dmg Events Middle East & Asia in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is a subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust, one of the largest media companies in the United Kingdom. The Middle East & Asia division was founded in 1995, and its 150 employees produce exhibitions, conferences, events, and publications across the energy, construction, hospitality, commercial, residential, and interiors industry sectors in the Middle East and Asia.
Prior to 2011, dmg used an email system based on Microsoft Exchange Server and running in its parent company’s UK data center. “We had some problems due to the time difference with the United Kingdom, and the fact that our work week runs Sunday to Thursday,” says Gehan Madhanayake, Head of IT at dmg Events Middle East & Asia. “It was sometimes difficult to get timely support when we had email issues.”
Hence, dmg decided that a cloud-based email solution was a good way to avoid dependence on on-premises hardware and support. The company moved to Gmail in November 2011, and the transition was rough. Users lost email messages, they found the Gmail interface cluttered and difficult to use, and the email editor in the Google Chrome browser lacked the formatting features that employees were used to in the Microsoft Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client.
dmg also planned to use Google Docs, but employees were so frustrated by the email system that few of them wanted to try it. Additionally, IT staff members were frustrated by problems getting support from Google. In mid-2012, as the renewal date for the company’s Google contract approached, dmg made the decision to find a new email system.
This time around, dmg chose to move its email to Microsoft Exchange Online. To ease the transition, the company engaged the services of LiveRoute, a Dubai-based member of the Microsoft Partner Network with Gold competencies specializing in Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud solutions. LiveRoute provided project management, technical expertise, and key migration tools.
The migration team completed the entire process in only two weeks, migrating mailboxes one department at a time. In addition to Exchange Online, dmg is excited by other products in the Office 365 suite. Employees are now communicating with each other using Microsoft Lync Online, and dmg is building a new intranet based on Microsoft SharePoint Online.
With its move from Gmail to Office 365, dmg has given its employees a robust, reliable, easy-to-use and easy-to-manage email system, in addition to a convenient messaging tool. The company will also soon have a new intranet that integrates with its other Microsoft solutions.
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