Founded in 1993 and famous for its distinctive fit and fabrics, Weird Fish is one of the UK’s fastest growing multi-channel lifestyle brands.
With ambitious growth plans, their own systems came under review, including comms, IT and connectivity. Realising their business communications and collaboration capabilities had lagged behind, they needed some help from Bamboo.
Weird Fish work with retailers and suppliers from around the world. From Customer Service to Production, the business needs everyone to work in harmony. Yet their legacy in-house exchange server at Head Office was now suffering functionality and reliability issues. In addition, there was an element of vulnerability from it being located on premise. Already partnering with Bamboo for their mobile, fixed lines and data needs, Jon Goodwin, Financial Controller, approached us to help provide a solution.
As he explains: “Sending and receiving emails was becoming harder to monitor; our server was becoming less responsive over time as the hardware needed to be refreshed, which meant we weren’t future proofed for all eventualities.” A primary concern for Weird Fish was how implementing a new system would affect their users and the amount of downtime needed to complete the install. To focus on achieving their overall business strategy, they needed to rely on a server that would enable all their users to work seamlessly.
Great ideas happen when people come together, taking the time to listen carefully and understand what’s truly needed. Then we design our solutions accordingly. After applying this process to Weird Fish, we looked into several options to address their requirements.
Upgrading the in-house exchange server was an expensive option and it would also need costly ongoing upgrades. So we looked to the Cloud instead and specifically Office 365. This would address all the challenges Weird Fish described, whilst Skype for Business would improve online collaboration. Office 365 provided the central control needed, yet at the same time being customisable for each individual user.
As we all know, everyone tends to use day to day software a little bit differently and Weird Fish users are no different. Understanding each user and how they work allowed us to build their account to match, meaning everyone was familiar with the new system once it was introduced.
With Office 365 hosted in the Cloud, their in-house exchange system wasn’t needed anymore, removing the cost of its upkeep. And all their files would now be both secure and available, wherever, whenever, with users across the business able to access information as they needed.
Last but by no means least, the solution offered a fixed cost migration. Weird Fish only needed to pay for the licenses they needed. And if a larger project required additional users, they could re-assign theses extra licences wherever they were needed across the business afterwards. All software upgrades were covered too. This flexibility and transparency of pricing really appealed to Jon and his team.
The migration from the legacy Exchange server to Office 365 was seamless for Weird Fish. In fact there was no downtime at all for any of the team during the process and in just two days, all of them were moved to the new system. And because we had found out how each user worked, all their individual accounts were customised and ready to go, just the way they wanted.
With documents stored securely in the cloud yet easily accessible, the Weird Fish team were now able to enjoy the full benefits of working on the move. Time spent on system maintenance was hugely reduced and any reliance on internal backups removed. The big difference Weird Fish have noticed since the implementation of Office 365 is ease of communication across the board.
“Users now benefit from mailboxes which offer 10 times more storage than before” says Jon.
“On top of that, we now have the ability to send and receive significantly larger files. This was just not possible using our old server. And with the latest versions of Office applications included in our licensing, we know everyone is using the same (and most up to date) version. Small things to some perhaps, but for us they have had a large impact on day to day working.
Bamboo adopts their approach for each project to match the size and the challenges of their customers and we are delighted with the outcome.”