Vision Moves to the Cloud
February 29, 2012
Vision Moves to the Cloud
In February 2012, employees at Vision’s corporate offices are moving to Microsoft’s new cloud based service Office365. While Vision’s offices have already migrated from on-premise based email and calendaring systems in 2011, this new platform will be providing employees with additional tools and services to utilize. The move to cloud based services is something that has been part of Vision’s technology strategy since 2011. We are looking forward to leveraging many of the new features of this platform in 2012.
The Office365 platform that Vision will be utilizing includes hosted e-mail, calendars, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Lync. These services integrate well with technology that our employees are currently using. Vision has standardized on the Windows and Office platform and its existing line of business applications support these standards as well. Office365 has a unique ability to move documents from the cloud to the desktop and back without losing formatting. This works well to ease the transition into cloud based services for our users.
Another nice feature of Office365 is its ability to support our mobile sales force and service delivery teams. Sales executives will be able to access email and customer presentations while out of the office and traveling. Our Service Delivery Managers will also have access to email and repositories of forms, documents, and data needed by our employees at customer locations. For example, a Service Delivery Manager, while meeting with one of our employees at a customer site, can access employee manuals to answer questions regarding company policies, determine PTO balances, and other relevant employee information. According to Tim Neal, Manager of Vision’s Service Delivery group, “having access to information remotely will aid greatly in our ability to service our employees.”
A new feature that Office365 brings to Vision is a collaboration tool called Lync. Lync is Microsoft’s Online Communications software that lets users easily interact and collaborate with employees, customers, and business partners across the Internet. Using this tool employees can schedule an online meeting, start an unscheduled sharing and collaboration session, or communicate with instant messaging. Microsoft has announced plans to broaden its participation with other online collaboration and messaging platforms this year. Their recent acquisition of Skype could provide for significant possibilities down the road.
Stay tuned for future updates on the implementation and progress with this new product at Vision!