Emperor Group Fulfills Global Ambitions With Office 365

REDMOND, Wash. — May 16, 2012 — Hong Kong-based conglomerate Emperor Group has chosen Microsoft Office 365 as its productivity solution. More than 300 users primarily within Emperor Watch & Jewelry are now using Office 365, and the company is planning for a more extensive migration by increasing the users to 1,000 over time. The company chose Office 365 for its reliability, flexibility and ability to scale with the business.

“To keep up with the rapid growth of our businesses and cater to the increasing demand from employees for communication access virtually anytime, anywhere, we sought a compelling cloud solution that could integrate well with our existing IT infrastructure, so we could migrate to the cloud on our own terms,” said Gary Choi, chief information officer for Emperor Group. “As such, the deployment of Office 365 could not have come at better time.”

Emperor Group evaluated two main options for its cloud solution: Office 365 and Google Apps. The company spent a month evaluating both solutions for functionality, connectivity and speed. Office 365’s complete suite of solutions, from email to collaboration, was able to meet the requirements of long-term business growth and provide robust security from a trustworthy brand.

“After evaluating Office 365 and Google Apps, we decided on Office 365 because it offered the most compelling solution for Emperor Group’s business and IT needs,” Choi said. “It had the ability to support multiple domains, work seamlessly across geographic boundaries and function in hybrid mode together with our current on-premises solution.”

Founded as a watch retailer in 1942, Emperor Group has expanded and diversified across eight distinct business units. Such growth brings with it the challenge of ensuring reliable, efficient communication and collaboration among increasing numbers of staff in more dispersed locations.
The group’s Emperor Watch & Jewelry business is a retailer of prestigious watches and jewelry, with more than 1,200 staff. This business unit was chosen to pilot the Office 365 solution, with email as the pilot application. It began deployment of Office 365 at the end of September 2011, and 300 users were up and running within a month, with Microsoft Exchange Online providing stable performance and good compatibility with the on-premises IT infrastructure.

Having completed the first phase of the transition to Office 365, Emperor Group now plans two further phases for extending the unified communications platform: to mobile and collaboration applications. The company is already seeing benefits from the pilot of Exchange Online:

• Significant savings in IT costs and labor. Within just a few months of deployment, Emperor Group saw reduced upfront IT costs. The greater capacity and reliability has reduced the number of help requests the IT department receives by more than 50 percent.

• Rich functionality and dependable technology. Employees now have access virtually anytime, anywhere, and on almost any device, meeting the increased demand for speedier and tighter collaboration across geographies.

• Get started straight away. Office 365 uses the familiar, intuitive Microsoft user interface, which means users require little or no training to switch over from existing applications.

“Overall, we are very satisfied with the stable performance of Office 365 and have been exploring a more extensive deployment of Office 365,” Choi said. “We are also evaluating other services within Office 365, such as Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Lync Mobile, so we can enjoy the full benefits of the Office 365 suite.”

More information on Emperor Group’s deployment of Office 365 is available at the Microsoft customer case study and Microsoft Customer Spotlight News Center.

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