The CALIDA GROUP – comprising of CALIDA, Lafuma and Aubade – wanted to work more closely in the future, leverage synergies and jointly increase productivity. Every member still operated their own IT infrastructure which, apart from exchanging e-mails, worked completely separately from the rest of the group.
Tighter coordination was needed – most importantly shared calendars and secure data exchange between certain departments like HR and IT – and is ever more crucial for corporate success. And because CALIDA was still using the 2007 version of Office, they wanted to upgrade the suite along with the upcoming Windows 10 rollout.
The software upgrade at CALIDA should not be a siloed affair at each company. Rather, the group aimed to enable efficient and secure collaboration across business units and departments, however, using an environment that was to be independent of the existing infrastructures at each organisation.
Comsoft approached the goal via a number of sub-projects, migrating the existing Exchange infrastructures into a shared Office 365 infrastructure and upgrading the client with Office 365 Pro Plus in preparation of the Office 365 deployment.
Currently, CALIDA GROUP members CALIDA, Lafuma, and Aubade all operate their own IT infrastructures. Introducing Office 365 under a shared tenant will allow us to dramatically improve productivity and collaboration between these companies for the future without adding complexity. Files and information are shared between departments using SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. With the introduction of a unified Exchange Online infrastructure, our employees will be able to collaborate even more easily and benefit from increased transparency.
Markus Kasper, Head of IT Infrastructure, CALIDA Holding AG
To this end, Comsoft first built the CALIDA Tenant and Sync Service using Microsoft Azure, making VPN access to all three environments much easier. In a final step, Comsoft initiated the Office 365 Pro Plus project which was combined with the Windows 10 rollout. The result was a cloud-ready client.
In the next step, Comsoft configured SharePoint team sites in order to allow use of the file library as a single, joint data storage solution, meaning that CALIDA can now securely and efficiently share files between group companies. In addition, the Exchange infrastructure was also overhauled: First, Comsoft established a hybrid connection for each of the three existing environments and the mailboxes subsequently moved to the cloud In this way, Comsoft enabled the CALIDA GROUP to work completely across the companies, including sharing calendars.
However, the joint Microsoft Azure components hasn’t meant sacrificing handy single sign-on, since each unit continues to operate its own ADFS server. The companies are now able to collaborate without the unnecessary complexity of a cross-forest migration which would otherwise be the case in such a situation.
Employing Office 365 technologies in the CALIDA GROUP simply and elegantly solved the technical and business requirements of the three group companies. Implementing Office 365 at CALIDA, Lafuma and Aubade delivers the flexibility and functionality they need. All business units and departments can now work together efficiently and securely in a Microsoft-hosted environment that is always up-to-date and independent of the three existing CALIDA infrastructures.