Metcash is one of Australia’s leading wholesale distribution and marketing companies, specialising in grocery, fresh produce, liquor, hardware and automotive parts and accessories.
Metcash required the transition of a number of on-premises workloads to a cloud based service to alleviate infrastructure, support and performance issues experienced by the organisation.
Metcash evaluated several alternative SaaS options and requested to roll-out the Microsoft Office 365 suite of products in the form of a technology pilot. The pilot focus was primarily on the Exchange elements of the Office 365 solution and would continue with other relevant features throughout the course of the pilot phase.
Metcash have a mix of corporate “knowledge” workers and “deskless” users, so a mix of enterprise and kiosk licences were tested for suitability during the pilot, as well as integration with their Citrix based virtual desktop infrastructure environment.
Due to operations being national, a number of considerations were given in terms of network and general performance with regards to consuming Office 365 services. This meant that the pilot would not only need to assess performance but also provide benchmarking and certainty for quality of service and usability of the Office 365 solution features.
Approximately 35 users were identified for inclusion in the pilot and were able to have the service provisioned and enabled quite rapidly. Due to Metcash running and maintaining core workplace IT services in-house the Office 365 pilot would need to provide the right level of knowledge transfer and operational handover to relevant Metcash Group staff.
The Office 365 pilot solution for Metcash was constructed in two distinct phases that allowed the organisation the opportunity to make go/no-go decisions part way through the project. A decision to move forward meant Kloud could commence the planning and integration activities required for a full production roll-out, while still supporting the pilot users with their new technology. This approach ensured a seamless transition to a full production service occurred, without the need to re-create any component of the pilot.
The project started with the use of cloud based identities, primarily focused on the Exchange Online and Lync Online Workloads. The pilot group (35 Users) were created in the Office 365 tenant and assigned the appropriate licenses for the pilot program.
A comprehensive testing program was carried out with Metcash internal users and Kloud consultants which proved to be successful. On the back of this testing, the pilot program was extended to take in the SharePoint Online, OneDrive and Yammer workloads.
The Office 365 pilot was widely regarded as successful, and Metcash has since approached Kloud to extend the pilot program to an Exchange 2010 hybrid implementation, with Active Directory Federation Services and ADFS 3.0 identity services for Single Sign On. Approximately 200 production mailboxes have now been migrated to Exchange Online, with the remainder scheduled for migration.
- Highly available “Evergreen” cloud based solution
- Reduced administrative overhead for IT teams
- Better collaboration amongst users’ and teams’
- Efficiency gains by use of Lync Online
- Larger user mailboxes and personal archive mailboxes in Exchange Online
- Lower TCO gained by subsequent programs of work to migrate all users to Office 365
“Kloud has become an integral partner in providing a platform for our Office 365 implementation. This will enable capabilities within our organisation to collaborate more cohesively and utilise the benefits of Office 365. With the implementation of Lync and the ability to have access to our email anywhere, anytime, allows our broad use base to respond to customers and suppliers more efficiently than ever before” – Gerhard Niess, Senior Manager – Tools & Techniques, Metcash Limited