Telos was already familiar with remote working, central document storage, sharing email and calendars however the existing system was designed for a UK business rather than a growing international firm. As a result business processes and reporting were becoming more complex and the configuration and support of laptops where users were based overseas, was increasingly problematic. Consultants began using a variety of devices and platforms, different email applications and other software. In parallel Telos’ existing servers, operating systems and communications network also needed upgrading.
Telos needed all their consultants, wherever they were based or working, to be able access the Telos system on any device (laptop, Mac, tablet or iPad) without any requirement for these devices to be configured by IT. They also required all consultants to be on the same email application and version of software so there was consistency in documentation and no incompatibility issues. They needed a flexible solution, one that would not only meet their existing requirements but could adapt to those of the future. The final challenge was more about social interaction and working together; consultants were required to work together closely despite being located in different countries and time zones.
Telos had considered several options including replacing their existing IBM Lotus Notes / Domino infrastructure and running a hybrid system. Polymorph suggested that if they moved their business processing and reporting onto SharePoint, they could use Microsoft Office 365 for email and instant messaging. This solution would enable Telos to make a substantial saving in hardware and operational costs too.
Through meeting various people within Telos, Polymorph was able to identify and scope the fundamental issues that would deliver these requirements and gain insight into how Telos liked to do business. Changes in IT over recent years meant Telos could reconsider ‘cloud’ based technologies and Polymorph recommended that a move to Office 365 would deliver the solution.
Polymorph IT specialists came highly recommended to Telos Partners offering the perfect solution of migration from IBM Lotus Notes / Domino to Microsoft Office 365. As Polymorph is both Microsoft and IBM accredited they could offer impartial advice on both technologies to Telos.
Telos’ infrastructure included three IBM Lotus Notes / Domino servers, two internal and one external, serving both IBM Lotus Notes / Domino messaging and database applications. They had circa 65 x mailboxes with users spread globally, using a mixed environment of devices.
Telos decided to move to Microsoft Office 365. It offered a scalable ‘cloud’ based system allowing accessibility from all around the world. It was simple to use, easy to support, and through Lync and SharePoint Online would also improve productivity and enable collaborative and remote working.
Polymorph’s approach was to install and configure the Microsoft Exchange and Lync Online platforms of Microsoft Office 365 for messaging and web conferencing services. Polymorph’s “planning, preparation and testing was very thorough” said Jane Brett, Telos’ IT Manager, “resulting in a good ‘go live’ process.” Polymorph’s strong account and project management ensured that any difficulties encountered during the email migration were resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Microsoft Office 365 has met Telos’ expectations to date. Using Microsoft Exchange Online has eliminated the necessity of configuring email across all devices. Additionally, it has allowed for ease of remote email access. “Wherever our consultants are in the world, they all have the same technical experience and that’s really important” says Jane Brett. Microsoft Lync Online Services have allowed users to work more closely together as a company. “The ability to see each other when working with people you have never met before helps to establish a good working relationship” said Jane.
The next phase of the project for Polymorph is the migration of Telos’ Intellectual Capital and client documentation currently stored on its bespoke Lotus Notes / Domino applications and network drives to Microsoft SharePoint Online. This will enable dispersed teams to access, share and work together on centrally stored documents. The anticipated benefits include better document version control, secure document storage, improved risk management and enhanced collaboration between colleagues.
Telos Partners LLP is a professional consultancy established in 2000 with a core purpose to create sustainable success in business based on authentic relationships. Telos works with organisations across a wide range of sectors and international borders including global corporations, not-for-profit organisations and privately owned businesses. Based in the UK they have partners in Australia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, South Africa and the USA.