“Microsoft Azure and Office 365 has enabled us to become a multi-site business without being tied to a server.”
Abacus Training Group provides a range of comprehensive training solutions to blue chip customers across Europe and the UK. With an emphasis on quality, driven by investment in our personnel and support structures, the company has emerged as a market leader in the provision of quality service.
As Abacus expanded, the infrastructure was fragmented resulting in delays in communication between departments and no centralised customer management.
"Knowing who was where and contacting them wasn’t an intuitive process"
Microsoft partner, Bleckfield, conducted a strategic IT review and came up with a solution to radicalise the Abacus workflow. Everyone has modern Windows 8.1 Pro computers and Bleckfield provides a comprehensive support service for desktops, devices, network and servers which includes remote maintenance and helpdesk services.
Office 365 Business Premium was chosen to harmonise the email and calendar infrastructure and to provide Instant Messaging and presence notification throughout the workforce. All the clients run Office 2013 Pro included in the license. The customer databases were merged into SuiteCRM which runs on an Azure Virtual Machine. The customer data is linked into Outlook and tied to the training calendars.
Telephony is provided by a hosted Voice over IP PBX allowing the remote workforce to operate as if part of the main office. The clients use a softphone and wireless headsets.
"Skype for Business is an effective tool for contacting other members of the team. The fact that anyone can work from anywhere with all the tools available to them means that we don’t lose productivity."
The Azure Virtual server provides a secure cloud-based platform which is robust and flexible to accommodate their unique needs
Support and management services from IT partner, Bleckfield, provides additional security through regular patching and remote assistance without need for in-house resources
Windows Server and Microsoft Intune provide powerful, up-to-the-minute status updates with easily digestible management information in dashboard views
Guaranteed future upgrades ensure they will continue to work with the latest technologies without additional financial outlay or business disruption
With full systems access from any location, staff are now able to effectively work from home and remote offices supporting individual working styles
As Office 365 is accessible across all operating systems, staff and management can continue to use their own tablets, home machines and portable devices with unhindered functionality
With the team split across multiple onsite offices, Office 365 features like Presence and Shared Calendars help them to quickly see who is available and save time when booking training or trying to get quick answers
Unrestricted email storage has enabled everyone to choose their own policy for email management and fully supports teams
Paying monthly for just the usage they need, Office 365 and Azure has given Abacus access to new technologies faster than they would have previously been able to which directly impacts growth
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