Costcutter are a symbol group, consisting of a large number of local supermarkets across the UK. As a growing business Costcutter required more and more employees to be in the field working face to face with customers. The existing IBM Notes / Domino email infrastructure was struggling to provide the most efficient service for communication.
Head of IT Infrastructure and Support, Danny Wilkinson, explained the main business objectives for needing to migrate away from IBM Notes / Domino. “As the servers were hosted out of head office in York, it became increasingly frustrating for remote email users to continually dial in, download and synchronise their email” said Danny. “The IBM Notes / Domino interface was clunky, had little flexibility and the cost of upgrading to the latest version was expensive. We required a solution that was up to date, available 24/7, easy to manage, cost effective and available over multiple devices.” The answers to these requirements was in cloud computing.
Two potential solutions were considered, Google Mail and Microsoft Office 365. Danny continued “When searching for a partner we struggled to find one that had the right expertise to migrate from IBM Notes / Domino to Office 365. Most over complicated the migration process causing higher expense. It wasn’t until we attended an invite to a seminar held by Polymorph about migrating from IBM Notes / Domino to Microsoft Office 365 we realised how uncomplicated the migration process could be.”
Following the seminar Microsoft Gold partners Polymorph delivered two in depth workshops for Costcutter, covering Office 365 overall and the technical migration plan. As a result Costcutter chose Microsoft Office 365 as their new email platform and Polymorph were chosen to be the trusted partner to help achieve this.
“Migrating from Notes to Microsoft Office 365 was the obvious choice as the business was largely Microsoft based. Also many users were familiar with Outlook so there was little need to learn new technology. As soon as the decision was announced during one of our regular colleague forums it was followed by a big cheer in the room” said Danny.
When asked about the Polymorph’s implementation of Office 365, Danny replied “The migration was very good indeed. It was critical not to have any email outage as the business model in Costcutter was going through a big change in parallel with the migration. Therefore the approach needed to be taken cautiously ensuring communication continued at all times. Polymorph helped to make that possible migrating users over to Office 365 with no downtime or any impact to customers and colleagues. Migration was so smooth staff were unaware who were still using IBM Notes or who had been migrated.
As the migration approach was department by department I wanted our team to be involved in as much as possible and work closely with Polymorph to allow for knowledge transfer. Polymorph were extremely good with sharing their knowledge, skills and information, receptive to work with and conscious the project came within budget,” he said.
Moving to Microsoft Office 365 has been extremely positive for Costcutter. “We now have anytime, anywhere, any device access. Be it on a mobile phone, tablet, desktop, laptop or even internet cafes which is something we didn’t have before,” said Danny.
Additional benefits highlighted by Danny were:
- Speed of communication has which has increased enormously and is a huge improvement, especially for the mobile sales force who can now deal with issues instantaneously whilst on shop floors.
- After using Skype previously, Lync Online is second nature with no training required. Features such video conferencing have allowed for colleagues to participate in regular forums and meetings even when they are in the field.
- Confident that Microsoft are looking after the infrastructure but still having the ability to manage the system has significantly helped to reduce hardware and maintenance cost, which was one of the main objectives.
- Office 365 has given Costcutter room for growth in components such as SharePoint online at no extra cost allowing the possibility to develop an Intranet portal in the future.
Costcutter is a part of Costcutter Supermarket Group which is predominantly a symbol group with 1,700 stores across the UK.