Microsoft Corp. has announced that Poundland, the European single price discount retailer, is migrating to Microsoft Office 365, enabling staff to better collaborate and communicate in preparation for more store growth and expansion in the UK and Ireland.
The firm, which sells all of its products for just £1, already has over 490 stores in the UK and Ireland, and plans to open over 1,000 stores as the business expands. Further growth is expected with their launch of the Dealz retail format into mainland Europe over the next 18 months. It therefore needed infrastructure which would meet the requirements of a high growth, fast moving business. A key priority for the business is to ensure colleagues have better availability of services from the shop floor to the stock room, and on-the-move.
After extensive research, and working with channel integration partner CoreGB, Poundland selected Microsoft Office 365, combined with Windows Perpetual Licensing for Desktop Operating Systems, to meet its evolving business requirements. The Office 365 platform includes Microsoft SharePoint 2013, providing staff with a collaborative environment in which to work, and Microsoft Lync 2013 cloud services to help improve communication and collaboration between employees across the business.
"With Microsoft Office 365 we're able to vastly improve the productivity of the business and communication amongst colleagues, all at a lower total cost of ownership," said Mike Gray, IT Director at Poundland. "This allows us to live and breathe our philosophy of offering Amazing Value Every Day to over 4.8 million customers."
"For the first time, colleagues at every Poundland retail store will have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint web Apps through their browser – something they have never had before," said Gray. "We have also invested heavily in the computerisation of stock control, distribution, financial and staff management systems and the underlying network infrastructure and communications that support these systems."
The introduction of Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online, coupled with Outlook Web App and the ability to install the full Outlook client on up to four additional devices, means that users have the full client capability and ability to access their email from multiple locations on the move. Poundland has also seen additional benefits from the collaboration provided by the new technologies such as Microsoft Lync and Yammer. Microsoft Lync Online allows colleagues to work far more efficiently together from different locations, using Presence to indicate availability and IM to chat quickly and simply.
In addition, Poundland has invested in Active Directory and Microsoft System Center 2012 which simplifies the management of client devices. Active Directory allows far greater control and synchronisation of the cloud and corporate environments, ensuring a consistent experience for employees across the business. Similarly, System Center 2012 allows Poundland IT Services to control the client environment from a single console, offering improvements around the speed of deployment.
Abigail Rappoport, Microsoft Office Division Director UK, added: "Microsoft Office 365 is a powerful and flexible productivity tool for businesses that are embracing the philosophy that future growth is achieved by arming employees with the best tools to enable them to work better together, no matter where they are based."