WinWire IT Services Firm Switches from Google Apps to Microsoft to Improve Collaboration


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When WinWire Technologies started out in 2007, it wanted to keep operating costs low, so it went with the leading Internet-based messaging service available at the time: Google Gmail. Over time, employees in the company’s California headquarters and India development centers added a mix of Microsoft and open source communications programs, which complicated communications and created difficulties for the IT staff. In 2010, WinWire replaced all these programs with Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, part of Microsoft Online Services. WinWire gained richer communications functionality, enhanced productivity, reduced IT management work, and added the ability to easily scale messaging to accommodate business growth. Furthermore, with Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, WinWire has developed its own line of services that represents new revenue opportunities.

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WinWire IT Services Firm Switches from Google Apps to Microsoft to Improve Collaboration

  1. 1. Microsoft Online Services Customer Solution Case Study IT Services Firm Switches from Google Apps to Microsoft to Improve CollaborationOverview “Having a common, powerful collaboration platform forCountry or Region: United StatesIndustry: Professional services—IT our distributed workforce is critical to our Microsoft has enabled a common collaboration suiteCustomer Profile and made it extremely cost-competitive.”WinWire Technologies is a Microsoft Ashu Goel, Chief Executive Officer, WinWire TechnologiesGold Certified Managed Partner withexpertise in collaboration and analytics.WinWire is headquartered in Santa Clara,California, with two offices in India and When WinWire Technologies started out in 2007, it wanted to150 employees. keep operating costs low, so it went with the leading Internet-Business Situation based messaging service available at the time: Google Gmail.WinWire struggled to manage a diverse Over time, employees in the company’s California headquartersglobal communications infrastructurethat included Google Gmail, Windows and India development centers added a mix of Microsoft andLive Messenger, Skype, and Microsoft open source communications programs, which complicatedOffice SharePoint Server 2007. Employeeproductivity also suffered. communications and created difficulties for the IT staff. In 2010, WinWire replaced all these programs with Microsoft BusinessSolutionWinWire switched to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, part of Microsoft OnlineProductivity Online Standard Suite to Services. WinWire gained richer communications functionality,provide email, collaboration, webconferencing, instant messaging, and enhanced productivity, reduced IT management work, andpresence from a single trusted vendor. added the ability to easily scale messaging to accommodateBenefits business growth. Furthermore, with Business Productivity Online Cost-effective productivity Standard Suite, WinWire has developed its own line of services Simplified IT management New revenue opportunities that represents new revenue opportunities.
  2. 2. “We wanted to find a Situation When WinWire consultants went to WinWire Technologies, launched in 2007, is customer sites, it was so much work forway to accommodate a Microsoft Gold Certified Managed Partner them to navigate customer network with expertise in Collaboration and protocols to access their email that theyour growth without Analytics. It uses Microsoft technologies usually waited to check email in theconstantly increasing our like Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, evening. Scheduling meetings between Microsoft business intelligence software, employees in the U.S. and India tookon-premises and the Microsoft .NET Framework to several email exchanges, and there was deliver solutions to its clients across the frequent confusion in figuring out time-collaboration United States in many vertical industries. zone differences. There was no way to lookenvironment and email WinWire is headquartered in Santa Clara, at shared calendars from Office Outlook; California; has development centers in there was difficulty accessing email fromstorage resources.” Hyderabad and Bengaluru (Bangalore), mobile phones; and there were formatting India; and currently has approximately 150 problems when moving documents Vineet Arora, Chief Technology Officer, WinWire Technologies employees. between Microsoft Office applications and Office SharePoint Server to Gmail. As a startup company, WinWire wanted to avoid the time and expense of setting up The small IT staff spent an inordinate an in-house infrastructure for basic services, amount of time keeping the myriad of so it decided to use the Google Gmail applications running. Provisioning users service to quickly outfit global employees took a long time, which was a problem with with email. Employees also used the the company growing so rapidly. Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 messaging and collaboration client on their desktops, As a consulting company, WinWire since the Microsoft Office system was generates a tremendous number of integral to their daily work. documents—proof-of-concepts, schedules, planning documents, quotes—all of which However, Gmail and Office Outlook never began to increase the demands on its on- worked well together, especially when premises Office SharePoint Server sending messages outside the company. hardware. “We wanted to find a way to Meanwhile, WinWire was growing quickly, accommodate our growth without doubling in size each year. The small IT constantly increasing our on-premises staff could not stay on top of all the collaboration environment and email communications and collaboration storage resources,” says Vineet Arora, Chief technologies that employees began Technology Officer of WinWire. “We bringing into the company. wanted our IT staff developing revenue- generating customer solutions, not “We had established Microsoft Office worrying about internal applications.” SharePoint Server 2007 as our official collaboration program and created some Solution customer-facing applications on top of it, In spring 2009, WinWire was overjoyed to but our internal communications tools were learn of the Microsoft Business Productivity all over the map,” says Ashu Goel, Chief Online Standard Suite, a Microsoft Online Executive Officer for WinWire Technologies. Services offering that includes Microsoft “It really impaired communications Exchange Online email services, Microsoft internally and with customers.” SharePoint Online collaboration services, Microsoft Office Live Meeting for web
  3. 3. “We didn’t feel that conferencing, and Microsoft Office Goel says. “Instead of sending 10 emails to Communications Online for presence and nail down everyone’s availability, or getting[Google] was geared to instant messaging. WinWire was able to on a conference call just to settle on a license the suite for a per-user monthly meeting time, it now takes two minutes togrowing businesses or subscription. set up a meeting. Office Outlookenterprises. We wanted automatically calculates the time-zone More Features, Enterprise-Level Support differences.”to expand, improve, and WinWire immediately jumped on the new offering and created a small pilot program Employees also enjoy sharing a corporatecustomize our online to evaluate it. “In addition to resolving our address book and enhanced mobile phoneservices and didn’t feel own communications challenges, our support with Exchange Online. Email customers were facing many of the same attachments come through with formattingthat Google would be issues,” Goel says. “We were eager to make intact, and WinWire consultants can easily the switch to Microsoft Online Services to check email from customer sites—or fromthe right fit for us.” show our customers the way.” anywhere they can get on the Internet. Raj Badarinath, Vice President of Marketing, WinWire Technologies As WinWire delved into Microsoft Online Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Services, it began to see what it considered Exchange, included with Exchange Online, significant advantages over Google: a gives WinWire enhanced email protection single sign on across all applications and with multiple filters and virus-scanning collaboration sites, smooth integration with engines that help defend against spam, Microsoft Office applications and Office viruses, and phishing scams. SharePoint Server sites, and easy calendar sharing, among others. Collaboration Services For now, WinWire is maintaining its on- WinWire also felt that Microsoft was better premises Office SharePoint Server able than Google to support business environment, because it houses several customers. “We felt that Google was customer-facing applications such as geared to consumers and small businesses WinPMP, a project management that had minimal support requirements,” application that WinWire sells to customers. says Raj Badarinath, Vice President of Eventually, it will move those applications Marketing for WinWire. “We didn’t feel that to SharePoint Online for easier access and it was geared to growing businesses or lower costs. enterprises. We wanted to expand, improve, and customize our online services The real power of SharePoint Online is and didn’t feel that Google would be the enabling different departments to more right fit for us.” WinWire migrated all 150 easily create SharePoint sites without the IT employees to Microsoft Online Services in staff’s participation or worrying about one weekend. server capacity planning, maintenance, and licensing considerations. “It really Shared Calendars, Easy Email Access empowers departments such as human By using Microsoft Exchange Online, resources, marketing, and development to WinWire employees in California and India create collaboration sites on an as-needed can see one another’s calendars and basis,” Goel says. quickly schedule meetings. “With our globally dispersed offices, we rely heavily By using Office Communications Online, on the integrated calendar functionality,” WinWire has gained a single instant
