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Case Study: Retailer switches from Google to Office 365 to simplify IT and boost collaboration

Note: This is an abbreviated version of a case study. The full version, along with other Office 365 customer stories, is available here. You can read a Q&A with Renner on the Why Microsoft blog.

Overview

In 2009, department store chain Lojas Renner was one of the first companies in Brazil to embrace cloud computing by deploying Google Apps. While moving from an on-premises deployment to a cloud solution helped reduce IT costs, that system didn’t sufficiently meet the company’s needs. Renner migrated to Microsoft Office 365 in early 2012, and is now enjoying better functionality, higher productivity, and improved employee collaboration.

Business Needs

Lojas Renner, based in Porto Alegre, owns and operates 173 department stores and 35 Camicado home décor shops across Brazil. The company has 14,000 employees, and it generated BRL$2.89 billion (US$1.42 billion) in net revenue in 2011. In 2009, Renner was using an on-premises Oracle software suite for communication and collaboration. As part of an overall corporate strategy to move IT resources to a services model, Renner decided that a cloud-based solution would better match its needs. “We wanted a system that would reduce the burden on our IT team so we could focus on our business and not IT administration,” says Leandro Balbinot, Chief Information Officer at Lojas Renner. “This helps us reduce costs, and also to shift those costs from variable capital expenses to fixed operating expenses, which helps us from a business perspective.”

Solution

Renner discussed alternative solutions with Oracle, Novell, Cisco, and Microsoft, and it also talked to Google about addressing the existing system’s shortcomings. In the end, Renner chose Microsoft Office 365 as the best match for its requirements. Microsoft Office 365 unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with the power of Microsoft productivity servers into one connected, online solution. “We could see that the Microsoft solution was very robust and complete, and we liked their strategy for integration between on-premises systems and cloud services,” says Balbinot. “We also felt that Microsoft SharePoint Online offered great opportunities for collaboration. In addition, Microsoft has started offering much more flexible licensing models in recent years, and that was a big incentive.”

Benefits

By adopting Office 365, Renner has given IT staff an easy-to-manage cloud-based communication and collaboration solution, and the company has provided all employees with a robust set of features to work and collaborate more effectively and to help improve the company’s products.

  • Simplified IT Management. Renner has found that Office 365 requires only minimal administration, allowing IT staff to better serve the business, and it integrates well with key on-premises systems.
  • Improved Usability and Productivity. Renner employees have found Office 365 to be easy to use, and they are excited about functionality improvements
  • Better Collaboration and Engagement. By using SharePoint Online to collect manager comments on upcoming collections, Renner has not only increased employees’ engagement with the brand, but it is also improving the company’s products.

Read the full Renner case study here. You can also read a Q&A with Renner on the Why Microsoft blog.

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