Sonova, headquartered in Stäfa, Switzerland, is the leading provider of innovative hearing care solutions. The group operates through its core business brands Phonak, Unitron, Advanced Bionics and Connect Hearing, and offers its customers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry—from hearing instruments to cochlear implants to wireless communication solutions.
To be recognised as the innovation leader, Sonova Holding AG works diligently to develop its technologies. Their open-minded, international corporate culture facilitates global synergies while their well-anchored local service, support and sales presence across the globe as well as their respect and appreciation for local differences are both key to Sonova Holding AG’s success. However, in order to be able to quickly integrate newly acquired companies and locations into Sonova’s existing infrastructure, the group needed a scalable and expandable Exchange Server 2010 infrastructure.
The additional load caused by the addition of new locations should not disrupt Exchange Server operations. A further challenge was that every expansion to the on-premises infrastructure required a preparatory project, which delayed integration of new companies. Moreover, Sonova was looking for a solution for archiving existing e-mail data which complied with Sonova Holding AG’s new retention policies and fulfilled the company’s compliance requirements.
Comsoft was tasked with finding a solution that enabled the integration of a new business unit into the existing Exchange structure as quickly as possible. To this end, Comsoft needed to make the existing system more flexible and less complex, and so introduced Office 365 with Exchange Online at Sonova. Comsoft also established Exchange Online Archiving for existing users due to new compliance requirements for the storage of business-relevant data.
Thanks to the addition of an Office 365 Hybrid Setup to our infrastructure, we can grow flexibly and easily. No longer having to worry about resources and correct sizing before the integration of a new business unit allows us to efficiently and purposefully begin implementation. Having been thoroughly impressed by Comsoft’s support in the integration of Office 365, we look forward to further collaboration in the development of our cloud strategies.
Markus Strickler, Team Leader Core Infrastructure, Sonova Holding AG
The project was split into two phases: In phase one, the existing Exchange Server 2010 infrastructure was analysed and small improvements made meaning that the migration of the Exchange environment satisfied Microsoft’s best practices for the introduction of Exchange Server 2016 and Office 365 Hybrid.
In the second phase, Comsoft added Exchange 2016 to the environment before configuring the hybrid connection to Office 365. This configuration included automation processes and designs in conjunction with the new retention regulations. Using Office 365 technologies fulfilled the technical and business requirements of the group both elegantly and simply.
The introduction of Office 365 at Sonova means that the company can now integrate new business units into the existing IT infrastructure extremely efficiently and within a short time frame. The system can be expanding as often as required so that there are no longer any problems with the dimensioning of memory, storage and database distribution. A new user simply has to be created in the Active Directory and the correct Office 365 licence selected before a new unit can be integrated. Existing users now have the Exchange Online Archiving solution at their disposal—even if their mailbox is hosted on on-premises exchange servers. Internal corporate compliance requirements are thus fulfilled in the simplest way.
The great benefits of Office 365 & Azure for Sonova became clear in the course of the projects carried out with Comsoft. Thanks to the cloud strategy, further projects are already being planned to transform other systems such as mobile device and application management with cloud-based Intune, with Comsoft continuing to be Sonova’s trusted partner of choice.