Some of us may be eagerly awaiting Microsoft’s developer conference at the end of April for answers regarding Windows 10, Windows 10 for phones and new hardware. In the meantime, Microsoft is quietly and aggressively transitioning its business to the cloud. With a new, cloud-centric CEO, Satya Nadella, Microsoft is gradually scoring big gains in the cloud connectivity and mobility frontier. Leading Microsoft into the future are Azure and Office 365. Both cloud-based products are seeing exceptional increase in deployment and use among a growing mobile market.
Recently the Office 365 team sat down with a new convert to Office 365 business, Buckman Laboratories International, to find out how Office helped make their transition to the cloud a seamless experience. Buckman is a chemistry specialist company with a core competency in chemical treatment for water, paper and leather industries. Buckman’s business spans across the world and has over 1,7000 associates in various geographies, and they sought a solution that offered the best collaboration toolset while also maintaining the flexibility to integrate their other 3rd party vendor solutions.
When sitting down with the Office 365 team in an interview, Tim Meek, vice president of Global Information Technology at Buckman, and director of Global IT computer services, explained their decision.
Early on the company used Outlook to get much of their email communications done. However, as time went on the company began to favor more cloud-based offerings for email and file sharing. in 2011, Buckman embraced the idea of not having to maintain email servers and software around the world, and the company’s cost savings couldn’t be ignored. In addition to finding cloud based solutions, Buckman also started to use a portal from Plum Tree for collaborative management systems along with Outlook. Buckman felt the multi-vendor approach worked for a while, until it didn’t.
“After providing great integration with Outlook for several years, our cloud vendor seemed to back off its Outlook support. We were experiencing problems with their Outlook syncing tool; calendar syncing became unreliable. We didn’t feel we were receiving full support from them for new versions of Outlook,” explained Meek. “We also saw a constant flow of new capabilities in Office 365, and capabilities that made sense. The acquisition of Yammer is one example; Yammer integrates well with the other Office 365 tools,” adds Grassel.
Both Meek and Grassel believe that Office 365 was offering a much more well-rounded product with, reliability, transparency and control, compared to their previous approach.
After evaluations and eventual deployment, Meek finds, “I get on Office 365 a couple times a day to lead our global IT workgroup. We’re sharing documents, booking dates in our shared calendar and using Lync Online presence to quickly see if team members are available for a chat or phone conversation. Our CEO uses Lync to discuss progress on strategic initiatives with Buckman global leadership located around the world. He’s a big advocate for its use to improve Buckman’s ability to connect and collaborate.”
With Office 365, a the flexible licensing approach as well as Office 365 Click-to-run program, Meek and Grassel no longer have to monitor licenses purchased through different channels or figure out media for each version of Office.
More importantly to Buckman, the company has been able to plug into Plum Tree document management systems again. Office 365 is making their various products and services integration a simple, reliable and speedy affair.