Lauren International is a family of companies in the manufacturing and technology sphere with several facilities in the United States. They have a global reach with partnerships and distributors across the world, including Europe and Asia. The main areas of manufacturing for Lauren International are rubber and plastics, with their technology practice focused on school safety software and R/C hobby flight.
As one large entity, Lauren International made the decision to remain agile as a business by moving their systems to the cloud. The ability to scale their business up or down and have the assurance of data protection and data recovery were strong draws towards cloud technology. While researching the possibilities, Ted Gentsch, Director of Information Technologies, used Encore’s Office 365 Recommendation tool, an online tool that suggests the version of Office 365 that most suits your organization, based on your business requirements.
As the result of the divestiture of three divisions that included the information technology infrastructure, they felt it was an ideal trigger event to move to the cloud. Seeking a new solution for their email and phone systems was the immediate need, while moving their datacenter to Microsoft Azure a close second. Gentsch was evaluating three or four other Partners, as they needed to find a solution to address the change quickly. During the selection process, Lauren International appreciated how Encore listened to their needs, kept promises and understood their industry. Says Gentsch about choosing to partner with Encore;
“What I wanted to avoid is a sales call where an overly active salesperson does all the talking. I would rather discuss with an engineer that listens to our needs and works to align the correct services and resources to meet our objectives.”
Encore and the team at Lauren International worked closely together in order to clearly understand and execute on their project goals. Communications moved along fast, with a decision made to partner with Encore within just a couple weeks. The choice to partner with Encore was an easy one, it was evident to them that Encore had the knowledge and skills to deliver what they needed immediately and the expertise to guide them on future technology initiatives.
Implementation of their products and services were all effectively managed and completed remotely by Encore’s Technology Solutions team. Any concerns regarding this project being fully deployed with remote support only were quietly dispelled as everything came online as planned and on time. In fact, the remote support was far more effective both from a cost and an efficiency standpoint. At one time during the deployment it was obvious that a Microsoft engineer would be required. The Encore engineer quickly looped a Microsoft engineer into the existing call and screen shared via Skype to efficiently handle the matter.
The full selection of products and services that Encore provided for Lauren International were:
- Office 365 complete deployment
- Skype for Business (now included in Microsoft Teams) complete deployment with phones, auto-attendant, voicemail and phone number porting
- VPN tunnels with Azure and Offices 365
- Domain on premises connected to Office 365
Moving to the cloud was considered a must for the company, as their locations are spread out across the region. Azure affords them the ability to manage systems remotely without having to physically have people present to oversee the systems.
“Clearly cloud is nimble. The ability to quickly add users and services in Azure and Office 365 makes our jobs simple in the IT Department. We no longer have to think about the hardware and physical servers that need to be in place to support the new needs, adding cores and memory to an existing server for peak loads is quick and simple. Basing our phone system on Skype has been equally nimble, with the ability to adjust call routing and auto-attendants. This has enabled us to adapt well to changing business requirements.” says Ted.
As an added benefit to partnering with Encore, there were cost-savings with the new phone system, compared to their previous system which they were unhappy with. Along with the investment in the phone system, Lauren International received a lot more value for their investment with Office 365 and the products and services that come with it. Office 365 apps like Teams and Yammer allow for more collaboration in such a large company, while Planner, Outlook and OneNote help keep everyone on track with tasks and meetings. According to Ted;
“Teams was a pleasant surprise and the adoption took on a life of its own. The various divisions find it much easier to communicate with suppliers using Teams and guest access. Collaboration between associates has never been better as screen-sharing takes place spontaneously during calls and chat sessions.”
Encore continues to partner with Lauren International, signing them up for ongoing support with Encore Care. Encore also recently advised them regarding their email security and making suggestions for ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) solutions they can implement going forward.