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Microsoft Office 365Customer Solution Case Study
Firm Upgrades Hosted Solution to Improve Communications and Collaboration
OverviewCountry or Region: FranceIndustry: IT Services
Customer ProfileHeadquartered in Paris, France, Cumulos is an IT consulting firm that helps its customers in France implement communications and collaboration solutions.
Business SituationAs a small organization, without a dedicated IT team, Cumulos looked to upgrade its Microsoft-hosted solution when it heard about the next-generation online services with Microsoft Office 365.
SolutionAfter it joined the Office 365 Rapid Deployment Program, Cumulos had its consultants download Microsoft Office Professional Plus and test solutions to boost mobile productivity with Office 365 online services.
Benefits Improve productivity of mobile
consultants Save time with email management
tools Provide more predictable and flexible
licensing Better administrative and security
"With the inclusion of Office Professional Plus in Office 365, employees have access to valuable new features enabled by the online services.”
Jimmy Marchetto, Solution Engineer, Cumulos
Cumulos is an IT consulting firm that helps customers implement communications and collaboration solutions. With its consultants working remotely, the firm considers communication and collaboration critical to its own business success. After using the hosted Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite for the last few years, the firm joined the Microsoft Office 365 Rapid Deployment Program when it heard about the next-generation of Microsoft cloud-based services. With Office 365, the company anticipates that its consultants will improve mobile productivity and save time with better email management tools. Its IT administrators will benefit from better administrative controls and a more flexible licensing model that includes Microsoft Office Professional Plus as a subscription. With early experience using Office 365, Cumulos will also improve its ability to help its customers.
SituationCumulos is an IT consulting firm that helps its customers achieve their business objectives by supporting implementations of communications and collaboration solutions. Headquartered in Paris, France, the company employs approximately 30 people and services customers across France. With the majority of consultants working either virtually or onsite with customers, the company considers communication and collaboration critical to its own business success. Jimmy Marchetto, Solution Engineer at Cumulos, provides a few examples: “Account managers need an easy way to communicate with project teams who work with their customers. Consultants need to talk to other consultants to resolve customer issues. Project managers also need to work together with account managers, service directors, and consultants to communicate status and deliver documents to our customers. We are always looking for new ways to help us work together so we can better respond to our customers.” As a small organization, Cumulos does not have a dedicated IT team. Instead, a few consultants have dual responsibilities of managing customer projects and supporting internal IT. To minimize the time that consultants spent on internal IT projects, in 2008 Cumulos moved its communications and collaboration services to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, a hosted solution that includes Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft Office Communications Online, and Microsoft SharePoint Online. Consultants also deployed Microsoft Office
2007 on the desktop. Jimmy Marchetto says, “The Business Productivity Online Standard Suite has provided essential communication tools for our company. We changed the way we communicated with each other with features like Microsoft Outlook Web App, presence, and instant messaging.”
Cumulos also helps its customers deploy on-premises and hosted solutions from Microsoft, so when Microsoft announced the next-generation of cloud-based services, Cumulos reached out to Microsoft to learn more about Microsoft Office 365. Jimmy Marchetto says, “Our customers rely on our expertise when it comes to Microsoft innovations in communication technologies. Our goal is to be one of the first in France to support customers moving to Office 365.”
In addition, Cumulos wanted to explore how Office 365 could help it improve the productivity of its mobile workforce. Cumulos sought solutions for its consultants to access important information when away from the office or their PCs. Also, consultants faced tight deadlines to produce deliverables for customers. Jimmy Marchetto says, “Sometimes we have to quickly work together on a customer presentation and the consultants responsible for contributing content are not working in the same location, so we need tools for instant communications and more effective collaboration.”
SolutionCumulos joined the Office 365 Rapid Deployment Program (RDP) to evaluate the next-generation cloud-based solutions
“We anticipate this productivity boost to reduce the document-creation cycle time among teams, increase consultants’ availability to customers, and speed up our response times for customer issues.”
Jimmy Marchetto, Solution Engineer, Cumulos
from Microsoft. Office 365 combines the latest version of the familiar Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop suite with new versions of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. To start the pilot, the IT staff easily moved a few consultants to the online services through the Office 365 administrative portal. Each consultant then followed the simple instructions to upgrade Office 2007 by downloading Office Professional Plus from the Office 365 portal. Jimmy Marchetto says, “Once employees installed Office on their desktops, they were ready to run Office 365.” With Office Professional Plus, Cumulos will get the latest version of the Office applications, seamlessly connected and delivered with the cloud services in Office 365. Jimmy Marchetto says, “With the inclusion of Office Professional Plus in Office 365, employees have access to valuable new features enabled by the online services.” For example, consultants tested a few mobile productivity solutions using SharePoint Online, Lync Online, Microsoft Word 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010 to mimic daily operations. Consultants, located at different sites, simultaneously edited the same document to reduce the document creation cycle time. Consultants could see the presence indicators of other colleagues and instantly chat with them while they all co-authored the same file. Using SharePoint Workspace 2010, consultants easily synchronized files from SharePoint Online to their desktops for offline access to customer documentation. Consultants could then
make changes to the files in the workspace and the next time the consultant went online, the changes were automatically transferred back into SharePoint Online.
In addition, consultants are now using Windows Phone 7 phones with Microsoft Office Mobile. With Microsoft SharePoint Workspace Mobile, consultants could access SharePoint sites from the Office hub and view and edit documents from their mobile phones. Office Professional Plus also includes Microsoft Office Web Apps, online companions to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software, the Microsoft PowerPoint presentation graphics program, and the Microsoft OneNote note-taking program, which consultants can use to review and make light edits to documents directly from a browser. Jimmy Marchetto adds, “One of the most interesting new capabilities we tested was the ability for consultants to view and edit SharePoint Online files through the Office Web Apps. Employees can now get work done from virtually anywhere, even without their own PCs.”
