HK Mulitex Group secures corporate face on cloud
By Carol Ko 24-May-2012
To establish a corporate face for email, Hong Kong-based manufacturing and trading company Mulitex Group has migrated its corporate email system to the cloud for enhanced data security and scalability.
Established in 1969, Mulitex now operates with 500 employees in 22 offices worldwide, including China, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and the Americas. Started as a garment manufacturer and now distribute for Zara, Buffalo, Sisley, United Colors of Benetton and Versace in Greater China, the company gradually diversified its business into property, electronics and trading, and is recently expanding into the investment market.
With offices in multiple locations worldwide, increasing growth and business complexity, Mulitex's five-people IT team faced challenges in IT administration, and found it challenging to support multiple locations and time zones.
After consulting its long-time local technology partner United Technology, Mulitex decided to migrate its email servers from MDaemon to one that is cloud-based. According to Arunachalam Sam (pictured), group IT/IS manager of Mulitex Group, a cloud-based email system can address the company's concerns of data security and privacy, system readiness for rapid company growth, data accessibility and availability for its mobile workforce, IT scalability and control, and most of all, low upfront IT costs.
Office 365 versus Google Apps
"We have four to five offices in China. With 60% of our sourcing activities done in the country, [service] unavailability in China will become a big issue for us."
-- Arunachalam Sam, group IT/IS manager, Mulitex Group
Mulitex evaluated several cloud solutions including Office 365, Google Apps and IBM Lotus Notes and "found limitations on Google," according to Arunachalam.
The main "limitations" of Google Apps, said Arunachalam, were "security and privacy concerns over data," "lack of version compatibility and fidelity," "lack of a corporate face," and "service unavailability in China." "We have a strong base in China with four to five offices, with 60% of our sourcing activities done in the country. [Service] unavailability in China will become a big issue for us," Arunachalam said.
The reasons for selecting Office 365, according to Arunachalam, were "up-to-date security and privacy standards," "true data mobility with full fidelity," flexibility to scale up and down with control," and "major reduction of upfront and maintenance costs."
Zero upfront IT cost
In April 2011, Mulitex migrated its email system to Microsoft BPOS, which involved 500 users with six email domains. Then in a phased approach, the Group upgraded to Office 365 over the last 12 months.
"We are now 100% in the cloud for email and we don't have any hardware [to operate our email system] now," Arunachalam said. "This is close to zero upfront IT costs, as compared to HK$2.5 million for on-premise email solution installation."
Using cloud-based email system, Mulitex now benefits from unlimited archiving and "zero down-time." "We did not have any security issue with Office 365, and we believe Microsoft can secure our data better than if we did it in-house."
"Our trust with Microsoft's security on the cloud is akin to money deposited in our bank -- safe, secure and trustworthy. Migrating to the cloud ensures state of the art technology provided by Microsoft, making us worry-free as far as security and privacy is concerned," Arunachalam said.
"We spend 40% less time in managing security as a result. It also saves us time and expense on system maintenance and IT or infrastructure manpower. Hence, we now can re-deploy our resources to other significant business priorities, while driving business growth with full accessibility and fidelity of data provided by Office 365. This quick and easy deployment with increased scalability also aids our rapid business growth globally," he added.
"In the future, we may consider putting other applications such as [Microsoft] Office, ERP (enterprise resource planning), accounting and unified communications on the cloud," Arunachalam said.