Wallpaper Case Study

Requirement: Microsoft Office 365

Wallpaper needed a comprehensive solution that would enable its staff to instantly share, access and collaborate on company documents. It turned to Managed Technology Services specialists GCI to assist.

The Client

Wallpaper is a creative agency specialising in communication through innovative design. It assists its clients with everything from new product development and identifying employee behaviours to visual identity and communications. The agency employs a number of designers, who alternate between being office-based and working from home.

Wallpaper has seen consistent growth over the previous 10 years but was severely stretching the limitations of its IT environment, which was the original low-cost platform implemented when the company was founded. It had served the company well over the years but wasn’t scalable and was limited in technical capabilities. With staff spending a considerable amount of time travelling between client meetings and often working on projects whilst on the move, the company was struggling with different versions of documents and data on all sorts of devices, which were often inaccessible to the people who needed them. Using hard drives and USB devices had become extremely restrictive and, as they were trying to access content on standalone computers, there was the potential for duplication of each file. Accessing and replying to emails when traveling was also causing problems; the team would send emails from mobiles but due to a lack of synchronisation there would be no record on their laptops. Wallpaper was therefore finding it difficult to implement a strong backup system because the files weren’t accessible while people were using email, so the agency was never confident that it could locate historic data if required. 

Additionally, Wallpaper had found that administration and support overheads were increasing. It had also been managing all IT in-house, which was placing an increasing burden on the team. As staff numbers grew, Wallpaper realised a change was necessary.

Technical Solution

GCI ascertained that the most competitive and suitable solution for Wallpaper’s ongoing problem was Microsoft’s market-leading Office 365 software. Utilising Cloud technology, employees can access their applications and files from virtually anywhere and on any device, giving them the ability to share and access documents with ease. Staff can also retrieve their emails and calendars across all devices and can rely upon the data being accurate and up-to-date. As employees were already familiar with the Office suite, upgrading to Office 365 was an intuitive shift. Notable benefits of Office 365 for Wallpaper include OneDrive, which offers a simple and secure online storage solution for all design files that are often too large to send via email. Additionally, Instant Messaging and Presence provided by Skype for Business enables colleagues to see each other’s availability and communicate in real time. Combined with easily-accessible shared calendars, colleagues can stay in sync and on schedule.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, not only could GCI offer Wallpaper preferential pricing on its Office 365 solution, but the company also receives expert Office 365 support. This includes assurance of established Service Level Agreements, two free hours of administration requests - ideal for tasks such as managing limits, setups of groups or new users – and the security of GCI's ability to elevate and manage queries with Microsoft’s Signature Cloud Support team. Incidents resolved remotely using web tools and telephone, and are fully managed by GCI’s dedicated Office 365 Team. Additionally, updates to features in Office 365 are carried out automatically, so employees are guaranteed to always be working on the most up-to-date version of any Microsoft product.

Success and Company Benefits

Wallpaper now has one point of support for any of their Office 365 concerns from its trusted partner - GCI. The company is reassured that, regardless of location, it can easily collaborate with its colleagues and access the documents they need. Additionally, working and sharing files with customers has been vastly improved through the ability to use secure, Cloud-based shared storage. Wallpaper’s IT team also now have peace of mind that they are operating on a secure system that is financially backed by a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Additionally, the move to a monthly subscription model means the team can easily plan IT budgets without worrying about CAPEX costs as Office 365 employs an OPEX financial model, enabling easy management of monthly costs.

David Houldsworth, MD & Creative Director at Wallpaper, said: “Office 365 has helped us massively as we now have one source for all of our requirements. It has also been well received by staff, who have been rewarded with some instant benefits which can really be felt out on the road; no more out-of-date files or wasting time phoning back to the office to get someone to zip a file and email it over. It has truly transformed the way we operate as a business, and clients have noticed the positive change in the way we work. We are seeing a 40% increase productivity for our staff who are out in front of customers.”

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