Gaming Equipment Firm Ensures Disaster Recovery with Cloud Productivity Suite. “We’ve reduced the cost of deploying email and collaboration tools, and, because Microsoft manages all of the upgrades, we’re set to spend less on future in-house IT support.”
Mark White, Managing Director, Regal Gaming
Regal Gaming is among the largest operators of amusement, gaming, and leisure equipment in the UK. With around 400 employees, the firm wanted to improve disaster recovery and cut IT costs by using the cloud to power its email, storage, and collaboration tools for its highly mobile workforce. Unified World Communications and Vodafone recommended the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite to replace its existing on-premises messaging technology.
Regal Gaming Business Needs
Regal Gaming is an operator of amusement and gaming machines for the leisure industry. It has grown to be one of the UK’s biggest rental and operation businesses for coin amusement machines. Its service is now well recognised throughout the UK, with regional brewers, pub companies, and free-trade customers counted among its customer base. To support its highly mobile staff, the company needed an enterprise-grade collaboration solution that would be accessible at any time. Until recently, Regal Gaming was using an on-premises infrastructure that lacked reliability, especially with email messaging. The system consisted of numerous versions of Microsoft Office, and even the Windows XP operating system, which is coming out of warranty in April 2014. With business growth and a dispersed workforce – 200 of whom work in the field – its IT infrastructure was ready for a refresh to relieve pressure on the IT team.
Mark White, Managing Director, Regal Gaming, says: “Disaster recovery for email messaging was a principal consideration. We needed to keep as up to date as possible with our technology, especially with the end of support for Windows XP.” Regal Gaming also wanted to give its employees the flexibility to work anytime, anywhere and with larger mailboxes. But the firm was keen to avoid any upfront costs for a replacement office productivity suite.
Regal Gaming decided to move as much of its IT platform to the cloud as possible to ensure business continuity and simplify disaster recovery. Improving storage capacity was another goal, as well as introducing video conferencing to cut the cost of travel across the UK. White says: “We wanted a cutting-edge infrastructure that would help us reduce IT administration and management. We needed support in making the move to the cloud.”
Microsoft Partner Unified World Communications, along with Vodafone, conducted a full review of the requirements and recommended Office 365 with Exchange Online – a cloud-based solution provided within Microsoft data centres and managed jointly by Microsoft and Vodafone.
Office 365 offers inbox sizes of 25 gigabytes for staff, with enterprise-level antivirus and spam protection. It includes the ability to get email on virtually any mobile device and options for voicemail, unified messaging, and archiving. Regal Gaming is using Windows Azure Active Directory for managing web-based applications. In addition, Active Directory Federation Services provides single sign-on for users, while Windows Server 2012 is ideal for distributed and mobile workforces. It helps employees access personalised work environments from virtually anywhere.
Martin West, Head of IT Services, Unified World Communications, says: “This was a complex solution because Regal Gaming has many sites across the UK, with engineers dispersed geographically. The company didn’t want to spend a six-figure sum on upgrading on-premises servers at head office. Like many Unified World Communications customers, Regal Gaming operates in a competitive and rapidly changing market. The need to provide a flexible, high-quality service is vital for the business to adapt to its customers’ requirements. It quickly saw that Office 365 was ideal for its needs.”
Unified World Communications started the upgrade in June 2013, taking just six weeks to transform the first 300 mailboxes to Office 365. White says: “We tested Lync Online, a component of Office 365, for video conferencing with a small number of users, and we’re also planning to roll out SharePoint Online for 400 employees.”
Regal Gaming is future proofing its infrastructure by moving its email, storage, and collaboration tools to the cloud with Office 365. The solution makes it easier for the company to reduce the risks associated with its highly dispersed gaming machines operation, improving disaster recovery compared with the previous on-premises system. By using the cloud, Regal Gaming is avoiding having to spend ‘a six-figure sum’ in sterling on new servers and has significantly lowered the ongoing cost of IT support.
Regal Gaming improves employee productivity with move to the cloud.
Office 365 has reduced the risk of loss of business continuity from the previous on-premises messaging solution at no extra cost. In addition, both office-based and mobile staff benefit from 25-gigabyte mailboxes. White says: “With Office 365, our people can work and access documents from home, on the move, or during face-to-face meetings with customers.”
Costs are lowered by paying for email on a monthly per-user basis.
Regal Gaming has avoided the need to replace its on-premises messaging system through a manageable monthly payment plan with Office 365. The company no longer faces spending a six-figure sum in sterling on replacing servers. Office 365 allows the firm to scale the number of users up or down to meet seasonal requirements. And, with Office 365, there’s a 99.99 per cent financially backed promise that data will stay available and secure.
Microsoft manages all future upgrades.
By using Office 365, Regal Gaming is future proofing the business and able to take advantage of new products from Microsoft at no extra cost. White says: “We’ve reduced the cost of deploying email and collaboration tools, and, because Microsoft manages all of the upgrades, we’re set to spend less on future in-house IT support.”