Capitalis International Pty Ltd

Capitalis International Pty Ltd

Marketers use Office 365 Cloud tools for better client service

Overview

Capitalis International Pty Ltd provides marketing research, analytics and commercial intelligence services to a broad range of clients around Australia and overseas. The company is based in Perth, and smooth communication across large distances is an important part of its daily activities. However, the firm’s existing communication tools made it expensive and difficult for its 15 staff to communicate with clients.

When moving its head office, Capitalis took the opportunity to also look at some of its IT systems, in order to gain operational improvements, offer their staff greater support and deliver more responsive customer service.

"Microsoft Lync Online was the perfect solution for our communication needs – and when you combined it with Office 365’s hosted Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Exchange Online servers, the benefits just kept adding up."

-Stuart Gunstone, Operations Director. Capitalis International Pty Ltd.

The problem

As many of Capitalis’ employees spend time onsite at clients’ locations, smooth communication with other clients and with colleagues is essential.

Conferencing equipment was too expensive for their needs and it would mean clients would have to set up complex software or make expensive calls to faraway teleconferencing systems.

At the same time, the company was having trouble managing its in-house servers because it relied on an outside service provider to make changes and fix problems.

Stuart Gunstone, Operations Director - Capitalis International Pty Ltd

Stuart Gunstone.
Operations Director, Capitalis International Pty Ltd.

“As we’ve grown the business, one of our biggest challenges has been setting up conference bridges with clients,” says Stuart Gunstone, Operations Director, Capitalis International Pty Ltd. “We managed in quite a piecemeal way before. As a result, we found our clients often had to dial in to calls at expensive phone rates. We couldn’t hold proper conference bridges or online meetings with some of the more basic options, so we started looking for something more professional and standardised.”

Communication wasn’t the only problem Capitalis faced: 18 months earlier, it had implemented in-house servers to provide email, communication services. The platform worked, but even minor outages became major problems as they meant mobile employees couldn’t work at all. Fixing problems was often time-consuming and expensive, because Capitalis had to call its IT partner even for simple tasks like adding, changing or removing user profiles.

The solution

When the company moved to new offices in Perth, Capitalis took the opportunity to reassess its IT infrastructure. Its goal was to improve communication with clients. But the firm quickly realised that a cloud delivery model could improve its business in many ways.

Capitalis considered a number of alternatives, but decided Microsoft® Office 365 for Professionals and Small Businesses offered it the best benefits and value for money.

Cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 offered a range of easily manageable communication tools. It gave employees access to email, documents, contacts and calendars while on the go, and Microsoft Lync Online helped them connect with each other and with clients through reliable instant messaging, video calls and online meetings. Whilst, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online enabled flexible communication between staff and clients.

“We trialled all sorts of products but found free online productivity tools didn’t meet our needs,” says Gunstone. “Microsoft Lync Online was the perfect solution for our communication needs – and when you combined it with Microsoft Office 365’s hosted Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Exchange Online servers, the benefits just kept adding up.”

When it came time to move premises, Capitalis shut down its in-house servers. Long-time business partner Business365 – a Microsoft Partner – migrated Capitalis’s employee data to the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365.

Staff now use Microsoft Lync Online to manage their client communications. They can easily set up teleconferences, videoconferences and document-sharing sessions with multiple people.

Business benefits

Lync Online may help Capitalis save money

Months down the track, Capitalis has already seen big benefits from adopting Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Lync Online.

Using Microsoft Lync for online conference calling, for example, has allowed the firm to stop using expensive external communications providers.

“We make around four international conference calls each week,” says Gunstone. “We expect Microsoft Lync Online to save us thousands of dollars compared to a conference call provider, which charges per minute, per person. Lync Online will also greatly improve the quality of our calls.”

Microsoft Office 365 allows staff to connect on the go*

Office 365 has become the employees’ main workspace. It gives them online tools – like instant messaging, video calls and online meetings – to easily communicate with colleagues and clients.

“Staff now have confidence that their communication technology is secure and reliable,” says Gunstone. “Microsoft Office 365 is helping us respond faster to client requests and improve customer service.”

“Microsoft® Office 365 gives us strong communication tools and the latest technology at an affordable price, and Microsoft Lync lets us connect with our clients easily and professionally.”

-Stuart Gunstone, Operations Director. Capitalis International Pty Ltd.

Easier to manage users and data

Instead of having to wait for a service technician to arrive onsite when something goes wrong, Capitalis’s new cloud-based infrastructure provides software that’s up-to-date, data that’s frequently backed up and a hosted IT environment that's available without direct intervention by Capitalis.

This is essential for a small business that has employees who rely on access to online tools while at client sites.

Even better for the team, Microsoft Office 365 makes easy to add, remove and change user accounts as business requirements change.

"We now have reliable and easy-to-use communication tools, which are helping employees work more efficiently, and helping us keep our clients happy."

-Stuart Gunstone, Operations Director. Capitalis International Pty Ltd.

Cloud platform supports business growth

Capitalis pays a modest flat rate per user per month for Microsoft’s cloud services. The new system has also given Capitalis a chance to look at better ways to manage documents. Capitalis plans to use Microsoft SharePoint Server and the integration between Microsoft Office 365 components to improve its business processes.

“I can’t think of a case where Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Office 365 can’t do what we need, and it has been very economical,” says Gunstone. “We now have reliable and easy-to-use communication tools, which are helping employees work more efficiently, and helping us keep our clients happy.

“We’re only starting to explore all that we can do with Microsoft Office 365,” he adds.

 

Things you need to know

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* Subject to internet availability or mobile network coverage

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