Photo - MPH store in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian book and magazine publisher and retailer MPH Group has chosen Microsoft Office 365 as part of its plan to simplify information-sharing among its staff.
MPH Group [MPH] assistant general manager Lee Kim Hock said the cloud driven office suite would be used by about 1000 staff [300 staff at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and other offices, and more than 700 retail staff in 32 stores in Malaysia and Singapore], which "often struggled with its email system, particularly when it comes to sending emails with graphic and video file attachments."
"Keeping pace with ever-growing email attachment file sizes was a major challenge for our business," said Lee. "My colleagues needed to send advertising video files to vendors, and book cover designs to and from distributors, but capacity constraints meant our email server often failed. If staff wanted to send 2MB files, they had to ring me up to ask, 'Can I do it now?' Inevitably, bottlenecks occurred, and staff had to wait to send urgent emails."
Previously, MPH maintained its own email server at a local data centre, he said. "However, to keep the group's email system operating, the IT support team spent more than four hours each week just on managing capacity and troubleshooting. If staff worked during the weekends, they often overloaded the server and caused it to crash."
"For a low-end email system, its costs were surprisingly high," said Lee. "Besides the software licence and data centre fees, I had to pay for top-quality anti-virus software and an effective firewall to protect sensitive corporate data. I wanted a secure, low-maintenance, high-capacity email system that worked 24x7."
He said that in mid-2012, i350 employee email accounts were moved into the cloud with Microsoft Exchange Online, part of Microsoft Office 365. "The Exchange Online service is totally reliable and simple to run, and I save money on anti-virus software and firewall protection because Office 365 has excellent security features. I'm even saving more than RM9,000 [US$2,903] in IT costs each year."
'Not one single complaint'
Moving ahead, MPH will use Microsoft Office 365 to improve remote access for its employees, said Lee. "What particularly impressed us was the improved functionality available on Blackberry devices once email was managed by Exchange Online. Accessing our emails became so easy, even on today's most popular smartphone platforms. Since we moved to Office 365, I have not received a single complaint."
"MPH's decision to deploy Microsoft Office 365 to its employees is further evidence of the quality, security and scalability of the world's most popular communication and productivity platform, as well as another key example of how we can work to transform Malaysian businesses together through computing innovation," said Microsoft's general manager of small and medium solutions and partners, Mohit Pande.
"By turning to the power of cloud computing, MPH has enabled its employees to effortlessly collaborate and communicate with each other, regardless of where they are and from whichever device they happen to be on," said Pande.
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