Greek cosmetics company breaks down barriers to international expansion with cloud-based email solution

One of the biggest challenges for popular cosmetics maker KORRES is communicating with thousands of suppliers and customers around the globe. Keeping track of the echinacea, sage, bay laurel, yogurt, and 5,000 or so other raw materials needed for its cosmetics and homeopathy products requires extensive communication. So does promoting and exporting its products to stores in nearly 30 countries worldwide.

“Reliable communication across borders is key to our success,” says Harris Stavrinoudakis, KORRES’ chief financial officer. “Without it, our business would grind to a halt.”

Founded in 1996, KORRES’ natural-ingredient face creams, shampoos, perfumes, make-up and dozens of other cosmetics and homeopathic products have rapidly become household names in many parts of the world. As it quickly expanded its international presence, KORRES relied on an on-premises email system for both its internal and external communication. Yet as it grew, its system became increasingly difficult to maintain. KORRES’ email archive mushroomed to more than 1 terabyte, which required quite a bit more hardware and maintenance. What’s more, frequent infrastructure bottlenecks were reducing email availability and reliability, delaying important communication throughout the company.

“When we examined their email system, we knew it was critical to upgrade them to a more reliable environment,” said Costas Economakis, Managing Director of Binary Tree, a global provider of migration software and solutions. “With users all over the world, it was essential that their email system was up and running all the time.”

With the help of Binary Tree, KORRES decided to move to Microsoft’s cloud-based email service, Microsoft Exchange Online. By migrating to Exchange Online, KORRES concluded it could improve the reliability, availability, and performance of its email with a guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime, financially-backed service level agreement. It could also better safeguard its data by hosting it in geographically distributed data centres with continuous data backup, premiere disaster recovery capabilities and a team of security experts monitoring Exchange Online around the clock.

“As KORRES became more international, the company realized there was no way it could provide the same reliability and security in-house as it could using Microsoft servers in the cloud,” says Economakis. “Moving to Exchange Online was truly a win-win because it offered far better performance at a better price point.”

KORRES migrated its 300 employees to Exchange Online in February 2014 without any downtime. “We were very happy,” says Harris Stavrinoudakis, KORRES’ chief financial officer. “We didn’t have any disruption to our business. Most users didn’t even notice the change.”

Not only was the migration seamless, but the benefits KORRES has since obtained have exceeded its expectations. The company now has access to unlimited storage without the bottlenecks. It has lowered its hardware and maintenance costs. Moreover, its email is faster and more responsive, while availability is far higher. “The old system required a lot of attention, specifically to ensure we had redundancy,” says Stavrinoudakis. “But with the new system, there’s little maintenance that’s required.”

Perhaps most importantly, Exchange Online is helping to position KORRES for continued growth. Already, KORRES sells about €50 million ($68.5 million) in cosmetic and homeopathic products each year. As the company continues to expand, it can quickly add employees at very little cost, while maintaining the high-quality email performance it depends upon for its success.

“We’re in a much better position now,” says Stavrinoudakis. “Moving to Exchange Online has taken a huge load off of our backs. Simply put, it has broken down the barriers to our continued expansion.”

To learn more, please read the full KORRES case study.


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