CD Group Empowers Geographically Dispersed Workers with Microsoft Office 365 and Cloud|AG Managed Services Featuring AvePoint Online Services

Success Highlights

Provided 150 geographically distributed workers centralized access to critical business data and enhanced collaboration abilities in the cloud through Microsoft Office 365 and ServicePoint365
Minimized IT effort to manage email and document servers
Increased collaboration and information sharing among project team members using Lync Online and ServicePoint365
Reduced the possibility of business disruption by restoring lost or deleted documents and sites for end-users within hours – significantly faster than the days or even weeks potentially required by Microsoft
Enabled management of security settings and permissions across its SharePoint Online environment to meet organizational governance policies
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Customer Location Atlanta, GA

Industry Technology

Platform Microsoft Exchange Online,Microsoft 365,SharePoint Online

Critical Needs

  • Centralized access to business data and easier collaboration for geographically dispersed workers
  • Quick recovery of lost or corrupted documents or mailboxes in Office 365
  • Simplified management of security settings and permissions throughout the Office 365 environment

The Challenge

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and with an additional office in Denver, CO, CD Group operates its business across the United States and employs remote workers. Approximately 50 percent of the company’s 150 employees telecommute from outside of the CD Group offices. Because of this, collaboration using the company’s previous technology resources was often a challenge.

With business data stored in local file shares and communications occurring primarily through email, remote workers often did not have immediate access to the information they required and would turn to other means in order to share content with their co-workers, such as Dropbox. “In addition to being inconvenient for remote workers, the tools we were using were neither centralized nor organized enough for our business,” said Betsy Pope, Director, CD Group. “We needed a solution that would allow everyone easy access to documents.”

In order to solve these challenges, CD Group looked toward cloud computing – specifically Microsoft Office 365. “In addition to providing easier access to our business data, Office 365 had the added advantage of providing us with cloud-based versions of the tools with which our workers were already familiar,” Pope said.

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With the flexibility that Cloud|AG’s managed services and AvePoint Online Services give us, we’re able to get more out of Office 365.
Betsy Pope
Director, CD Group

The AvePoint Solution

In order to utilize Office 365 for its business, CD Group contacted AvePoint partner Cloud|AG, which migrated CD Group to the Office 365 platform and implemented its ServicePoint365 application. ServicePoint365 is an industry template application developed for Office 365 - SharePoint Online designed to support the collaboration and content management needs of project-centric organizations, individuals, and teams. The application is managed by Cloud|AG using AvePoint Online Services. “We saw a lot of value in ServicePoint365 to enable our employees who are located throughout the US to easily access the tools they need to do their job,” Pope said. “We use the application to upload implementation and methodology templates as well as client-specific information, and require project managers to populate project workspaces with all of their deliverables.”

AvePoint Online Services (AOS), hosted on Microsoft Azure, is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that empowers Cloud|AG to manage, protect, restructure, synchronize, and report on CD Group’s Office 365 environment. With AOS, Cloud|AG can protect and quickly restore all content in the environment with granular backup and recovery functions. If a critical business document is lost or deleted, rather than submit a support ticket to Microsoft and potentially wait days or weeks for a response, Cloud|AG can restore the document for CD Group in a matter of hours. “We’re relying on Office 365 for our customer information, access to contacts, resources information, methodology, and project information, so we needed to ensure it was all properly protected,” Pope said. “If someone was to delete a workspace or document, we have confidence that the content will be retrieved for us by Cloud|AG for us without significant business disruption.”

Cloud|AG was also able to utilize AOS to manage CD Group’s environment by simplifying implementation, management, and enforcement of governance policies with unmatched control SharePoint Online content, configurations, and security. With customer data being stored in its cloud environment, this was especially important for CD Group. “We want to put as much information in our cloud environment as possible, and we don’t want to be limited over concerns of not being able to control the security settings,” Pope said. “With the flexibility that Cloud|AG’s managed services and AvePoint Online Services give us, we’re able to get more out of Office 365.”

The Road Ahead

With its business data accessible through Office 365 and ServicePoint365 and managed by Cloud|AG using AOS, CD Group has enabled its geographically dispersed workers to collaborate more efficiently using Microsoft’s cloud collaboration solutions. “CD Group is a great example of a tech-savvy company viewing technology as an enabler of business,” said Cloud|AG President and CEO David Huseonica. “The company has successfully leveraged Microsoft’s cloud technologies for what they are intended to be used for.”

Moving forward, CD Group will continue to implement features of Office 365 and ServicePoint365, primarily to leverage the power of the Knowledge Center throughout the company. “Cloud|AG has helped us smoothly transition to cloud-based technologies that increase collaboration and efficiency within CD Group,” Pope said. “Whenever we can reduce our internal costs, we can pass these savings to our customers.”

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