Worry-free IT becomes a good deal easier in the Cloud
Microsoft Cloud services provide visionary dot com with a future-proof, best-in-breed IT platform
By Simon Sacerdoti, Founder & CFO, WeSwap
WeSwap.com is THE person-to-person currency exchange for travellers. We currently transact in 6 currencies across 10 European countries and enable people in different countries to swap travel money with each other rather than buying it in a traditional way from a bank or at the airport.
Our goal, with this unique service, is to change how the travel money market operates; to shift the way people think from ‘buying’ to ‘swapping’. We are passionate about delivering amazing value and our complex technology platform has been developed over a number of years to facilitate the scale of peer-to-peer exchange required to make this a valuable and faultless service.
Conversely our in-house IT, for our growing team of 14 people, had grown piece-meal over the years. With unconnected laptops and Google apps for email, calendaring and file storage, the approach was no longer fit for purpose and even small daily tasks were becoming problematic. Ad-hoc file storage processes were a business continuity concern and maintaining audit trails to meet our compliance requirements was getting harder and harder. In short, the tools were not sufficiently enterprise-grade to support our business looking to the future.
Whilst a couple of IT support firms offered us potential solutions, within 10 minutes of meeting Microsoft partner, RedPixie, it was 100% clear an in-house server infrastructure was not the right route for us and that in fact, cloud services provided a future-proof, robust, flexible and ‘best of breed’ solution.
Following a detailed, collaborative planning process with RedPixie we moved our entire office IT environment into the Microsoft Cloud. RedPixie were amazing at evangelising the potential of the cloud and explaining clearly and simply the value it would give our business.
Now, our server and Active Directory sit on Microsoft Azure. Office 365 provides us with tools for collaboration, email, calendaring and document creation. OneDrive is our single environment for file storage. Our intranet is housed within SharePoint and Lync gives us a new way to collaborate quickly and informally. The environment is completed by Windows Intune sitting in the background, monitoring and managing the system, and Windows 7 on our laptops, soon to be migrated across to Windows 8.
This is without doubt the most ‘grown-up’ IT system on offer for SME’s today, and our migration process was painless! But it’s the little things that are making such a big difference to our business, taking away the low-grade annoyances we had before and making life very pleasant!
Working internationally, we often need to hold meetings with external organisations in countries across the globe. Our previous calendaring tool got confused with time zones and was not reliable. With Office 365, meeting requests automatically save in the diary on the right day, in the right time zone, which is much more reassuring!
Another favourite feature is mail merge between Word and Outlook in Office 2013. I manage a lot of regular correspondence with our shareholders. I can simply create communications in Word and then mail merge direct into Outlook – that was simply not possible with Google Apps. It’s just one feature, but one of many which saves me so much time.
Lync presence and instant messaging is also proving useful. When I was recently on paternity leave, I was able to keep my finger on the pulse of the business, and quickly chat to staff when required which also gave them reassurance I was still available.
More holistically for the business however, we have a system that provides the latest and greatest tools, ensures we are protected and secure, allows us to use the same software on work and home machines, simplifies our compliance tasks, and allows us to pay a transparent, predictable monthly fee per user. We don’t have to worry about server hardware in the office and the associated security, maintenance and replacement requirements. Our internal IT team don’t need to spend time on support or maintenance, they can focus on developing and enhancing our core product platform. That suits us very nicely!
Our Microsoft Cloud environment also gives us an immediate Disaster Recovery plan. Our head office is actually in the cloud, and our physical office is really just a branch. If the office burns down, for example, everyone just goes home and continues to work as normal because everything is in the cloud. We didn’t have that reassurance before and that’s a big deal.
Looking at the capabilities of all the different tools included within the Microsoft Cloud suite, it’s amazing what we’ll be able to introduce further. We’re already looking at Power BI to help us to surface information from our databases and we’re very excited about what OneNote will help us achieve in moving closer to a paper-free office.
Our cloud environment has given the business a level of robustness, security and freedom we couldn’t have imagined previously. All the worry has been taken out of IT! RedPixie’s knowledge, passion and focus on results has been an integral part of the fast, impressive value we have seen and will continue to see in the future.
- Customer Name:
Office 365, Windows Intune, Microsoft Azure, Windows 8
- Customer Website:
WeSwap is an online, person-to-person currency exchange service. By matching people who are travelling in opposite directions, WeSwap allows holidaymakers, expats and business travellers around the world to swap their different currencies without using banks or expensive retail outlets.
“RedPixie were amazing at evangelising the potential of the cloud and explaining clearly and simply the value it would give our business.”
“This is without doubt the most ‘grown-up’ IT system on offer for SME’s today, and our migration process was painless!”