By David Ebert
Microsoft’s premier enterprise cloud offering, Office 365 with Microsoft Office 2013, was launched in Sri Lanka by the Hirdaramani Group’s IT arm, H One (Pvt.) Limited on last Friday.
Microsoft O365 is the next evolution of technology with a cloud platform allowing companies to store data outside their corporate infrastructure and instead host it with the software provider, thereby making information easier to access anywhere and anytime simply through an internet browser.
The advantages that O365 bring to enterprises are numerous, offering significant financial savings through the outsourcing of the hassle of installing, managing, patching, and upgrading extremely complex software systems as well as the massive costs involved with the adoption of a new system into a large corporate network.
O365 users won’t be faced with giving up the things that they are used to, the new system hasn’t made any changes to the favourites at all, the only difference being that they would be now seamlessly connected to the enterprise software hosted on the cloud platform.
The system will include the new MS Office 2013 version which comes with the newest versions of the old office must-haves such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint, Lync chat and conferencing client, OneNote and other added value propositions like SkyDrive Pro which lets you connect to Sharepoint libraries and personal storage space, synchronising files between the cloud and the user PC.
In addition, Microsoft has gone out of its way this time around to ensure that the user and administrator experiences of O365 are as easy and uncomplicated as possible, this lends itself to the theory that increased simplicity would generally yield greater productivity when technological hassles are done away with, leaving an employee free to focus on the job at hand.
Speaking at the launch ceremony H One CEO Samith Fernando said: “All of these features of Office 2013 make Office 365 that much better; the new software spells a complete paradigm shift in the way IT operates in a business environment.”
Fernando added that H One’s success in not only deploying Office 365 but in providing the most up-to-date IT solutions to their high profile client base, stems from commitment and compatibility backed by the hard work and attention to detail of a strong technical team.
Deployment, he explained, is not an easy process with requirements varying from client to client: “We need to look at the specific requirements of each and every client. Our team works hand in hand with the clients to familiarise them with our solutions. When we worked with John Keells Holdings to take them into the cloud through Microsoft Office 365, it was a long process to transfer such a high volume of users away from their mail system to a completely new application.”
“We worked for months to tie up the loose ends and make them familiar with the features of Office 365 and the change did not result in a delay in any of their day-to-day operations,” Fernando stated in conclusion.
Speaking on the experience of moving a large organisation to the new cloud platform, John Keells Holdings Executive VP and CIO Ramesh Shanmuganathan said: “Migrating such a high volume of users away from their legacy mail system to a completely new application is no small feat. The highly skilled H One team worked with Microsoft’s regional technology team to manage this project and bring together experience and expertise.
“Drawing from their best practices on complex migration projects which include that of the Coca Cola company, they set out a detailed project management methodology with clear strategies for remediation, mitigating risk, support procedures and getting users trained and ready for the transition.”
Established in 2008, H One has become a leading provider of customised IT solutions to large enterprises in Sri Lanka. The company is also affiliated with many other industry leading partners such as Kaspersky and Adobe as well and looks to expanding into regional markets taking advantage of the existing infrastructure of the Hirdaramani Group in those markets.
– Pix by Daminda Harsha Perera