Case Studies

Microsoft Office 365 Customer Solution Case Study

Events and catering company uses cloud-based collaboration tools to help wow guests

Whether customers want an elaborate wedding reception or a circus-themed corporate event, VT Group makes it happen. The Portland, Oregon–based event planning and catering company uses Microsoft Office 365 to keep 300 employees working in harmony to stage events that wow customers and keep them coming back for more.

Product and Services
Microsoft Intune
Office 365

Industry
Professional Services

Organization Size
Medium (50 – 999 employees)

Country
United States

VT Group
www.vtgrouppdx.com

KAMIND IT
www.kamind.com

“By using Office 365, events go off without a hitch. That means we get repeat business.”

Steve Mitchell, VT Group, IT and Facilities Manager

Working with KAMIND IT, a Microsoft Partner Network member, the VT Group has equipped employees with a flexible suite of communications tools that lets them stay in touch from anywhere, anytime, from any device. Planners, kitchen staff, event managers, and servers use cloud-based email, instant messaging, and document-sharing to create great ideas, execute them to a tee, and solve glitches immediately. With the Office 365 “pay as you use” pricing model, VT Group shrinks and expands its licenses to match its seasonal business, saving money that it can redirect to expanding its business and amazing customers.

“Making the move to Office 365 was pretty much a no-brainer. I have better employee satisfaction with the tools that we have, I’ve expanded my service offerings, reduced costs, and we’re more efficient with the resources that I have.”

Steve Mitchell, VT Group, IT and Facilities Manager

Sports apparel designer gears up for mobile productivity with Office 365

“As the global IT Manager, I need to be able to react quickly from wherever I am, be it on the slopes, the trails, or the beach. Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based services give me that flexibility.”

Nic Richards, IT Manager, Dakine

Customer: Dakine

Website: www.dakine.com

Customer Size: 150 employees

Country or Region: United States

Industry: Manufacturing

Partner: KAMIND IT

Partner Website: www.kamind.com

Customer Profile:

Based in Hood River, Oregon, Dakine designs and manufactures accessories and apparel for the action sports industry, including: skiing, snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking, windsurfing, and kiteboarding

Software and Services

  • Microsoft Office 365
    • Microsoft Exchange Online
    • Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus
    • Microsoft OneDrive for Business
    • Microsoft SharePoint Online
    • Skype for Business

Dakine, maker of accessories and apparel for action sports, needed new business technology that matched the expectations of its mobile workforce—and chose Microsoft Office 365. Today, Dakine employees use the cloud-based communication and collaboration services to stay connected with the business, driving productivity while minimizing IT infrastructure costs.

It’s a crisp, clear day on the slopes of Mt. Hood Meadows and Nic Richards is “shredding pow.” Snowboarding on powder may not sound like work, but in a way it is. For the IT Manager and many of his colleagues at Dakine, using the company’s gear and participating in the “Dakine lifestyle” is actively encouraged. The more that employees use the products that Dakine designs, manufactures, and markets, the better.

According to Richards, the company is getting back to its roots after it was sold by Billabong to Altamont Capital Partners in 2013. Moving from the bustling Hood River downtown area to a beautiful polished pine, glass, and steel headquarters helped augment that transition. With panoramic views of the Columbia River and Mt. Hood’s iconic volcanic cone, it’s easy to see why Dakine staffers never really stop building brand allegiance: at work and at play.

The last couple of years also provided an opportunity for Richards to redefine the company’s approach to business technology.

“I wanted to find business productivity solutions that reflect our corporate culture: people are laid back here, but dedicated,” says Richards. “We expect to work when and where we need to—on the slopes, the trails, or the beach. We use Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based services to reinforce those values, underlying what makes Dakine’s culture unique.”

Mobile productivity

Office 365 offers interoperable communication and collaboration services—email, file sharing, online collaboration, 1 terabyte of cloud storage, instant messaging (IM), and videoconferencing.

Enhanced mobility is good news for the one-third of Dakine’s employees who spend a lot of time out of the office. On any day, Dakine staffers can be found visiting any one of thousands of retailers around the world, filming a surf video on the beaches of Oahu, or reviewing production at a manufacturing plant in China—and they are all using Office 365 to stay in touch with colleagues, get work done, and communicate with the head office.

“We leverage the video and audio conferencing tools of Skype for Business to better collaborate and stay in real-time contact with our teams around the world. And virtual teams with members at headquarters and our office in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, use videoconferences to review SKUs and product ideas,” says Richards. I like the anywhere access I get from OneDrive for Business too. If I get an email about a document that needs editing, I can download it from the online storage, make the edits, and send a link back to my colleague to check out the updated version, wherever I happen to be working.”

