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Growing Business Uses Online Tools to Add Flexibility, Teach in More Classrooms

Growing Business Uses Online Tools to Add Flexibility, Teach in More Classrooms

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Companies of all sizes, all around the world are moving to the cloud. In today’s post we hear from Imagination Yoga on why Microsoft was the best decision for their business in their move to expand and embrace cloud computing!

Imagination Yoga
United States-based Imagination Yoga, the brainchild of siblings Jessica McClintic and Jamie and Jon Hopkins, brings the benefits of yoga to children through adventure stories, combined with yoga movements. The company provides direct education in addition to a certification program that trains facilitators to start their own Imagination Yoga practices.



“I didn’t have time to wade around in Google Docs. I have toddlers, so when I’m free, I need to get right to work!”

--Jessica McClintic, Business Director at Imagination Yoga

IT Challenges
The founders worked from their homes and shared a single, Google email account to correspond with customers and exchange financial spreadsheets, student enrollment information, and new yoga lessons. Imagination Yoga stored most of its documents on a computer in Jessica’s home, so Jamie and Jon had no access to company information when Jessica was unavailable. The founders tried using Google Docs to collaborate but found the system unintuitive and problematic when sharing between Mac and PC environments. Watch the video below.

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IT Solution and Benefits
The founders knew that technology solutions could improve communication and collaboration but assumed that they were too costly and complicated for a small business. That impression changed when Imagination Yoga learned about Microsoft Office 365, a group of cloud-based email, calendaring, collaboration, and conferencing services combined with web-based versions of the popular Microsoft Office programs.

Imagination Yoga adopted Office 365 in July 2011. With Office 365 now in place, the Imagination Yoga founders use Microsoft Exchange Online to send email messages from their personalized mailboxes and share calendars with each other that show all classes, meetings, and facilitator events. Jamie, Jessica, and Jon can view mail and calendar information regardless of their location.

They also use Microsoft SharePoint Online as their document repository and collaboration workspace, working on shared documents to remove versioning issues. “Using SharePoint Online versus Google Docs saves me between 5 and 10 hours each month, and using Office 365 in general gives me back 25 percent of my work hours every week, which I split between Imagination Yoga and extra time with my kids”, says Jessica. Imagination Yoga plans to use Microsoft Lync Online for videoconferencing, which will be important for training facilitators in other states.

By using Microsoft Office 365, the three Imagination Yoga owners have improved productivity, become more responsive to customers, and enhanced their senses of business legitimacy.  After embracing Office 365, Imagination Yoga gained constant access to better-organized information and smoother operations to help further the company’s mission.  Now that it has enterprise-class business capabilities, Imagination Yoga is poised for growth.

Read the full story here.

Comments
  • I think Office 365 is a good tool but the only issue when it comes to me is the cost of the product. N hence I am looking for some alternatives and have found few like CollateBox http://www.collatebox.com/ eagerly waiting for this one.

  • @Ajay Malya:  Yes, Office 365 is a fine tool, and at $6/user/month, small businesses all over the world find Office 365 to be an excellent value (http://bit.ly/xDNQY5), easy to use, and full of capabilities they need and use (http://bit.ly/AqOrbm). While Google limited its free lunch (http://bit.ly/md9HIm ) Office 365 customers avoid the hidden costs of Google Apps (http://bit.ly/jbB4of), as well!

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