  4. 4. “We’ve experienced 100 messaging service that is behind the collaboration needs, WinWire has been corporate firewall and, therefore, more able to give employees a richer set ofpercent growth year secure. The IT organization has more services, enhance productivity, and reduce control over issuing employee credentials IT work. It has also been able to open upafter year, and that will and archiving message threads. Also, Office new revenue opportunities with cloud-continue. Having the Communications Online gives WinWire based services. presence capabilities across its most-usedability to scale our applications. For example, if an employee is Cost-Effective Productivity Software on a SharePoint Online site reviewing a The richer functionality provided bycommunications and document and sees that the document Microsoft Online Services helpscollaboration services author is currently online, he or she can international teams be more productive initiate a quick chat and ask a question and effective. “Having a common, powerfuland add users without without the extra steps of sending an email collaboration platform for our distributed message or scheduling a meeting. workforce is critical to our business,” Goelincreasing infrastructure says. “Microsoft has enabled a commonand IT staff is a big deal.” With Microsoft Online Services, all collaboration suite and made it extremely employees have access to Office Live cost-competitive. A company of our size Sanjeev Banerjee, Vice President of Meeting, which provides PC-based web would not have been able to take Global Delivery, WinWire Technologies conferencing and is another useful advantage of these services using an on- communications enhancer among premises model, because we could not international teams and the corporate have afforded the infrastructure. But with office. Microsoft Online Services, we get all the same benefits at a very reasonable price.” New Cloud-Based Applications Just as exciting as having far superior Simplified IT Management internal communications and collaboration Once it migrates its on-premises services is the ability to build applications applications and SharePoint sites to on top of Microsoft Online Services, so that SharePoint Online, the WinWire IT staff will WinWire can better serve and support its no longer have to worry about keeping customers and grow as a business. WinWire servers running, updating servers, or is gradually rearchitecting its existing upgrading software. Also, the IT staff no Microsoft-based on-premises solutions, longer spends half their day working with such as WinPMP, to run as cloud services. consultants at customer sites trying to get “By offering these applications from the their email to work. “With Exchange Online, cloud, we can help our customers deploy if you can browse the Internet, you can get them much faster,” says Raj Badarinath, your email,” Goel says. “We have more Vice President of Marketing for WinWire. hours each day to focus on customer “They will be able to deploy extranets, sales activities and applications.” portals, online service request management systems, and other solutions without big There’s no need for the IT staff to scramble on-premises infrastructure investments.” to keep up with rapid growth, either. WinWire calls its new line of cloud-based Microsoft Online Services scales easily and packaged applications ZureApps™. provides management with predictable per-user costs. “We’ve experienced 100 Benefits percent growth year after year, and that will By standardizing on Microsoft Online continue,” says Sanjeev Banerjee, Vice Services for all its communications and President of Global Delivery for WinWire
  5. 5. For More Information Technologies. “Having the ability to scale Microsoft Online ServicesFor more information about Microsoft our communications and collaboration Microsoft Online Services are business-classproducts and services, call the Microsoft services and add users without increasing communication and collaboration solutionsSales Information Center at (800) 426- infrastructure and IT staff is a big deal.” delivered as a subscription service and9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft hosted by Microsoft. With these offerings,Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- New Revenue Opportunities customers can cost-effectively access the2495. Customers in the United States and Finally, WinWire is excited about the new most up-to-date technologies andCanada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing revenue opportunities that cloud-based immediately benefit from streamlinedcan reach Microsoft text telephone computing opens up. “Cloud computing is communications, simplified management,(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. the next big shift in IT, and we want to be and business-class reliability and securityOutside the 50 United States and part of it,” Goel says. “We could not help features. For IT staffers, Microsoft OnlineCanada, please contact your local customers make the move to the cloud Services are backed by strong service levelMicrosoft subsidiary. To access without taking the jump ourselves, nor agreements and help reduce the burden ofinformation using the World Wide Web, could we have launched our own cloud- performing routine IT management, freeinggo to: based offerings as quickly. Our successful up time to focus on core migration to Microsoft Online Services not initiatives. only provides an increased level ofFor more information about WinWire confidence for customers who are For more information, visit:Technologies products and services, call considering a move to the cloud, but it 849-7339 or visit the website at: inspires them to proceed. Plus, it is a competitive advantage for us.” WinWire anticipates that by 2011, 10 percent of its new revenues should come from its line of ZureApps and Microsoft Online Services. Software and Services − Microsoft Office Communications  Microsoft Online Services Online − Microsoft Business Productivity − Microsoft Office Live Meeting Online Standard Suite − Microsoft SharePoint Online − Microsoft Exchange Online − Microsoft Forefront Online Protection  Solutions for Exchange − Software-plus-servicesThis case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published October 2010