Steve James, Global IT Manager at Les Mills International (LMI) faced a unique challenge in that the majority of the LMI business is overseas – approximately only 1% of their customers are located in New Zealand. This is not a typical circumstance for a New Zealand business, but one which enabled Steve to assess and ultimately decide to take Les Mills on the cloud journey.
Faced with ageing infrastructure and no cloud technology enabling the organisation, Steve set about the task investigating the benefit of the cloud. Prominent in this was an evaluation of Microsoft Office 365 and assessing it against some other cloud services.
Users at Les Mills did not want to move away from the familiarity and functionality of Office and Outlook, so naturally, Steve looked at solutions to provide email and SharePoint infrastructure as well as take care of licencing, and core Office365.
Now a fully cloud-enabled business, LMI utilises a range of technologies including: Office 365, SharePoint Online, SalesForce.com, clientless VPN and also an online file storage system called Ignite. The major positive from utilising core cloud-based Office 365 technology is that it plays nicely with all of these different systems.
Steve also recognises the reliance on the internet connection “as you move more and more services to the cloud there’s a lot more strain on there. You’ve really got to pick a provider to get the performance you need, to the particular service you want.”
With Office 365, LMI was able to get a transparent view on the return on investment for Les Mills right down to a ‘per user, per month’ cost. LMI could also expand the business where needed, and most importantly, rapidly spin up (and then down) core platforms and services in new locations. Running a fixed term project in Chicago could mean he could quickly and cost-effectively deliver services for that particular project.
In being a cloud leader in New Zealand, Steve has a unique insight into specific challenges he (and Les Mills International) faced in the journey to the cloud. Take a closer look at the complete video to understand both the challenges and benefits that your business can expect from a move to the cloud.
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