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Poundland quids in with Office 365

By Retail Technology | Tuesday November 12 2013

Discount retailer invests in new Microsoft cloud collaboration tools to support improved internal communication among staff ahead of rapid UK expansion

Poundland revealed today it is migrating to Microsoft Office 365, enabling staff to better collaborate and communicate in preparation for more store growth and expansion in the UK and Ireland.
Europe’s biggest single price discount retailer, which sells all of its products for just £1, already has over 490 stores in the UK and Ireland, and plans to open over 1,000 stores as the business expands. Further growth is expected with their launch of the Dealz retail format into mainland Europe over the next 18 months. 

Its adoption of the productivity and collaboration software suite therefore forms part of its investment in an infrastructure to would meet the requirements of a high growth, fast moving business. A key business priority is to ensure colleagues have better availability of services from the shop floor to the stock room and on the move.

Platform for collaboration and communication
Working with integration partner CoreGB to research the market, today’s announcement stated that Poundland selected Microsoft Office 365, combined with Windows Perpetual Licensing for Desktop Operating Systems, to meet its evolving business requirements. The Office 365 platform includes Microsoft SharePoint 2013, providing staff with a collaborative environment in which to work and Microsoft Lync 2013 cloud services to help improve communication and collaboration between employees in different locations across the business.

The introduction of Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online, coupled with Outlook Web App and the ability to install the full Outlook client on up to four additional devices, means that users have the full client capability and ability to access their email from multiple locations on the move. Poundland is also seeing additional benefits from using the suite’s Lync and Yammer collaboration products. Lync Online allows colleagues to work far more efficiently together from different locations, using presence to indicate availability and instant messaging to chat.
The retailer has also invested in Active Directory to provide greater control and synchronisation of the cloud and corporate environments and Microsoft System Centre 2012 to simplify the management of client devices. 

Lowering the total cost of ownership
“With Microsoft Office 365 we’re able to vastly improve the productivity of the business and communication amongst colleagues, all at a lower total cost of ownership,” said Mike Gray, IT director at Poundland. “This allows us to live and breathe our philosophy of offering ‘Amazing Value Every Day’ to over 4.8 million customers.”
Gray also confirmed that the deal will, for the first time, give staff at every Poundland retail store access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint web apps through their browser. “We have also invested heavily in the computerisation of stock control, distribution, financial and staff management systems and the underlying network infrastructure and communications that support these systems,” he added.

The Office 365 roll out follows work by the retailer last year to upgrade its voice and data connectivity between head office and stores to a managed networks service, having also upgraded its core local area network (LAN) infrastructure in 2011 and moving to a managed LAN service earlier this year.

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