Yo! Sushi worked with IMGROUP to migrate its entire business IT infrastructure over to Microsoft Office 365, moving 120 users over to the new software in the third quarter of 2011. "We're just at the stage where the users have been migrated and we're shutting down the old servers." The services company helped to source subscriptions, test the environment, undertake development and provide training, knowledge sharing and familiarisation sessions to ensure a smooth transition.
The migration to Microsoft Office 365 is delivering both upfront and long-term savings on the costs associated with maintaining Yo! Sushi's old IT infrastructure. "There's less technical skill required to manage purely the software and users than the hardware as well," Waters said.
As far as the ability to maintain business as usual is concerned, the cloud-based software and services have eliminated the need for expensive backup technologies. "As our systems and data are both offsite and delivered as a service, from a disaster recovery and business continuity perspective, we get all of these benefits rolled into one," he explained. "I don't have to think about this separately and it feels more secure in the cloud."
Waters added: "The big thing with the cloud is that our IT solutions are now a lot more scalable. There is no problem with adding new sites or users and no barriers to growth. We get to use the same infrastructure as much bigger firms than us." The restaurant chain is now also implementing cloud-based stock management and payroll systems.
The new systems also suit the nature of Yo! Sushi's distributed operations. "With several branches, cloud-based access to systems has made remote working simpler, while the changeover has been fairly seamless for users," he said. "And, because users are not coming in via the corporate network, this reduces the scope of some of our security and compliance requirements too."
Working with IMGROUP, which is a Microsoft partner, also brought with it benefits according to Waters. "They had much more direct contact with Microsoft, and really helped narrow down and filter out the documentation that was most relevant for us," he continued. "Now we're moving into a live support environment, Microsoft is fine. But IMGROUP made everything really simple."
In addition to supporting the business more cost effectively, Yo! Sushi is now also taking advantage of new features in the latest cloud-based Microsoft business software management suite. "One of things that came out of discussions within the business was the need for an intranet and consistent communication services to all employees. So this has enabled us to open up SharePoint Online, so we can start looking at the intranet project in the knowledge that the ongoing costs would be included in our subscription costs," said Waters. "This way, we may never have to buy another server," he concluded.
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A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.
Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.
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