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Pieterman Glastechniek-Steentechniek sells machines, tools and fittings for companies that process flat glass and natural stone. Pieterman’s customers include glass companies, natural stone companies, window manufacturers, interior designers for shops and kitchen builders. Pieterman Glastechniek-Steentechniek is active in the Benelux region. In addition, there is the company Minusco Benelux which is focused on glass fittings, and Eurofitt, which is active Europe-wide. Together, the four companies have a staff of some 40 employees. Pieterman Belgium is based in the town of Paal in Limburg where the company has a construction facility where products, such as lifting devices and cutting tables, are manufactured. The Dutch headquarters of the company are located in Vlaardingen.
No need for own mailserver
Recently, Pieterman made the switch to Office 365. They decided to start using the cloud solution from Microsoft when their old mailserver needed to be replaced. “Various factors played a role in our decision,” recalls Dominic Rasking of Pieterman Glastechniek-Steentechniek. “I’m responsible for everything that has to do with IT, but also in charge of the marketing policy, which includes mailings and the website. I have a fairly broad job description; too broad for me to be able to specialize in all of the specific areas of IT.” That is why Dominic preferred not to invest in a new mailserver of their own. “I was looking for a ready-made solution, one in which I would not have to take care of the implementation, security and maintenance myself.”
Mail in the cloud
Housing a mailserver with an external partner did not appear to be a very attractive solution. Rasking: “We looked at offers from several companies. But their solutions proved fairly expensive and complex to administer.” When Pieterman decided to consider a pure cloud application, the company came across Office 365 from Microsoft. Pieterman found the solution in the range offered by Belgacom. ICT partner T-Bench from Wilrijk took care of the implementation. “For now, we have just started up with the e-mail functionality of Office 365: first 25 mailboxes in Paal, and then another 30 in Vlaardingen. The idea is that, in the near term, we will also put other functionalities into operation. We are thinking, for example, of SharePoint, so that it will be easier for our technicians to share documents.”
For the users, the transition to Office 365 was very smooth. “Most of the employees were already familiar with e-mail in an Exchange-environment,” explains Dominic Rasking. “So there was no need for intensive training. We only had to pay some extra attention to the use of webmail – that is new for our company.” A key aspect for Dominic is that, in the future, he will no longer have to worry about the migration to a new server or a new version of Exchange. That’s because Microsoft takes care of this behind the scenes. With 25 GB per user, there’s also more than enough space for saving and archiving e-mails. “Actually, I’m no longer going to have to do any of the traditional management of the e-mail environment at all,” Rasking pointed out. “That frees up my time for other, more valuable activities.” The security for the e-mail environment is also taken care of now. Microsoft provides the backups and an effective antivirus and antispam solution. In this way, Office 365 offers Pieterman more than one advantage. The company gets an up-to-date, high-performance environment, with no investment up front. It’s easy for the company to plan for the expenses: there is simply a fixed monthly fee per user.
Pieterman Glastechniek-Steentechniek sells machines, tools and fittings for companies that process flat glass and natural stone. Pieterman has operating units in Paal and Vlaardingen. The company has a workforce of some 40 employees.
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