|As part of the Real World with Cloud Services series, we spoke to Mikael Johansson, IT and Process Development Manager at Note, about why, after adopting Google Apps web services, Note switched to Microsoft Office 365. Here’s what he had to say.|
Q: Please tell us about Note.
Johansson: Note is one of the largest contract manufacturers of electronics equipment in Scandinavia. Based near Stockholm, we manage nine facilities and 1,000 employees in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, United Kingdom, and China.
Q: Why did you want to manage your messaging and collaboration with cloud technology?
Johansson: Contract manufacturing is a very information-intensive industry, and effective communication and collaboration is very important for us. For example, we may have to build prototypes and processes at development centers in Sweden or Norway and then transfer those processes to production facilities in Estonia or China. We must manage a large amount of internal information and communication, and our employees need to be able to access those resources from different locations and different devices.
We managed email messaging with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 but had separate, third-party solutions for instant messaging, web conferencing, and information sharing. We wanted a modern tool that we could use to unify communication and information across the enterprise, and in late 2010, we adopted the Google Mail cloud-based messaging service.
Q: Why did you switch from Google Apps to Office 365?
Johansson: Initially, Note was a high-profile customer reference for Google, but we soon determined that the collaboration features in Google Apps were not rich or broad enough to unify our communication infrastructure. By December 2011, we had abandoned Google Apps and had migrated to Microsoft Office 365. We thought that the integration of Office 365 was much more advanced than Google?and offered more of the functionality our employees needed.
With Office 365, we could offer our employees a familiar messaging and work environment they could adopt without additional training, and when it was combined with the extended functionality in Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Lync Online, we thought Office 365 offered much more enterprise value than Google.
Q: What benefits are you experiencing by using Office 365?
Johansson: Office 365 is a better fit with our overall IT strategy. Now, we have a single environment we can use to help organize and share information within the group. Google has no equivalence to the deep integration between Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online. Our employees can communicate more effectively between business teams and across multiple facilities and devices. We can manage our Office 365 subscriptions under a single agreement and avoid the cost of third-party intranet and web conferencing solutions.
Whenever we can effectively outsource our IT burden like we can with Office 365, we build competitive advantages for our business. With Microsoft Office 365, we have richer functionality and more options than we did with Google Apps, and we expect to save $30,000 a year in direct IT costs. I can’t even begin to estimate the savings due to our enhanced communication efficiency. Looking in the rear-view mirror, I don’t think we would have adopted Google.