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The dream of the productive virtual office

30th April 2021
Alex Lynn

When productivity tools don’t work as they are expected to, it can lead to just the opposite of productivity. Not least since the first set of pandemic-induced lockdowns and work-from-home regimes, the impact of unstable connections and slow reaction times on our ability to work in virtual offices, to handle cloud-based resources with ease, and to participate effectively in video calls has become common knowledge.

It is only to be expected that problems in the network will result in reduced user satisfaction, because of which, productivity suffers. And the IT support hotline runs hot.

Corporate IT departments around the world have been searching for ways to keep their colleagues happy while working from home, bring down the number of complaints to their internal support hotlines, and get the bosses off their backs.

By increasing the performance and resilience and of their connectivity and by speeding up the reaction times for applications in the cloud, IT teams would be able to effectively reduce the number of operational errors. As a consequence, morale and productivity would increase and support costs (e.g. the IT help-desk) reduce. For the IT professionals, this could also free up resources and working time for their other projects.

A vision of El Dorado, out of the reach of most IT departments? In fact, one corporate IT department has achieved exactly this, by taking a different approach to connecting to the Microsoft 365 cloud.

The engineering-led global infrastructure group HOCHTIEF, with operations in Australia, North America, and Europe, sought and found a way to improve the stability and performance of their Microsoft SaaS applications.

The solution was implemented for thousands of employees in Europe, across a hundred different locations – in offices, working from home, or on construction sites. The result was a reduction in the susceptibility to errors and a drop reaction times (latency) to less than one tenth of the time required by their previous network architecture.

The case study on the benefits of the HOCHTIEF migration to the DE-CIX Microsoft Azure Peering Service demonstrates not only that the dream of the productive virtual office is achievable, but also that it can be implemented quickly and easily.

“Our employees on the construction sites, at the office locations and working from home simply have to be able to do their jobs. Technical explanations as to why it doesn’t work now don’t really help,” explained Dirk Steffen, Head of Corporate IT at HOCHTIEF. “The most important requirement for IT is that the IT systems run smoothly. And with the Microsoft Azure Peering Service, this now works very well – not only when using Microsoft 365, but also when accessing server resources from Microsoft Azure.”

Download the case study here.

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