Photo - Mellissa Lee, Managing Director of PerkPool.
PerkPool has enhanced its communication and collaboration processes with Microsoft's Windows 8 and Office 365 as part of an IT makeover, said the Malaysian small and medium enterprise (SME), which helps other SMEs provide employee benefit packages.
PerkPool was the Malaysia winner of the Asia Pacific Get2Modern SME IT Makeover contest organised by Microsoft, and will receive support from Microsoft to revamp and modernise its IT environment.
PerkPool managing director Mellissa Lee said that as a young business, which is less than year old, the company has to balance running its business operations with quality services operated by a staff of five.
Lee said the company is now in the process of moving 90 percent of the team who were previously on Apple and Google to join those already on the Windows platform.
"As a new company, we do not have the funds to spend heavily on our IT infrastructure; it is almost non-existent," she said. "Most of our staff use their own devices such as laptops, most of which are old and bulky, for sales pitches with clients."
"More often than not, the laptops tend to fail us during these crucial moments. Since deals are made or broken through these meetings, this can be a hindrance," said Lee.
"In this digital age, we identify with the idea of being technologically ready in our operations to ensure the best possible service to our customers," she said. "We are a young startup, full of energy and buzzing with ideas, and we are sure the new Windows 8 devices and Office 365 will help portray a tech-savvy image to our customers."
As PerkPool's sales staff being mobile, effective communications is essential, said Lee. "One issue is that current documents are mostly stored offline. At any one time, there could be up to 20 versions of the same document floating around and being circulated through email among staff."
"With Microsoft Office 365, we are able to edit, share and collaborate on just one version of the document saved to SkyDrive - Microsoft's cloud storage service - it is an ideal solution since most of our staff are mobile and can work from anywhere they are," she said. "This will truly transform our sales process and make it more efficient, leaving us with more time to dedicate our resources to what is important - meeting clients and closing deals rather than worrying about IT."
In addition to the above-mentioned prizes, PerkPool also qualified for the Get2Modern SME IT Makeover Regional Contest, where it went head-to-head with winners from all other participating countries in the region for the grand prize of over US$9,000 worth of additional Microsoft products and services.
"We are excited with the possibilities that this IT makeover will enable for our company," said Lee. "A major consideration for us to go with Microsoft was because as a company, collaboration is just so much better facilitated with Microsoft."
Microsoft Malaysia's director for small and medium solutions and partners [SMS&P], Azizah Ali, said: "Our heartiest congratulations to PerkPool for emerging winner of the SME IT Makeover Contest. At Microsoft Malaysia, we acknowledge that SMEs play an invaluable part in the growth of the economy."
"With many small businesses, it is not uncommon for owners to wear many hats," said Azizah. "Not only must they drive and grow their business, they must also manage IT. SMEs should be allowed to concentrate on what matters most - running the business - and leave the technology side of things to trusted partners like Microsoft."
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