Way To Blue
Digital Agency Enhances Global Collaboration with Cloud Productivity Suite
Digital marketing agency Way To Blue needed a reliable collaboration suite to support staff at its offices worldwide. With help from Microsoft Partner RedPixie, the firm deployed Microsoft Office 365 with Exchange Online and Lync Online to 90 global users. The cloud-based suite has helped the firm increase efficiency, reduce overheads, and improve staff collaboration and productivity.
By Adam Rubins, Chief Executive Officer, Way To Blue
Way To Blue is an integrated digital marketing, search, and analytics agency that develops dynamic campaigns for film industry clients. Established in London, the firm has grown quickly since it was founded and now employs 90 people at its agencies located in seven countries. It expects to open another six offices over the next eight months and works with Sony, Paramount, and Warner Bros.
Like many businesses that experience rapid success, Way To Blue had an IT infrastructure that wasn’t equipped to manage such fast-paced growth. Email was particularly prone to performance issues because users were on different versions of Microsoft Outlook and mailbox storage was beyond capacity. Adam Rubins, Chief Executive Officer, Way To Blue, says: “We’re a digital agency, so email is important to us. With our existing IT setup, we had five servers to manage Exchange for 90 global users. Our backups were failing, archiving was out of hand, and we had a single point of failure, so if London went down, so did our other offices. It was unsustainable.”
The firm looked for a flexible, easy-to-manage solution at an affordable price, without the need for capital expenditure,that would give its IT Manager the freedom to develop other important services.
- Customer Name:
Way To Blue
Media & Entertainment – Advertising
Office 365, Lync Online, SharePoint Online
- Customer Website:
Way To Blue is a global marketing agency that develops campaigns for film clients. It currently employs staff at seven offices worldwide and is expanding its operations into six other countries.
“We trust the team explicitly and Office 365 was their suggestion. The transition was extremely smooth.”
“We wanted to deploy better collaboration tools to support staff working at all our offices and to foster a more unified environment in spite of the diverse locations in which we work, but we didn’t want to spend money on yet another internal solution that consumed our time and was expensive to maintain,” says Rubins.
“We used Skype for instant messaging and phone calls from time to time, but that wasn’t always reliable. We needed a scalable system that would perform well consistently and give us peace of mind in the event of disaster recovery.”
Way To Blue was referred to Microsoft Partner Cloudamour through an industry contact and together they assessed the firm’s options for a new collaboration environment. This resulted in the digital agency choosing to deploy Office 365 over other cloud-based collaboration suites such as Google Apps. Ian Wallis, Financial Controller, Way To Blue, says: “Cloudamour gave us exceptional advice and support. We trust the team explicitly and Office 365 was their suggestion. The transition was extremely smooth.”
With Office 365, Way To Blue gets Microsoft Office, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online for a predictable monthly per-user cost, avoiding the need for upfront investment in on-premises hardware and software. The firm has already deployed Exchange Online with Lync Online, and is planning to implement SharePoint Online by the end of 2013. This will provide employees with an accessible platform for collaborating online.
“If we had to choose one reason for deploying Office 365 it would be the fact that we got such a great app with Lync Online. Its integration with the rest of our collaboration software means we can talk to staff in different offices seamlessly. We can contact each other through instant messaging, voice-over-IP phone calls, or HD video and also use it to communicate with clients,” says Wallis. “Plus, we don’t need to put phone lines into any of our offices.” The collaboration suite can work on any operating system, which suits the firm’s mixture of Windows PCs, Mac computers, and smartphones that connect to the corporate network.
Way To Blue is well equipped for its expansion into other countries now that it has a reliable, easy-to-use, scalable, and affordable collaboration and conferencing solution. “The move to Office 365 was just right for us. Even staff who wanted to deploy a competitor’s suite are convinced they have the right tools now,” says Wallis.
Staff collaborate easily regardless of location.
“Our teams love Microsoft Lync Online. It’s reliable and convenient and has transformed the way we communicate,” says Wallis. “Colleagues use Lync Online for global brainstorming sessions—for example, those used to discuss potential social media strategies publicising a new film.”
Wallis also manages a member of staff in the United States and finds that Lync Online provides a seamless communication channel between them.
Collaboration costs are reduced.
As Way To Blue expands operations, it doesn’t have the hassle or expense of setting up telecommunications in each of its offices. As long as staff have an Internet connection, they can use Exchange Online and Lync Online to collaborate on client work to improve efficiency and productivity.
In-house IT is simplified.
The firm’s IT Manager now has the freedom to work on higher-value projects for Way To Blue. He can also take a holiday, which was almost impossible before because of the number of incidents reported in a single day. “Our IT Manager has reduced the time he spends on email administration by about 40 per cent,” says Wallis.
Firm gains from disaster recovery solution.
With Office 365, if there’s a fire or incident in London that makes it physically impossible to work onsite, the rest of the firm’s offices are not affected and data is protected. “Not long after we deployed Office 365, we had a fire at our offices. Previously, this sort of incident would have disrupted the whole business for a couple of days, but thanks to Office 365 staff could continue being productive,” says Wallis.