After several acquisitions resulting in rapid company growth, Withum Smith & Brown accounting firm needed a solution to enable collaboration and expand email capacity for employees.
Withum, a top 30 CPA firm with 14 office and 800 employees, was growing faster than their technology could sustain them. They selected Cognizant Microsoft Business Group (formerly New Signature) to streamline processes and increase productivity with Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Online, which offered scalability, stability, efficiency and productivity, all within a timeframe that didn’t negatively impact the critical tax season.
Withum has doubled in size in recent years and adding new employees and new offices to an already robust organization started to strain the company’s existing IT infrastructure. Issues like small-sized mailboxes began to chip away at productivity, as employees were spending more and more time archiving and cleaning out inboxes just to be able to send and receive emails, slowing down mail flow.
Finding the right time to make these changes proved to be an additional challenge. During the busy tax seasons, there is no room for downtime and no bandwidth for ongoing projects external to their core business.
Withum turned to Cognizant Microsoft Business Group (Cognizant MBG) to help map out and document the current technology landscape within the company, and then make recommendations on solutions that could be implemented and rolled out effectively within a timely manner.
Cognizant Microsoft Business Group recommended that the firm implement cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Online after completing initial architecture design sessions to map out every aspect of the upgrade and migration path. Working within the tight timeframe allotted, Cognizant Microsoft Business Group implemented Exchange Online as a part of Office 365, modernizing the firm’s email and enabling a more collaborative environment.
Cognizant MBG’s approach resulted in a positive deployment and migration. Additionally, the Cognizant MBG provided knowledge transfer and documentation for the firm, taking time to educate staff while still executing the project quickly and efficiently.
What I appreciate about Cognizant Microsoft Business Group is how they really make themselves an extension of our team. Not only are they extremely knowledgeable in the Microsoft space, but they spend time building relationships with our team so they are equally smart about what’s going on in my firm’s environment. That’s hard to find.”Amanda Wilkie | CIO, Withum
Benefits & Results
The advantages of moving to Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Office 365 have been felt by both Withum’s IT department and end users.
The migration has also reduced strain on the Exchange environment, which previously struggled to handle the onboarding of new employees following an acquisition. Now, adding 150 new mailboxes overnight is simple and efficient thanks to the scalable nature of Office 365.
For end users, the benefits of having larger mailboxes has reduced friction and frustration with IT, reclaimed valuable billable time previously taken up in mailbox maintenance, and improved productivity. It’s also decreased the risks associated with delayed or stalled mail flow, particularly during the critical tax season.
Time previously lost in mailbox maintenance, onboarding processes and the management of disparate systems is now better spent on billable work and projects that will help move the company forward. This has improved morale for both the IT department and end users, who see this change as positive and directly beneficial to their jobs.
Additionally, the implementation of these solutions has provided a rolling roadmap for the company in terms of future migrations and upgrades, and has helped prioritize projects. This allows for thoughtful and strategic planning that puts Withum’s business objectives at the center of a larger, technology-based architecture.
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