“In finance, we frequently IM with the various teams, especially sales. It’s a vital communication tool while working remotely and an integral part of daily life inside the offices as well,” adds Lauren Simpson, Vice President of Special Projects.

As more employees take advantage of being able to download the latest, full versions of Office applications on up to five computing devices, mobile workplace scenarios will increase. Office 365 ProPlus includes a version for Macs and iPads, so even the folks who design on their Macs are covered.

“I know finance staffers are installing Office at home to work in the evenings,” says Richards. “It’s easy to save your work in the cloud and pick it up again when you get to the office the next morning.”

Simple IT

As one of the only two members of the IT department at Dakine, Richards was keen to find a solution that would simplify his life managing the company’s technology. Working with KAMIND IT, a Microsoft Partner Network member, Richards planned the Office 365 deployment as a scalable, flexible, and quick “exit strategy” from the Billabong on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server mail solution. And from the outset, he’s been happy with the cost-effective, timesaving benefits of a cloud-based solution.

“We saved approximately [US]$100,000 by not having to purchase software and hardware for our own on-premises Exchange solution,” Richards says. “And with the expert assistance of KAMIND IT, we achieved a pretty smooth inbox migration from Billabong’s servers to Exchange Online.”

For IT staff, the solution’s ease of use is a great time saver, especially as the company is growing quickly and adding new staff.

“I love that the ongoing management of Office 365 and signing up users is super easy,” says Richards. “Before Office 365, it could take one or two days to equip a new employee with email—now I’m done in just five minutes.”

Fast customer service

Customer service staff are also experiencing timesaving benefits that translate into more responsive service. Today, they no longer have to put callers on hold while they look for answers to product queries. That’s because they are using the presence and IM capabilities that come with Office 365 to quickly find a colleague who can help. “We have reduced the average time to answer a customer query by 30 percent,” says Richards.

Looking ahead, Dakine intends to use Microsoft SharePoint Online to build stronger relationships with its retailers.

“We have a lot of products and a lot of marketing media available. It would be great to allow approved e-commerce vendors to visit a Dakine intranet site where they could search for product pictures and videos for their websites,” says Richards. “I can already think of a few other areas Office 365 could help out too. The opportunities seem endless.”

Microsoft Teams Voice & Calling Migration Case Study
Engineering Firm utilizes Microsoft Teams Voice & Calling to streamline internal communication.

Customer: PBS Engineering and Environmental

Website: www.pbsenv.com

Customer Size: 265 employees

Country or Region: United States

Industry: Engineering Firm

Partner: KAMIND IT

Partner Website: www.kamind.com

Customer Profile:

Based in Hood River, Oregon, Dakine designs and manufactures accessories and apparel for the action sports industry, including: skiing, snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking, windsurfing, and kiteboarding

Software and Services

  • MS 365 Business Suite
  • Microsoft Azure Services
    • Microsoft Azure Backup Services
    • Azure Security Center
  • Microsoft Teams
    • Microsoft Teams Calling
    • Microsoft Teams Voice
  • Windows Advanced Threat Detection (ATD)
  • Advanced DLP

“Our most recent migration from our Mitel phone system to Microsoft Teams brought its own challenges. Between building out our call flows, testing, training users, and migrating numbers, KAMIND’s staff supported us through all of it.”

Aaron Grittman IT Services Manager, PBS Engineering and Environmental

Environment:

PBS Engineering and Environmental needed a communication environment that was free of constant outages, excessive cost and possessed a more in tune support system. This required the migration from their past provider to Microsoft Teams Voice and Calling, allowing them to fully integrate messaging and phone capabilities under one application. They were looking for an application that could cut down cost and relieve issues associated with their previous carrier and Microsoft Teams effectively solved those issues.

Why Services Were Needed

PBS Engineering and Environmental previously ran communications through Mitel which exceeded cost expectations, as well as providing decreased voice quality communication systems. Migration to Microsoft Teams Voice & Calling for all 265 employees cut costs an average of $61,000.00 per year over a 3-year term totaling over $183,000.00. With this cost reduction came increased vocal clarity, making Microsoft Teams communications a proper and clear solution for PBS.

Advised Solutions

KAMIND acted as an extension of the PBS Engineering and Environmental IT team to address this gap/need. KAMIND brought their knowledge of Office 365, VOIP for Teams to assist and improve Microsoft Teams Voice/Calling deployment and support. The configuration deployed was to have an operator’s console in place that will manage the Teams VOIP infrastructure and assist on call routing to different users’ extensions. The Teams configuration was to be built on a set of call queues that the call is forwarded to after reaching the auto attendant or the operators console.

