each user a license for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. Being a Microsoft offering, Office 365 provides enterprise-class security and availability with multiple data centers, best practice security, and a 99.9 per cent uptime guarantee.
With Office 365, iLUKA can add hundreds of users and pay for the software on a per-user, per-month basis. This means it can add employees for the duration of the upcoming games in London, paying for their email and Office software while they’re working, and then delete their accounts once they leave. The company also uses Microsoft Lync 2010 and the Active Directory service, running on the company’s own servers. With the reputation, technology, and commitment of Microsoft, iLUKA and its clients can be confident that they’re getting a reliable, secure, well-managed service.
Office 365, including a license for Office Professional Plus 2010 costs about £15 (U.S. $23) a month, and a license for Office 2010 alone is around £300 to £400. With hundreds of temporary employees for these athletic games, iLUKA is saving thousands of pounds with Office 365.
Also, Office 365 has allowed the company to decommission seven servers. At a cost of between £8,000 and £9,000 each, including software, this is a significant savings. In addition, Office 365 is easier to administer because there are no servers to manage and keep up to date. It’s also simple to organize user licenses from the Office 365 control panel, and there is less paperwork involved.
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