Speaking with conviction

Today’s post on Office 365 was written by Raja Ukil, chief information officer at Wipro Limited. 

Wipro Limited Pro pix
The world of IT is changing, and our business is changing as a result. Much of our success has been built on developing large line-of-business applications for Fortune 500 companies. However, today many of our customers’ IT budgets are going directly to business departments that are deploying cloud-based solutions rather than building traditional IT infrastructure and management models.

With customers asking us to help transform their businesses with cloud services, we realized that we needed to first transform ourselves to remain a challenger.

And how did we transform?

We decided to replace most of our extensive on-premises email, collaboration, and office productivity infrastructure with Microsoft Office 365, primarily to reduce costs and give employees more modern communications services. We realized that if we could deploy cloud productivity services to most of our 156,000 employees around the world, we could certainly speak with conviction when our customers ask us to do the same for them.

We looked briefly at other solutions but didn’t feel they were enterprise-calibre or flexible enough for our needs. And with our IT staff and end users already well versed in Microsoft products, we didn’t want to introduce more changes and disruptions.

Using Office 365 made it simple to create a hybrid email environment, with 125,000 mailboxes migrated to the cloud and 31,000 mailboxes remaining on-premises. These on-premises mailboxes include shared mailboxes, conference rooms and application-specific email IDs, and a few that were in compliance with U.S. government data security regulations and customer contractual requirements.

We spent considerable time and effort on upfront planning and change management to ensure that we got it right. We then rolled out the Office 365 services one at a time, with dedicated, round-the-clock support to ensure that employees had a good experience. With executive support from the CEO and careful planning, we enjoyed great success migrating 125,000 mailboxes to the cloud in just 18 weeks.

My vision is for our globally dispersed workforce to operate as a tight-knit community. With Office 365, it’s as easy for an engineer in Bangalore to have a conversation with a colleague in Boston as if they met in a hallway. With just a single mouse-click, they can chat online and share screens, thereby collaborating in real-time to enhance productivity.

With the Office 365 co-authoring capability, teams can now work together in real-time to edit documents and pull together proposals and schedules quickly, without a lot of email back-and-forth. And with the social element—Yammer—teams can have continuous conversations that drive engagement and faster turnaround.

Our next focus after email and Yammer is to deploy Office 365 document sharing and file storage. With everyone’s files stored in the cloud, employees will be completely device- and location-independent. This will be a huge uplift for productivity.

By successfully moving to Office 365, we can now speak with conviction about digital transformation through cloud services. We have done it ourselves at scale and will help our customers do the same.

—Raja Ukil

Read the full story and about Wipro’s successful move to Office 365.