Data Center Migration to Azure Case Study
Large data hosting firm migrates from on-premise tenant to Microsoft Azure to reduce overall cost.

Customer: AtuanTi by Gimel

Website: www.gimel.com.br/en/

Customer Size: 14 employees

Country or Region: Brazil

Industry: Large Data Center Hosting

Partner: KAMIND IT

Partner Website: www.kamind.com

Customer Profile:

AtuanTi provides customers with a wide range of IT products, software and services. The group serves the corporate and government market, offering quality services and always guided by the motto: “Excellence in Technology and Attendance.

Software and Services

  • Azure Migrate
  • Azure Portal
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft 365 Business
  • Windows 10 E5
  • Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection

“KAMIND IT’s patience with our team and their knowledge of each area was skill appropriate. For example, I am not technical and their language was business appropriate with me, and with our technical team the conversation was more focused on technical details.”

Claudia Gimenes Aguilar, CEO & Founder, AtuanTi by Gimel Group

Environment:

AtuanTi provides hosting of large data centers in Brazil. These data centers run the computing for some of the largest industries in the country. As costs mount in a very competitive global environment, clients have been looking for ways to stay competitive while keeping costs down. New technologies must be employed to stay ahead of the game. AtuanTi realized that that best way to help their clients was to utilize the latest technologies and rely on tried and tested processes. The leadership team turned to offerings from the US, and most notably the Microsoft cloud. They researched the solutions available to them and their customers and chose Microsoft Azure as the hosting platform for a new, cloud-based environment for their clients. Azure was the perfect answer for their clients’ line of business applications. In order to move quickly, they decided to call in for help from a US-based firm with lots of experience in Azure migrations.

Why Services Were Needed

AtuanTi by Gimel previously hosted an on-premise data center that did not meet their specifications when it came to cost, functionality and overall performance. KAMIND assisting AtuanTi with their migration to Microsoft Azure provided a more flexible and scalable solution for their clients.

Advised Solutions

KAMIND believed that the most effective way to provide value to AtuanTi is to act as an extension to the AtuanTi Cloud Services Team and to provide project management for this project. KAMIND brought their knowledge of the Microsoft Azure environment and past migrations to assist in completing a successful migration of the AtuanTi Line of Business (LOB) services to Azure. The goal of the ATUANTI Azure project was to build out the necessary infrastructure for the appropriate Azure network that allows future growth.

Fortress Customer Solutions Case Study
Wealth management institution cashes in on modern security technologies.

Customer: McGee Wealth Management

Website: www.mcgeewm.com

Customer Size: 30 employees

Country or Region: United States

Industry: Financial

Partner: KAMIND IT

Partner Website: www.kamind.com

Customer Profile:

Experienced wealth management team that incorporates comprehensive financial planning, investment management, and ongoing consulting to help navigate important life and business decisions.

Software and Services

  • MS 365 E5 Security and Productivity Suite.
  • Microsoft Azure Services
    • Microsoft Azure Disaster Recovery (ADR)
    • Microsoft Azure Backup Services
    • Azure Sentinel (SIEM)
  • Windows Advanced Threat Protection
  • Cloud App Security
  • Privilege Identity Management
  • Advanced DLP
  • Penetration Testing

“KAMIND IT has been able to appreciate and understand our goals, develop a road-map to help us achieve them, and implement appropriate solutions.”

Erin Wheatcraft, Director of IT and Operations, McGee Wealth Management

Environment:

PBS Engineering and Environmental needed a communication environment that was free of constant outages, excessive cost and possessed a more in tune support system. This required the migration from their past provider to Microsoft Teams Voice and Calling, allowing them to fully integrate messaging and phone capabilities under one application. They were looking for an application that could cut down cost and relieve issues associated with their previous carrier and Microsoft Teams effectively solved those issues.

Why Services Were Needed

PBS Engineering and Environmental previously ran communications through Mitel which exceeded cost expectations, as well as providing decreased voice quality communication systems. Migration to Microsoft Teams Voice & Calling for all 265 employees cut costs an average of $61,000.00 per year over a 3-year term totaling over $183,000.00. With this cost reduction came increased vocal clarity, making Microsoft Teams communications a proper and clear solution for PBS.

Advised Solutions

KAMIND acted as an extension of the PBS Engineering and Environmental IT team to address this gap/need. KAMIND brought their knowledge of Office 365, VOIP for Teams to assist and improve Microsoft Teams Voice/Calling deployment and support. The configuration deployed was to have an operator’s console in place that will manage the Teams VOIP infrastructure and assist on call routing to different users’ extensions. The Teams configuration was to be built on a set of call queues that the call is forwarded to after reaching the auto attendant or the operators console.