REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 2, 2012 — Luxury audio and video systems maker Bang & Olufsen has adopted Microsoft Office 365 to unify its email, calendaring, collaboration and communication. The company wanted to upgrade its email system from the limitations of Lotus Notes to a less-expensive, easier-to-scale cloud solution: Office 365. The company now has all 2,000 employees using Office 365.
“We investigated whether we should continue relying on internal servers or go with a cloud solution. And we realized that we could save money by going to the cloud with Office 365,” said Ole Damsgaard, senior director of IT & Shared Service Centre at Bang & Olufsen. “It was easy to integrate Office 365 into our existing work environment and for our employees to start using it right away because they already know tools like Outlook and other Microsoft products.”
Founded in 1925 in Struer, Denmark, Bang & Olufsen is world-renowned for its high-end TVs, loudspeakers, MP3 player docks and audio systems that are often built into luxury vehicles, including those made by Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin.
Internal competition for limited IT resources kept pushing an email upgrade to the back burner. However, Damsgaard knew the company needed an up-to-date, top-of-the line email, conferencing and file-sharing solution.
“We’re always in competition with other projects for funding,” Damsgaard said. “We have a limited amount of resources and money. Often, upgrading our software is secondary to meeting other business objectives.”
About 75 percent of Bang & Olufsen’s employees work remotely. However, the email solution they were using, Lotus Notes, was only accessible to the 150 employees who had company-provided smartphones. The other 1,350 mobile workers were left without access.
Recommended by Proactive, Bang & Olufsen’s IT provider, Office 365 was determined to be a cost-effective solution at a time when Bang & Olufsen had to decide between building its own IT environment — complete with on-premises servers — or moving to the cloud.
With Office 365, Bang & Olufsen will reduce travel and IT costs, improve access and ease of use, and enjoy email, calendars and conferencing that work better together:
• Less spending on travel and IT. Compared with an internally hosted solution, Bang & Olufsen is saving 82 percent on IT operations by using Office 365.
• Improved remote accessibility. With Office 365, employees can access email from virtually any smartphone, a remote PC or other mobile devices.
• Familiar, easy-to-use interface. Learning how to use Lotus Notes presented a challenge to most new Bang & Olufsen employees. Today, new staff members are typically already familiar with their Outlook email and require little to no training to use Office 365.
• Seamless integration among services. With Office 365, an employee can quickly check a colleague’s calendar for availability, email an invitation and then click the URL in the invite to start the meeting.
“Our employees are used to using Outlook and other Microsoft products. It was easy to integrate Office 365 into our existing work environment and for our workers to start using it right away because they already know the tools,” Damsgaard said. “And now, everybody who has a smartphone can very easily access their emails and calendars.”
More Microsoft customer success stories are available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/customerspotlight.
More information on Microsoft Office 365 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/office.
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