Today we bring you news which will no doubt get the inspirational juices flowing for all the IT decision makers out there… The Press Association (PA), the national news agency for the UK and Ireland needed to upgrade its outdated desktop technology infrastructure to a more cost effective and useable system. Working with Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner Core, The PA migrated its communication and collaboration infrastructure to the cloud with the Microsoft Office 365 platform. All staff now has easy access to email and collaboration tools with single sign on from anywhere.
Until recently, The PA was using on premises Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and 2010. As part of the business’s ongoing strive to maintain a high-quality and uninterrupted customer service, it regularly looks to utilise the best available technology. David Reed, Head of IS & Infrastructure, at The Press Association, says: “Our communications and collaboration system was becoming a challenge to manage effectively and efficiently. The PA agreed it would be more cost-effective to upgrade to a unified, secure, and stable platform. We wanted to take advantage of and use the latest cloud-based technology to reduce costs and improve performance and staff productivity.”
For a bit more detail about how this success story came about we have broken the story down into the two sections below.
London based news agency The PA is a leading multi-media content provider across web, mobile, broadcast and print. For the past 145 years, PA has been providing fast, accurate feeds of text, data, photos, video, and weather. Today the business is increasingly focused on the delivery of complete products for both digital and print clients.
The PA needed a single sign-on for access to systems and applications located across organisational boundaries. It wanted to move at its own pace initially with a hybrid environment—helped by an experienced Microsoft Partner which could assist by providing its expertise and advice when required.
Cloud Accelerate Partner Core worked with The PA to migrate to Microsoft Office 365 using Exchange Online and Active Directory Federation Service to provide single sign on. These additions helped PA embed the new technology into the company with little or no problems experienced. The user friendly system is now fully deployed and in use across The PA. Employees all have 25 Gigabyte mailboxes—much larger than before which has been popular with staff working with the demands of multi-media content. With single sign on, this gives them access to their messages from anywhere—home, public Wi-Fi connection or at a customer’s site.
Reed says: “With Office 365, we can scale up or down our services depending on our needs and requirements without having to incur capital costs for physical infrastructure. All in all it has gone the way that we wanted it to. With Office 365 our employees now have the advantage of being able to work from anywhere. We have a system that is working well and is much more stable, cost effective, and reliable than the previous model. Its success has enabled The PA to further migrate Meteogroup the weather forecasting division of the Group.”
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