With Exchange Online, consultants used the new capabilities in Microsoft Outlook 2010, such as Conversation View, MailTips, and Calendar Preview, to better manage the growing amount of email messages in their inboxes. Consultants also tested email archiving to help organize messages from completed projects. Jimmy Marchetto says, “We are excited that we can finally offer our consultants a robust email archiving system through Exchange Online.”
With Lync Online, consultants tested communication tools to help them work
better together on customer resolution, such as presence and instant messaging, conferencing, and desktop sharing. Consultants were also able to add people from outside Cumulos to their Microsoft Lync 2010 contact list for the first time. Jimmy Marchetto says, “With the earlier version of hosted services, we could not see presence or send instant messages to people in other companies. With Lync Online, we can stay in contact with our customers through instant messaging. Consultants are also happy to see that they can start instant messaging sessions from the Outlook Web App.”
Regarding administration and security in Office 365, administrators have more controls to manage mailboxes and rights management, and more flexibility to implement security and compliance policies. The consultants are most excited to see that they can control the level of detail for administration rights. Jimmy Marchetto says, “We can now assign some administrative rights to people who need them, without granting them full access.”
Cumulos hopes to transition all of its employees to Office 365 as soon as possible after it completes testing.
BenefitsCumulos looks forward to the transition to Office 365. Although Cumulos has already achieved significant cost savings from switching to a hosted solution, the company anticipates its consultants will improve mobile productivity and save time with better email management tools. For those who share responsibilities for IT administration, these consultants will benefit from better administrative controls
and a licensing model that includes Office Professional Plus as a subscription. Jimmy Marchetto says, “We believe Office 365, with the inclusion of Office Professional Plus, will be a valuable upgrade in communication and collaboration capabilities for our business.” Improve Productivity of Mobile Consultants With Office 365, consultants are expected to boost productivity with improved collaboration and anywhere access to customer documents from their PCs, mobile device, and browser. Consultants working in different locations can take advantage of new co-authoring capabilities in Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010 to edit files simultaneously in SharePoint Online, while they communicate through Lync Online to meet customer deadlines. When they work remotely and have no Internet connection, consultants can easily access important SharePoint files from their desktop with offline access in SharePoint Workspace, from their Windows Phone 7 mobile phone with SharePoint Mobile, or from a browser with Office Web Apps. Jimmy Marchetto says, “We anticipate this productivity boost to reduce the document-creation cycle time among teams, increase consultants’ availability to customers, and speed up our response times for customer issues.” Save Time with Email Management ToolsWith email management tools and email archiving capabilities in Exchange Online and Outlook 2010, consultants can reduce the time they spend to manage large volumes of email in their inboxes. Jimmy Marchetto says, “As our company continues to grow and we work with more customers,
“Office Professional Plus as a part of the Office 365 subscription plan is a real financial advantage to small companies like ours.”
Jimmy Marchetto, Solution Engineer, Cumulos
our consultants spend more time reading and organizing email. We expect these new features in Exchange Online and Outlook 2010 will provide us with daily time savings so we can spend more time with our customers.” Provide More Predictable and Flexible LicensingCumulos has already benefitted from paying for online services through a monthly subscription. With Office 365, Cumulos can now add Office Professional Plus to this scalable and predictable pricing model. Jimmy Marchetto says, “Office Professional Plus as a part of the Office 365 subscription plan is a real financial advantage to small companies like ours. With a single monthly fee per employee, we can easily manage our licenses to ensure we only pay for what we use. We can plan our annual budget more easily because we know exactly how much it will cost for our infrastructure.”Better Administrative and Security ControlsCumulos reduced the bulk of its IT administration when it originally transitioned to Microsoft hosted services. With the more detailed levels of administration rights in Office 365, IT administrators can delegate more of the administration to others without affecting security policies. Cumulos also believes the Office 365 administrative portal is user-friendly and provides more controls. Jimmy Marchetto says, “We can better manage
legal and functional aspects of the solution. We will also have more control over mailbox administration, security groups, and rights management administration. This will allow administrators like me to spend more time with customers.”
In addition, Cumulos anticipates it will be faster for administrators to create accounts for new employees. Administrators can add new employees to Office 365, and then the employee can immediately download Office Professional Plus and start working with the online services.
Jimmy Marchetto concludes, “As experts in communication and collaboration solutions, we can say there are a few good solutions available in the market, but none can match the user experience and interoperability between the Office Professional Plus and the cloud-based services in Office 365.”Microsoft Office 365Microsoft Office 365 brings together cloud versions of our most trusted communications and collaboration products—Microsoft SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online—with the latest version of our Office desktop suite and companion web applications for businesses of all sizes.
Office 365 helps save time and money, and it frees up valued resources. Simple to use and easy to administer, it is financially backed by a service level agreement
For More InformationFor more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:www.microsoft.com
For more information about Cumulos products and services, call +33683956252 or visit the website at: www.cumulos.fr
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published June 2011
Software and Services Microsoft Office 365− Microsoft Exchange Online− Microsoft Lync Online− Microsoft SharePoint Online− Microsoft Office Professional Plus
Microsoft Office 2010− Microsoft Lync 2010− Microsoft Outlook 2010− Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010− Microsoft Word 2010
guaranteeing 99 percent reliability. Office 365 features robust security, IT-level phone support, geo-redundancy, disaster recovery, and the business-class privacy controls and standards that you expect from a world-class service provider.
For more information about Microsoft Office 365, go to:www.office365.com