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Date Posted: 6/20/2012

Danish Red Cross Speeds Up Disaster Response Time With Office 365

Volunteer agency will help more people, faster and cheaper, with Microsoft cloud solution.
REDMOND, Wash., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Danish Red Cross announced it will adopt Microsoft Office 365 to improve its communications needs and to reduce costs without compromising on capabilities. To help 250 employees connect more efficiently — and to help both prepare for disaster and provide disaster relief to those in need even faster — the nonprofit set a strategic mandate to strengthen its communications and service impact, starting with the Office 365 deployment.

The Danish Red Cross decided to trial Office 365, a set of collaboration tools that provides "anywhere access" to email, contacts and documents at a fraction of the cost typically associated with physical infrastructure.

"For us, response time is everything. If we can't communicate, we can't respond," said Claus Olsen, chief information officer, Danish Red Cross. "With Office 365, we can share and act on information in just seconds — at half the cost of our previous solution."

As part of the world's largest humanitarian organization, the Danish Red Cross offers relief and support to those in need, especially in times of crisis. Because response time is critical in preparing for and responding to a disaster, fast and reliable communication is the lifeblood of the agency.

"We help build or rebuild communications infrastructure in places hit by hurricanes, floods or earthquakes," Olsen said. "Time is critical in that effort, and so is coordinating across borders. We need to be sure we are using the best possible ways to communicate with each other in order to help those who need it most."

For messaging and collaboration support, the Danish Red Cross previously used on-premises email servers. Although this technology provided a reliable way to exchange information, it was costly to manage and maintain. The organization also wanted to find ways to reduce travel expenses related to staff meetings, such as employing reliable videoconferencing that would enable colleagues to easily share documents or other information in near real time.
With a set of easy-to-use, cloud-based management tools, Office 365 makes it simple to transition to the cloud and stay connected to colleagues regardless of location. Plus, a fixed monthly per-user cost provides predictability — a great relief for a nonprofit organization that must routinely tackle the unexpected yet still provide real impact to those in need.

"With Office 365, our employees and volunteers can still get the critical information they need but at a cost significantly lower than we paid for our previous solution," Olsen said. "And what we don't spend on technology, we can allocate to aid."

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available in the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

More information on Microsoft Office 365 is available in the Microsoft Office 365 newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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