Email limitations see MPH opting for Office 365
By Digital News Asia March 7, 2013
- Book publishing, printing, distribution and retail group moves to the cloud to create better communications environment
- Used to struggle with its email system, particularly when sending graphic and video file attachments
THE MPH Group has chosen the Microsoft Office 365 platform as part of its effort to simplify, improve and modernize its communications technology platform for its team members, Microsoft Malaysia said in a statement.
As one of Malaysia’s best-known book publishing, printing, distribution and retail businesses, MPH employs 300 staff at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya in the state of Selangor and other offices, and more than 700 retail staff in 32 stores in Malaysia and Singapore.
In the course of conducting vital business activities, MPH often struggled with its email system, particularly when it came to sending email with graphic and video file attachments.
“Keeping pace with ever-growing email attachment file sizes was a major challenge for our business,” says Lee Kim Hock, assistant general manager, MPH Group.
“My colleagues needed to send advertising video files to vendors, and book cover designs to and from distributors, but capacity constraints meant our email server often failed. If staff wanted to send 2MB files, they had to ring me up to ask, ‘Can I do it now?’ Inevitably, bottlenecks occurred, and staff had to wait to send urgent email.”
MPH maintained its own email server on purchased hardware installed at a local data center. However, to keep the group’s email system operating, Lee’s IT support team spent over four hours each week just on managing capacity and troubleshooting. If staff worked during the weekends, they often overloaded the server and caused it to crash.
“For a low-end email system, the cost was surprisingly high,” Lee claims. “Besides the software license and data center fees, I had to pay for top-quality anti-virus software and an effective firewall to protect sensitive corporate data. I wanted a secure, low-maintenance, high-capacity email system that worked 24/7.”
MPH turned to Microsoft Office 365, leveraging the cloud-based solution’s advantages to scale on demand. In mid-2012, it moved 350 employee email accounts into the cloud with Microsoft Exchange Online, part of Microsoft Office 365.
"The Exchange Online service is totally reliable and simple to run, and I save money on anti-virus software and firewall protection because Office 365 has excellent security features. I’m even saving more than RM9,000 (US$2,900) in IT costs each year,” says Lee.
MPH will also use Microsoft Office 365 to improve remote access for its employees who now have secure email they can easily access on their own mobile devices.
“What particularly impressed us was the improved functionality available on Blackberry devices once email was managed by Exchange Online. Accessing our emails became so easy, even on today’s most popular smartphone platforms,” says Lee.
“By turning to the power of cloud computing, MPH has enabled its employees to effortlessly collaborate and communicate with each other, regardless of where they are and from whichever device they happen to be on,” says Mohit Pande (pic), general manager of Small and Medium Solutions and Partners for Microsoft Malaysia.