Nonprofit saves $40,000, boosts IT efficiency 62 percent with cloud collaboration solution

Note: This is an abbreviated version of a case study. The full version, along with other Office 365 customer stories, is available here.


Homeboy Industries wanted to make it easier for employees to collaborate. The organization chose to migrate from a previous version of Microsoft Exchange Server to Office 365, which combines messaging, collaboration, and unified communication capabilities in a cloud-based service. Now, beyond boosting productivity, Homeboy Industries has increased IT efficiency by 62 percent and avoided an estimated US$40,000 in capital expenditures.

Business Needs

For people looking to escape the violence of gang life, Homeboy Industries is like an oasis-a wellspring of hope for a better future. From its founding in 1992 in Boyle Heights, California, the nonprofit organization provides a variety of free services-from tattoo removal to legal services-to thousands of recently incarcerated men and women. And, through a network of social enterprises (businesses) that it operates, like Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy offers former gang members an opportunity to build job skills in a supportive environment.


In early 2012, Homeboy Industries started evaluating various technology solution options. At first, the organization considered purchasing new server and networking equipment and investing in upgraded software. Then, Platts took a closer look at Microsoft Office 365, which provides familiar communication, productivity, and collaboration applications hosted in Microsoft data centers and delivered as cloud services. “Microsoft Office 365 offers the latest and greatest business tools, easy setup and management, and guaranteed reliability,” says Andrew Platts, directory of technology, Homeboy Industries. “It’s as close to a perfect fit to our needs as I can imagine.”


By adopting Microsoft Office 365, Homeboy Industries is experiencing the following benefits:

Increased IT efficiency by 62 percent. Before deploying Microsoft Exchange Online, Platts estimated that he spent up to eight hours a week administering the organization’s email environment.

Estimated capital cost savings of $40,000. As Platts compared solution options, he estimated that it would require a minimum investment of US$40,000 in hardware, software, and IT support to obtain the equivalent services that Homeboy Industries accesses through Office 365.

Enhanced productivity and strengthened job skills. For Homeboy Industries, the move to Office 365 has empowered staff, trainees, and clients to work together more effectively and get more done.

Read the full story here.

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