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Singapore energy firm saves US$80,000 from server-related costs with Office 365

Jack Loo | April 26, 2012
Small and medium-sized firms in the region share their Office 365 implementations.

Moving to Microsoft's Office 365 has helped an energy consulting firm based in Singapore to save up to US$80,000 this year.

The savings are achieved when the company reduced its dependence on on-premise servers and time required to manage them, according to Bobby Jimenez, CTO, Sindicatum Sustainable Resources.

"The familiar user experience and easy migration process, together with the cost savings we received, have made the move worthwhile," said Jimenez.

Sindicatum was previously looking for a robust, cost-effective, and reliable cloud-based email system to support its 160 employees worldwide that would be aligned with its corporate sustainability policy. The company then went for Office 365, which includes Exchange Online and Lync Online.

According to Jimenez, Lync Online simplifies and enhances communication by providing easy-to-use Web-based conferencing tools. The application includes a presence indicator that enables users to see if a colleague is at his or her desk and available. "With Lync Online, we will be able to click and connect right away," notes Jimenez.

Office 365 offers hosted e-mail and productivity and collaboration applications for companies, government agencies and schools. It comes in a variety of editions, all priced differently on a per-user, per-month subscription basis. In most editions, it includes hosted versions of Exchange, Office, SharePoint and Lync.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, software firm Zepto Consulting picked up Office 365 with the aim to better protect and easily share files, along with better, faster remote access for its employees.

By conducting more meetings through Lync Online instead of face-to-face, Zepto can save US$12,000 each year in travel costs. Engineers will also be able to spend less time on trains and planes and 50 percent more time working. "Our employees are now able to do a lot more with hours that would otherwise be spent travelling," said project director Jabez Gan, Zepto.

Complementing UC solution in Indonesia

In neighbouring Indonesia, energy specialist MedcoEnergi Internasional took an enterprise licensing subscription for Office 365 to complement its current on-premises unified communications solution. The organisation said it can move employees between its on-premises Exchange Server and its hosted Exchange Online service when needed.

Because MedcoEnergi manages all of its Microsoft solutions through the Active Directory service, the IT team found it simple to prepare for the transition to Exchange Online.

"It only took us about a day to prepare our existing Active Directory accounts," said Arif Budiman, data centre operations lead, MedcoEnergi. "We used Office 365 Directory Sync and simply followed the instructions on the website."

The Directory Synchronization tool updates the Office 365 group policy settings when the IT team changes settings in Active Directory, so they do not have to maintain two sets of policies. The company also deployed Active Directory Federation Services to enable single sign on, so that employees can use their existing domain credentials to access their Exchange Online, Exchange Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2007, or Lync Server 2010 accounts.


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