Partner Power International

Partner Power International saved 2/3 of their operational costs with a Microsoft Cloud Platform

Partner Power International A/S advises multinational corporations on business and technology and the implement Microsoft Dynamics globally. As an important part of the growth strategy the company transitioned to a 100% cloud based platform. This cut 2/3s of the operational costs and gave customers, business partners and employees in more than 50 countries access to all the information and services needed to pave the way for continuous growth.

Chief of Innovation, Stig Aastrup, says: “We cut at least 2/3s of the operational costs – equal to more than 250.000 DKK a year – that we can use on development of services for customers and partners instead. At the same time we got a better, more flexible and secure platform, which is easier to build on than the one we had before. It really is a good business case for us.

Within the recent year, the company moved to a new cloud platform, which comprises almost all of Microsofts cloud based technologies and products, including Microsoft Office 365, Azure, Dynamics CRM and in the long term, Dynamics NAV Online.

As a Danish owned international consultancy with specialties within Microsoft Dynamics and corporations such as EMI and Rentokil in the customer portfolio - Partner Power International is a prime example of a company that can benefit from a cloud based strategy. Nonetheless the infrastructure used to be somewhat mottled, and was operated in a combination of on-premises and at hosting partners. Stig Aastrup wanted to change that.

”We weren’t put on this earth to fix servers”

Stig Aastrup explains: “Our goal is to give our customers value, not to fix servers and update software. So we decided not only to transition to Office 365 – but to go all the way with SharePoint, OneDrive and later Skype for Business. Because it’s by using the full package that we achieve cost savings, and our financial team found this interesting. At the same time we got better and more integratable systems and our employees can access their services and data without worrying about having a difficult remote access system, different passwords and so on. No matter where in the world they are located and no matter which device they have, they can always access what the need.”

There has been so many expansions and integration services for Office 365 that it has been rather simple for the company to connect the desired services via the cloud platform. For example the company integrated the third party product DocuSign with Office 365, which streamlines digital signatures and all contract management regardless of where in the world the deal is made.

All data at hand – across the world

Partner Power International also moved their data from all file drives to SharePoint Online, which is a part of Office 365. The purpose of this is to give the employees easy access to files, use the technology as a basis for the partner and customer directed portals and to support the strategy based on content driven marketing.
Stig Aastrup says: “Today, we have about 500 user spread on employees, partners and customers, which work together on our portals that operates 100 % on SharePoint Online. The next step is to create a good taxonomy, which is a prerequisite for providing the search service and user experience that we have in mind. But the platform is in place.”

Moved ERP in the cloud in three hours

In fact most of the company is now in the cloud. Customer relations etc. is located in CRM Online, while the aging Dynamics NAV is placed in Microsoft Azure, which turned out to be easier than you would think.
Stig says: “It only took three hours to move NAV-data from the previous supplier to Azure, so it wasn’t half bad.

“Our operations is simplified to the extreme”

By moving the existing NAV-solution to Azure the company both renewed and simplified the users’ experience of working with the ERP system. For example the employees can now access NAV from laptops, tablets and smartphones whether they are in the office, at home or traveling on business. At the same time the remote access for the company’s internal applications has become easier to manage.

Stig Aastrup says: ”I acknowledge that the technical setup can sound complicated. But the bottom line is that our operations has been simplified to the extreme. Everything is operated in the cloud and we don’t have to maintain anything, worry about hardware or accessibility; it just works. It’s incredibly smart. At the same time we are saving a significant amount of money – to which we are adding savings in time, electricity and cooling.”

The cloud provides flexibility and room for growth

Ultimately he emphasizes the safety aspect that is fairly interesting as the responsibility for the company’s data and infrastructure has been moved from their own to Microsofts shoulders.

Stig Aastrup explains: “In reality we no longer have a traditional network with Active Directory, common resources and services etc. because the data streams runs in and out of Microsofts cloud, which is practically infinitely better and safer than anything we can build and afford ourselves. Therefore attacks and infections have difficulty spreading – and it’s easier for us to take these down as we only has to reestablish the infected client, which can be done in short time.”

He adds: “Where we previously was locked to an old and expensive platform, which limited our development possibilities, we now have a far better and cheaper platform that can scale and support our business today and in the future.”