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Established in 1999, Merrion Fleet Management is Ireland’s largest independent fleet management and vehicle leasing company in Ireland, managing over 5,000 vehicles. It provides a complete outsourced vehicle management service that enables companies to cut down on paperwork, administration time and capital expenditure allowing them to focus on their core business.
Like many companies today, email is mission critical for Merrion Fleet Management. It had been using Microsoft Exchange on its in-house server for its email needs. As Merrion Fleet Management is planning to move to bigger premises and as the server had been around for a few years, it investigated the logistics and cost involved in upgrading or transferring the server to the new office. Apart from cost, a further consideration was how it could stay online during the move. Three came up with a solution that would not only save money but provide a more resilient and secure email service.
We now have a robust, secure and low cost solution which allows us to access mission critical information and communicate over a reliable email network any time from any location.
Microsoft’s cloud based service Office 365 is part of Three’s Business All In package which also includes fixed broadband, fixed landline and mobile.
Microsoft Office 365 provides secure, anywhere access to email and calendars, Office web apps, instant messaging, conferencing and file sharing. It includes the familiar Office packages such as Word, PowerPoint, Exchange and Excel. For companies without one, it even incorporates a website builder. This all comes with one bill from Three.
Microsoft Office Exchange Online provides secure business-class email, calendar, and contacts through any PC, phone and web. Users can retrieve email, calendars, and contacts from almost anywhere using their computer, browser, or phone. It includes large 25 GB user mailboxes that integrate seamlessly with Outlook and can send attachments of up to 25 MB. Kieran Kenefic of Three says, “Merrion Fleet Management’s existing on-premise email was complex and, because of the age of the server, prone to downtime which was detrimental to the business. We migrated Exchange 2003 to Exchange Online for 50 users over a five day period with no loss of email access.”
“We had an immediate saving of around €12,000 as we did not have to invest in a new server,” comments Marzena Golinska of Merrion Fleet Management. As Director of Finance & IT she also appreciated the cash flow savings, not just in terms of capital expenditure but in monthly server maintenance costs.
The big benefit was the productivity and customer service implications of having secure and easy access to office files from anywhere at any time. “Our directors can work from home or if necessary abroad on holiday totally seamlessly. I can access office files and email even when I am back visiting Poland. The facility is a boost to work life balance.” She points out how a lot of Irish businesses were affected during the bad snow of recent winters when staff were late or could not get to work. “With Microsoft Office 365 from Three we are now immune to such disruptions as staff can work from anywhere with no loss of quality.”
Another major benefit is that emails are automatically stored and backed up. “Email is the petrol that drives our business. It is important that we not only have a record and can access email messages but have them backed up,” says Marzena. “With Microsoft Office 365 from Three we don’t have to worry about additional cost of storage. We don’t have to install back up and remember to remove tapes every day. It is all backed up for us as part of the service.” With her IT hat on she says that the move has simplified internal IT management and allows staff to focus on more strategic issues of importance to the business. “For example, we can set up new user accounts and email groups in seconds.”
While an on premise email solution would require additional expense and worries in terms of security, anti-virus and spam control, Microsoft blocks spam and manages the servers in the cloud.
Guido Marcetti of Three support partner MJ Flood Technology says that Microsoft Office 365 provides the professional layers of security that even big companies would find challenging and costly to implement themselves. “Microsoft Office 365 delivers the enterprise grade security which allows companies of any size or sector to move to the cloud with confidence.” Merrion Fleet Management has boosted staff collaboration and communications through the use of Microsoft Office 365 applications like SharePoint and Lync. SharePoint has numerous uses including the facility to create a central place to store and access documents and business information from virtually anywhere. Documents are always up-to-date and everyone can access the latest master copy of Word, PowerPoint and Excel files.
“Lync has pretty cool functions such as being able to see when colleagues are online and available,” adds Marzena Golinska of Merrion Fleet Management. “We can then connect immediately with each other using instant messaging.” Merrion Fleet Management is also exploring the video conferencing functions of Lync.
“The move to Three’s Microsoft Office 365 has been a great decision for Merrion Fleet Management,” she says. “We now have a robust, secure and low cost solution which allows us to access mission critical information and communicate over a reliable email network any time from any location.