Today’s small businesses face enough challenges without IT being a barrier to their success. But how do you make sure your system is a help and not a hindrance?
As consumers, we demand seamless connectivity to give us whatever we need, wherever we need it. It is an attitude that most of us take into the workplace. We expect to use tools intuitively and expand our knowledge with the minimum of effort. So, if you want employees to comply with new ways of working, you have to make it easy for them.
And what’s more, as well as enabling teams to work seamlessly and flexibly, you need to keep it all secure. Recent studies show that 85% of SMBs have real cybersecurity concerns, while 56% consider it a top priority. And their concerns are well-founded – 43% of all cyberattacks are targeted at SMBs.
Paule Ka, a flourishing Parisian fashion brand with 30 years of history, is also no stranger to the subject of security. As the victim of numerous sophisticated online threats and with only a single IT professional among a staff of just over 200, the company needed the same level of protection that is often associated with companies many times its size.
With the help of technology partner, Be-Cloud, Paule Ka switched from Lotus Notes to Microsoft 365 Business, which brings together Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10, and advanced security and device management features.
“Better security makes us a better business,” says Alain Quillet, Deputy CEO. “When we can focus solely on product creation and business development, that is when we are free to grow. Microsoft 365 has given us the next phase of our evolution.”
Dutch-based NHG (Netherlands National Mortgage Guarantee) might not be large in size but 1.4 million homeowners depend upon its public mortgage loan insurance.
The company relies on the ability of its increasingly mobile workforce to work smoothly with outside sources. When it relocated to new premises, NHG recognised that many staff members would now have to travel farther to work, and knew the time was right for a more flexible IT system.
It equipped all its employees with Microsoft Surfaces – lightweight, hybrid laptop/tablet devices – that gave them secure access to all the information and functionality they needed on the go.
Today, when NHG colleagues collaborate virtually, they can share screens remotely using Microsoft Teams. This shared information is now consolidated in Microsoft SharePoint, which has become the natural hub for all communication. Sharing by email has become a thing of the past.
“The idea was to migrate to the cloud, so employees can work anywhere within a secure environment,” explains Arthur van de Woestijne, NHG’s IT Manager. “We are subject to strict regulations in the financial industry, not just data protection rules under GDPR, so Microsoft was a clear forerunner for us.”
Like so many SMBs, Ledarna’s IT grew organically with its staff of 150 using their preferred hardware and software. When membership of Sweden’s only union for executive employees grew to 90,000 in just two years, managing multiple technologies was no longer sustainable.
The answer lay in a cloud-based platform built on the Surface family of devices and Microsoft 365. This switch helped Ledarna reduce the complexity and costs of its IT and people quickly got onside with the change.
“There are so many types of Surface hardware now, there’s something for everyone,” says IT Leader Alex Tsarapatsanis. “We have people using the touch capabilities of Surface in ways they’ve never used a device before. Best of all, when they open their laptop, everything just works.”
And as far security is concerned? “We know it’s working, because there’s silence,” says co-IT Leader Niclas Ström. “That means we don’t have a lot of support requests or users giving negative feedback. It’s an exciting improvement.”
Making it easy with Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 brings together the best-in-class productivity of Office 365 with simple device management and intelligent security to connect and protect people in business.