UK retailer Marks & Spencer has opted for Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud–based email and office suite to enable its employees to work in a more flexible and collaborative manner.
Carl Dawson, IT director at M&S, said the move to Office 365 was part of an attempt to shift the business culture at one of the UK’s biggest and best-known retailers. “Using Office 365 to change the way we work has far-reaching business value and impacts our head office, stores and distribution centres around the world,” he said.
“We call this new way of working ‘smarter working’. I would describe this as a real evolution inside M&S. There is no part of our business that won’t be improved by increased mobility and better collaboration, so we can get our work done faster and serve our customers better.”
With the Office 365 suite, M&S gained access to cloud-powered versions of Microsoft’s Office 2016 tools and its OneDrive for Business cloud storage service.
Combined, the services will enable M&S employees to work on joint document and share files from multiple devices and enable remote working.
The adoption of Office 365 or alternative cloud productivity tools is gathering pace as more companies embrace IT strategies that enable flexible working and access to productivity tools from multiple devices in different form factors.
Office 365 is essentially a cloud-delivered version of Outlook and Office, so rolling it out across a business is relatively straightforward and its similarities with on-premise versions of Office means it does not require significant retraining of employees. However, that has not stopped some organisations from choosing Google Apps for Work over Office 365.
Adoption of cloud tools is indicative of the digital transformation that many traditional organisations are currently undergoing, replacing old IT systems with digital services, either in incremental steps or significant infrastructure overhauls, all in a bid to boost efficiency, reduce costs, and to become more agile in an increasingly competitive environment.
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