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Optical retail chain streamlines costs by entering cloud with specialist third-party provider

Specsavers, the world’s largest privately owned chain of opticians, has chosen Ancoris, a specialist of cloud computing and enterprise security solutions provider, for the deployment of Google Apps to 2,500 staff worldwide.

This comes as part of Specsavers’ new IT strategy to improve communication and collaboration throughout the organisation and support its continued global expansion. Specsavers has grown extensively in the last few years on a global basis, launching in the Asia-Pacific region in 2008 and opening more than 200 stores in the last two years.

Specsavers selected Ancoris for its consultancy and deployment services to assist with its evaluation of Google Apps against Microsoft Exchange solutions. Ancoris initially implemented Google Apps for 80 users in a newly opened lens manufacturing plant in Hungary before implementing the solution to Specsavers’ global workforce.

Scaling quickly and easily

Specsavers is now able to quickly deploy email and collaboration tools to new sites without the need for a large on site presence. It can centrally manage email systems, utilise existing infrastructures, such as Active Directory for access and user accounts, link to its corporate intranet and support mobile working by enabling staff to access mail, calendaring and sites from any Internet enabled device.

John Lister, Specsavers chief information officer, said: "Google Apps is an excellent set of tools for our email and collaboration requirements because of its capability, technology and ease of management. Google Apps allows us to scale easily and quickly, without having to invest heavily in buying software and licences we may not use."

Specsavers is currently rolling out Google Apps to head office staff in Australia and New Zealand. Deployment to the remaining head office, laboratory and manufacturing operations in the UK, Nordics and Netherlands is planned to be complete in the first half of 2011.

Lister added: "Ancoris are not only our delivery partners but also our subject matter experts and architectural advisors, bringing knowledge of best practice in rolling out Google Apps and an understanding of the risks, cost implications and benefits of each of the choices we need to make."

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