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Igniting innovation with Office 365

Office 365 Customer Title365Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from Office 365 customer Ryan Jaeger, Vice President Systems Engineering, Title365 Company. Read more customer stories at our website http://bit.ly/Ndqwkl

By Ryan
Jaeger, VP Systems Engineering

After we spun off from our parent company in 2011, our goal at Title365
Company was to hit the ground running with a commitment to delivering an
industry-changing combination of centralized product fulfillment, fast
turnaround of services, and breakthrough technology solutions. Title365 Company
provides a full array of real estate closing and settlement services. Based in
Newport Beach, California, we serve residential real estate brokers, mortgage
and financial institutions, asset managers, and independent escrows. We knew we
needed to have a standardized communication and collaboration system, since our
team is nationally distributed, which can sometimes make it hard for team
members to find each other. To spark innovation, we needed team members to stay
connected.                                                                                          

As we searched for a solution, we didn’t find the “bricks-and-mortar
data center” approach very attractive-we would have had to build everything from
scratch. Rather than make a sizeable investment to support a new
infrastructure, we opted to go to the cloud. We looked at several options,
including Google Apps, but they didn’t support what we needed for our
day-to-day work. Instead, we went with Microsoft
Office 365
. One of the biggest reasons we chose Office
365 was the flexibility to mix and match plans to meet our employee needs. We
chose to provide contingent staff with access to Microsoft Exchange
Online-while providing full-time staff with access to Exchange Online and Lync
Enterprise
voice. The key component for us was Microsoft Lync voice integration with our
email. We had been using Cisco Call Manager, but we needed to “future-proof”
our communications infrastructure and Lync was able to meet our needs. Our IT
partner David Bleecker, Managing Partner of The Bleecker Consulting Group, became
a vital asset during our Lync implementation and our deployment went very smoothly.

Office 365 is a great fit for us, the email and calendaring capabilities
make all the difference. Shared calendaring-for teams and individuals-has
become vital. We can easily schedule meetings by viewing each other’s
availability and, because of presence, we know exactly who’s available or away,
from minute to minute. I can just bring a USB headset and my entire office
follows me. I still have the same visibility from anywhere I am working so if
I’m traveling, I am able to function as effectively as if I were at my desk. 

We’ve set up training rooms with the Lync presentation capability that
enables videoconferencing and whiteboarding functionality. In fact, due to
their effectiveness, Lync presentations are becoming increasingly popular. But,
if you can imagine, Lync voice is helping us better utilize resources. For
instance, if our primary operator receptionist in California gets sick, someone
in Florida can seamlessly fill in for her so we don’t have to duplicate
resources.

We now have the ability to actually operate from anywhere. We can select
staff throughout the country that are good at what they do, without being
limited by area. We didn’t want to host IT infrastructure and we’re really
happy with the way Office 365 handles it all. That leaves us free to focus our
money and resources on other more value-driven tasks, rather than things like
server and infrastructure maintenance. Without those distractions, we’re
spending more time on design and innovation.