As part of a multi-faceted project to separate Marlton’s entire ICT infrastructure from that of its former holding company, Ascendis Health, LanDynamix moved the company’s e-mail environment to Microsoft Office 365.
Founded in 1945, Marltons Pet Care (Pty) Ltd., is South Africa’s No. 1 Pet Care brand* offering an extensive range of quality products from health care, snacks and treats, to accessories for pets.
“While this was a very complex project with many elements, one of the most important was the move to Office 365 for e-mail. E-mail remains a critical business tool, and the move to Office 365 is generating many additional benefits for Marltons,” says Ethan Searle, Technology Advisor at LanDynamix. “Of particular note is the range of complementary collaboration tools built into Office 365. When one looks at the relative costs, and the cost-benefit ratio – it really began to make sense.”
Marltons’ existing e-mail programme offered very little functionality for the monthly fee it was paying, whereas Office 365 provided access to a number of additional collaboration tools for a small extra amount. Among these tools are Sharepoint, One Drive and Teams. Sharepoint makes it easy to create an easy-to-use intranet tool, accessible from any device, while Teams offers a unified communications platform combining workplace chat, video meetings, file storage and application integration. One Drive is Microsoft’s cloud-based file storage and synchronisation service.
“Used together, these tools provide a flexible, robust and user-friendly way for colleagues to collaborate across the heterogeneous, anywhere/anytime environment that has become commonplace in business today,” says Mr Searle. “It’s very easy to create separate channels for each group to use, and to provide a common platform where documents and other information can be made available for individuals or groups to work on them.”
Security is obviously a critical issue in the current digital business environment, especially given the growing incidence of cybercrime. Office 365’s built-in analytics provides a powerful line of defence by constantly monitoring for unexpected or atypical usage patterns. By directing local folders to One Drive, LanDynamix was able ensure that all work was backed up in the cloud, contributing to business continuity.
Sharepoint also solved another challenge for Marltons. The issue was that the company runs its business applications from a central server, with branches connecting to it via a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN). However, the use of firewalls to protect each branch does not readily allow for easy file transfer, but this can easily be achieved via Sharepoint.
“We continually strive to expand our knowledge to deliver relevant pet care innovations coupled with the highest standard of service,” says Dominic Bigara, Director, Marltons. “LanDynamix’s solution-driven approach has ensured that we have not only successfully created an ICT environment that supports our business, it is also highly cost-effective. This was just one of several projects going on at the same time, and I was most impressed by the fact that there were few issues and virtually no operational impact. Going forward, I am confident that because LanDynamix supports our IT environment, our team will be able to concentrate on its core business: serving Marlton’s customers.”