Arlington Automotive moves from hosted exchange to Office 365

Ross MacKenzie
Tags: Hosted Microsoft Exchange Microsoft Microsoft 365
Audi Car

A Cobweb customer since 2013, Arlington Automotive’s move to Microsoft Office 365 was prompted by the need to meet the requirements of a company strategy to move to cloud-based solution and those of their long-term vision for the group – that of corporate growth based on acquisition, and which would require a common platform.

A tier one supplier into the automotive industry, Arlington Automotive has 350 employees based across four sites, with the majority located in County Durham, 90 in Coventry, 60 in Birmingham and 30 in Derby.

Office 365 is a cloud-based software suite that combines enterprise class email with the familiar Office tools – Word, PowerPoint, Access, Excel, for example – with the next generation of productivity-based services, such as Teams, Planner, SharePoint, and Yammer.

Designed in offerings for the SMB up to the SME, Office 365 is scalable, flexible, and incorporates built-in industry-leading security, compliance and privacy controls.

The key aims for Arlington were to:

  • move their mailboxes from Cobweb’s hosted exchange to Office 365, via a co-existence migration
  • establish an email entity independent of the company structure (organised for separate entities)
  • facilitate a building-block approach to implementing technology across the company (Arlington will be moving CRM and HR to the cloud in due course).

Bill Penfold, Arlington Group IT Manager, says, “I had no direct experience of Office 365. I realised that the move would mean lower costs, and the idea of having licensing and mailboxes wrapped together was particularly attractive. But, it was still an unknown quantity.

“Arlington has been with Cobweb for four years, and my relationship with Cobweb dates back to 2006. Going with Cobweb put me at ease.”

Three months in, and Arlington report that Office 365 is “really starting to prove itself”.

  • Corporate growth strategy is supported by the provision of group mailboxes on one platform, regardless of location, and reporting is enhanced.
  • Arlington has the ability to flex up and down through the control panel, and has already added additional licences since migration, and are building licence types.
  • When Arlington reaches the 300-user limit for Office 365 Business Premium, they will move additional users (acquired through corporate growth) to other Business plans/Enterprise, and welcome the flexibility to mix and match the service plan types.

Costs are lower, and the company is excited about the opportunities.

Bill Penfold, comments, “This has been a great investment. The whole experience has given us the confidence to continue moving forward with Cobweb, moving more and more into the cloud.”

Cobweb’s Oliver Nelson, says, “I have been with Cobweb 11 years now and have witnessed the Cobweb Hosted Exchange platform grow to be Europe’s leader in that field.

“As time has been moving on, so IT has been continually evolving, and new and existing customers have become increasingly familiar with cloud, with the result that many are making the move to Office 365. It’s a fantastic time for customers to get the full benefits of cloud, while reducing costs and IT responsibilities.”

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