Samuel Estates is a leading local estate agent in the London region, specialising in both lettings and sales across the city. As experts in property marketing, highly qualified staff deliver an exceptional level of customer service to their clients, day in, day out.
With multiple offices across London, Samuel Estates has gone from strength to strength, winning numerous business awards in the region and consistently expanding their portfolio of desirable properties. They value their status as independent estate agents, as they’re free to make their own decisions and be the best in the business.
Paralogic started working with Samuel Estates from day one and has grown with the agency. As the business continued to prosper and expand, Samuel Estates soon opened up a second and then a third office in a short space of time, quickly outgrowing its original IT set up.
In an industry that moves at lightning pace, with properties coming and going in the space of few hours, Samuel Estates needed an integrated system that would work across multiple locations and alongside estate agents who were out on location.
The business has the difficulty of synchronising documents and files across three different locations. In addition to this taking on more and more staff who needed to access important software, have their own email addresses, and utilise increasing space on an already stretched server was proving a struggle.
As Paul Ahearn, Associate Director explains, it was challenging the capacity of the business and affecting day-to-day operations:
“All our marketing is done via the internet, and our email communications often contain large file attachments full of important documents which need signing or pictures used for promotional purposes. We were constantly archiving emails and then spending hours searching for them again, or we had to perform regular manual checks on servers and email accounts to ensure they weren’t full. It was so time consuming.”
Having a smooth workflow that was free of time consuming IT problems, was integral to the success of Samuel Estates, so they once again turned to Paralogic.
With offices in three different locations, and the use of multiple servers which were primarily intended for one site only, Paralogic quickly set about reviewing the IT requirements and making recommendations on how to streamline the entire process and ensure for an efficient workflow.
As Samuel Estates had a continually expanding staff, and needed the flexibility for all users to work from multiple locations, Paralogic recommended utilising the benefits of Office 365.
“Microsoft Office 365 takes productivity software online and into the cloud, reducing costs and administrative overhead while improving reliability. However it’s more than just using Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook over the Internet. Migration of Exchange email server to Office 365 is one option. You can also add collaboration and file sharing with Microsoft SharePoint and high definition video conferencing and IP telephony with Microsoft Lync.”
Office 365 would allow team members to work on documents and files simultaneously, consolidate servers, and provide a manageable amount of storage space that could be expanded as and when necessary.
“Moving away from Exchange server to a consolidated one has greatly reduced our associated grief with the outdated system, freed up time and worry over mailbox limits, and ensured we have all necessary storage available, whenever we need it.” says Paul.
Office 365 also reduced the frustration of logging in to a slow and awkward webmail system at home and on the go, allowing staff to access important emails out of hours, or respond to queries whilst they were out on location.
Samuel Estates has grown to 14 staff and counting, and they’re now looking to shift all their processes to cloud-based systems. Office 365 has enabled them to run an efficient business model and provided full transparency with growth forecasts.
Future costings are now easy to identify and implement, as Office 365 works on a per feature, per user basis. That means that Samuel Estates can see how much it will cost to add new staff to their business, expand their server space, and add extra features when they are required.
Paul Ahern commented “It took us a few months to decide on implementing Office 365, but now it’s made a huge difference to us. We don’t have to worry about the amount of space we’re using, the costings are really simple to understand, and it’s really easy to manage.”
Samuel Estates’ staff are now able to painlessly share contracts, new images on properties, and any other important documents across the whole team, ensuring that marketing can be uploaded instantly and clients get instant help and support whenever they need it.
Vital information is secure and easy to access from any device in any location, processes have been streamlined, and expansion in the future is simple and easy.
Paralogic now continues to provide help and support whenever it is required, offering staff expertise for any IT issue or query facing Samuel Estates with a remote help desk service that has proved vital to staff members and the business itself.
“We’ve used Paralogic as a one stop shop for everything, for any Office 365 issues or any other IT problems, we just go to Paralogic. We make the call, we expect it to be done, and it is done.”
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