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Microsoft Office 365
Customer Solution Case Study
Consulting Firm’s Field and Office Workers
Meet in Cloud to Speed Report Production
Customer: D 7 Consulting
Website: www.d7consulting.com
Customer Size: 45 employees
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Construction industry
Customer Profile
D 7 Consulting provides building exterior,
roofing, and waterproofing consulting to
the building industry. The firm has 45
employees working out of offices in
Newport Beach, California, and Las
Vegas, Nevada.
Software and Services
 Microsoft Office 365
− Microsoft Exchange Online
− Microsoft Lync Online
− Microsoft Office Web Apps
− Microsoft SharePoint Online
 Windows Phone 7
For more information about Microsoft
Office, go to:
www.office.com
“With Office 365, we’re able to smooth out our
workflow and deliver final reports in one or two days
instead of three to five days.”
Terrell Woods, Design and CAD Specialist, D 7 Consulting
D 7 Consulting wanted to tighten communication among its
field, office, and customers. Several workers began using the
beta version of Microsoft Office 365 to store documents in the
cloud, access and edit documents simultaneously from
anywhere, and communicate via instant messaging and
videoconferencing. They’ve shown that, with Office 365, the firm
can streamline report creation, be more responsive to
customers, and reduce technology worries.
Business Needs
D 7 Consulting provides consulting
services in building envelope (exterior),
roofing, and waterproofing to the building
and real estate industries. The firm’s
customers look to D 7 to provide quality
counsel, outstanding service, and prompt
turnaround.
To continue increasing its responsiveness,
D 7 knew that it needed to improve
communication among its field and office
workers and its customers. Thirty of the
firm’s 45 employees are quality assurance
workers who spend all day at job sites.
They would send their inspection notes
and photos to a D 7 office in an email
message. Administrative staffers there
would type up the report and hand it off
to a consultant, who would then formulate
a recommendation and complete the
report. All this took three to five days.
“Our customers want our
recommendations as soon as we walk off
the job site,” says Terrell Woods, Design
and CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
Specialist for D 7 Consulting. “Handing
documents from person to person was
slowing us down. Plus, we were plagued
with version-control problems. We had
tens of thousands of documents sitting on
a shared drive, which was unwieldy and
confusing. The risk of sending the wrong
document to a customer was just too high.
We needed a way for multiple people to
be working on a document at the same
time and a better way to organize
documents.”
As a technology enthusiast, Woods thought
that D 7 would benefit from some of the
new communications and collaboration
solutions available—cloud storage, instant
messaging, videoconferencing, and screensharing—but his boss challenged him to
show that the new technologies were safe
and affordable.
Solution
When Woods learned about Microsoft
Office 365, he quickly volunteered to test
the beta version. Office 365 is a set of
cloud-based email, calendaring,
collaboration, and conferencing services
combined with web-based versions of
popular Microsoft Office programs.
“Because we don’t have a dedicated IT staff
evaluating new products, we had not been
good about keeping our software up-todate,” Woods says. “Office 365 would take
the pain and trepidation out of the whole
upgrade process. Mostly, it would give us
online document storage and access, which
would help us speed our report production
workflow.”
Woods and six of his colleagues tested
Office 365 to see what it would be like to
“live in the cloud.” Field workers posted
notes and photos to team sites in Microsoft
SharePoint Online, part of Office 365, where
administrative staff and consultants could
access and co-author documents, or work
on them simultaneously. “Our workflow was
so much more efficient,” Woods says. “The
ability to upload photos to team sites was
really important, because it was difficult to
send large image files over email.”
Woods used Microsoft Lync Online in
Office 365 to send instant messages
between field and office workers, speeding
communication. “Lync gives us secure
instant messaging, but we also get video
and audio conferencing and the ability to
share computer screens and applications,”
Woods says. “Combined, these capabilities
will make Lync nearly indispensible to us.”
The D 7 evaluators found Microsoft Office
Web Apps, the online companions to
Microsoft Office programs, to be easier to
use than Google Docs and more familiar.
Woods even views Office Web Apps
documents from his Windows Phone. “The
integration between Office 365 and
Windows Phone is seamless,” Woods says.
D 7 plans to license Office 365 for all 45
employees.
Benefits
In its evaluation of Office 365, D 7
Consulting has been able to improve
productivity, meet customer needs faster,
and reduce technology worries.
Increased Productivity
By using Office 365, D 7 employees have
been able to work on customer reports
simultaneously rather than one at a time.
“With Office 365, we’re able to smooth out
our workflow and deliver final reports in
one or two days instead of three to five
days,” Woods says. “We are no longer
handing documents off in serial fashion or
rummaging through file shares.”
Storing documents in the cloud also
contributes to a better quality of life for D
7 employees. “People can get out of the
office at 5:00 P.M. and then pop into Office
365 to do a bit of work later in the
evening,” Woods says. “Plus, with Office
Web Apps, there’s no need to fiddle with
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS
SUMMARY.
Document published June 2011
document formatting when you get back
to the office.”
Better Customer Service
With faster report turnaround, D 7 is able
to deliver better service to customers. “The
ability to get a document to a customer by
close of business today versus tomorrow
morning can speed up a project by two or
three days,” Woods says. “A customer can
submit a change-order so that architects
can begin implementing a change that
night. Shaving hours out of document
delivery time is a huge game-changer.”
Fewer Technology Worries
The boss who was worried about putting
documents in the cloud? “He’s now saying,
‘Why didn’t we do this before?’” Woods
says. “We’re considered industry leaders
now, and my boss feels like a rock star.
There’s been no conversation about
whether our data is safe. Once we had it
up and running, it was business as usual.
Our attitude has become, if you don’t
move forward, you get left behind.”
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