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Otto Japan adopts Microsoft Exchange Online email platform
28
May '12
Otto Japan Inc. has upgraded its email platform by adopting Microsoft Exchange Online from Microsoft Office 365. The fashion retailer, which sells its diverse product line through catalogues, stores and online, wanted to move away from Notes, its previous email software, in favor of a comprehensive solution that allowed for large-capacity mailboxes, fewer operational management hours and the optimization of IT costs.

In a competitive market, Otto Japan makes customer service its first priority and aims to find a balance between creativity and speed in its customer relations. It has particularly demonstrated its brand appeal online, with Internet sales showing an annual growth rate of approximately 20 percent.

With the goal of continued growth, Otto Japan recognized the importance of speediness in efficiency and sought to reform its information platform. Leveraging an upcoming expiration of Notes, the company chose to install Microsoft Corp.'s public cloud service after also considering Google Apps.

"Speed and ease of use were essential," said Nobuhiko Kita of the information systems department at Otto Japan. "Second, we decided cloud software would be an effective measure in our business continuity plan. After experiencing the Great East Japan Earthquake, making systems run during a disaster and protecting data on the server have become vital considerations."

To quickly transition to Office 365, it requested installation support from its business associate Kyoritsu Computer & Communication Co. Ltd., which helped make the migration more effective.

"If we were allowed to spend one year on migration, we probably could have carried it out by ourselves. But if we spent time doing that, the benefits of adopting cloud services would be weakened," Kita said.

Since the company moved to the cloud, Kita estimates that administrative man-hours have decreased by approximately 30 percent. To optimize IT costs over a life cycle of four to five years, approximately 400 users companywide have adopted Office 365 as a global information-sharing environment, and many executives are now using email on company-provided smartphones and tablet PCs.

"The final important point was being able to use the system globally without issues," Kita said. "Since our employees have to make many trips abroad, a service that allows us to use it freely around the globe was a precondition for adoption."

Microsoft Corp.

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