Carvajal switches to Office 365 for faster business, reduced costs

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Today’s Microsoft Office 365 post was written by Jaime Parra Mutis, corporate IT director at Carvajal.

Carvajal pro pixKeep business information both accessible and safe—a challenge in any scenario, but especially difficult when you operate myriad business divisions in 15 countries. That’s what we face at Carvajal, where our divisions produce everything from office furniture and educational software to commercial printing and packaging. We also strive to make our large, diverse company operate as a cohesive organization. It can be tough to coordinate meetings and collaborate among 20,000 employees in so many different divisions dispersed throughout South and North America.

A few years ago, we decided to standardize our technology environment to make it easier to reach across geographic and divisional borders and unite our workforce. For example, we needed to consolidate all the different communications systems we’d been supporting and establish a more stable email infrastructure that would help us reduce hardware and administration costs. So we moved from our range of on-premises software to Google Apps.

But we soon found that employees had to take extra steps to accomplish their work. This was due to the lack of integration between our Google solutions and our Microsoft systems, particularly Microsoft Office, which employees depend on for daily productivity. For example, employees encountered issues when they tried to publish documents because their formatting didn’t stay consistent, and they struggled to find ways to collaborate efficiently. We knew we needed to make a change, and in 2015, we chose to migrate to Microsoft Office 365 and completed our migration successfully with help from Microsoft Services Premier Support.

Switching from Google Apps to Office 365 has been a savvy move for Carvajal. We saw right away how much easier it is now for employees everywhere to share information and work together using any device. We’re implementing workflow processes in Microsoft SharePoint Online and taking advantage of Office 365 Groups to help us streamline our operations even further. And it doesn’t matter whether employees are working from an office or hotel, a smartphone or a traditional computer—they stay productive no matter what. Plus, our employees are happy to be back using Microsoft Outlook, which is where they’re most comfortable working. The best part is that everything interoperates in a way that supports connected teamwork.

There are plenty of reasons why we’re pleased that we adopted Office 365, most of which relate to companywide collaboration and efficiency. We appreciate that now we’re able to extend the number of attendees on our video calls using Skype for Business, because greater employee input gives us the opportunity to make more informed decisions. We also plan to expand use of our Yammer corporate social network to make it simple for all our business divisions to share best practices, comment on projects and tap into the company’s full knowledge base for fast answers to problems.

Our IT staff members are as happy with Office 365 as their colleagues. For example, they spend far less time now on hardware and software administration, focusing instead on new projects that support the business. The company also benefits from having more secure data in an environment that complies with important international standards. That’s significant to us because we operate in so many industries in which it’s critical to adhere to regulations, and we count on Microsoft to help keep us protected and compliant.

We’re making it easier for employees to communicate with each other and collaborate on a huge array of projects. Ultimately, that helps us develop products quicker and be more responsive to our customers and their needs. That’s smart business.

—Jaime Parra Mutis

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