Service Stream Collaborates in the Cloud with Microsoft

Empowers mobile workforce with Office 365 productivity tools

Sydney, Australia – 18 December, 2012 – In a move to empower its employees to work more efficiently and collaboratively, Service Stream, an ASX-listed specialist service company, has deployed Microsoft Office 365 to over 1,400 personnel. The overhaul of its communications and collaboration tools to a unified, easy-to-scale cloud solution, began in September 2012. It will provide Service Stream with a more agile solution that will improve productivity and communications while reducing overall IT operational costs.

For financial year ending June 2012 , Service Stream, which delivers services vital to Australia’s communications, energy and water networks, serviced 6,000 mobile phone tower sites, visited 32 million properties and delivered 1 million NBN connections . Its aspirations for 2013 involve substantial growth targets, making business agility from their IT investment a critical component.

“Office 365 is the best fit with our overall IT strategy. In a contract-driven services business, it is essential that we can scale our technology costs in line with revenue,” said Craig Wishart, chief information officer for Service Stream. “Office 365 allows for agility, enabling us to mobilise our team faster, and begin delivery to our customers sooner. Should we need 500 new mailboxes tomorrow, it’s a few clicks away, without delays for capacity assessments or procurement.”

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is a key criterion for Service Stream. Responding to a BCP event requires a cloud vendor that can provide continuity and availability of service without disruption or end user impact. “The growth and demands on the business requires service level agreements to be achieved as expected by our business units and clients,” said Wishart. “This shaped our decision to partner with Microsoft who can provide and maintain the cloud environment with far improved levels of availability and recoverability.”

By shifting to Office 365 with the help of their Microsoft partner, Kloud, Service Stream employees enjoy the same familiar Microsoft Office interface, negating the need for user training. This allows the company to create a unified workspace giving employees the ability to work from anywhere, leading to better employee engagement and freeing up ‘desk bound’ roles. “Office 365 will provide our employee’s with access to email from virtually anywhere: in the office, at home or from a customer site, giving maximum flexibility,” said Greg Rudakov, Head of Service Operations. “Supervisors can now spend more time in-field while our customer focused team can address commitments and promises made to delivering quality of service.”

Office 365’s interoperability also gives Service Stream the ability to offer a BYOD capability to its employees, providing the necessary flexibility in the company’s choice of corporate smartphone standards. The flexibility will deliver an uplift in cross company communication and collaboration as employees are now able to work on the move whilst reducing the need and requirement to be in the office. “Our workforce is predominantly field based and our ability to deliver work and communications to our infield and national team members is vital to our business and the way in which we manage our work,” continued Rudakov.

Wishart said that employees also had an expectation that IT systems, telephony and applications are operational 24/7. Earlier this year in feedback forums, Service Stream employees identified collaboration and communication tools as key areas to improve. “The objective of our team is to provide a workspace which facilitates greater productivity and enjoyment at work, and capabilities for engaging, collaborating and communicating with our team members, partners and customers. One way we are addressing this is through MS Lync, part of the Office 365 productivity suite,” said Wishart.

Service Stream has consolidated several audio and video platforms into one, Lync, resulting in savings in excess $100,000 per annum. In addition, conference calls have increased 250% and within 10 days of deployment, over 5,500 instant messages had been delivered daily, reducing the company’s reliance on traditional email and speeding up response times to queries. “With offices and facilities spread across Australia, video conferencing is the basis of our engagement strategy. Lync has allowed an increase in face time, easier sharing of information and has built a ‘connectiveness’ across teams who aren’t necessarily based in the same region,” continued Wishart.

Collaboration is also the focus for its deployment of SharePoint Online. As well as gaining additional functionality, Service Stream employees now have seamless access whether they are on or off the corporate network. “SharePoint as a collaboration tool is maturing within the organisation and we recognise that in the future it will be the main source of document management, content management and knowledge sharing,” said Rudakov.

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