Autry Museum uses the Microsoft cloud to exhibit American Western art more efficiently

Laurent Giret

Each year, the Autry Museum in Southern California welcomes more than 200,000 visitors wanting to discover the art, history, and cultures of the American West. But as the museum was looking to provide museum-goers the best possible experience while increasing employee collaboration and reducing IT maintenance, a new blog post on the Office blog explains how the museum chose to deploy Office 365 and the results of this case study are definitely interesting.

Autry Museum logo 1a
The Autry Museum has used Office 365 to help streamline their processes and divert funds to better exhibit American Western art.

Before moving to the cloud, the organization used to rely on Microsoft Office, an on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server, and the Outlook web app for email. This wasn’t ideal, as that Exchange server was costly and didn’t allow employees to download attachments, share calendars, or reserve campus event space easily on their mobile devices. And so, after a period of evaluation to find the best tools for the job, the Autry IT team decided in November 2014 to migrate 130 staff email accounts to Office 365, a process that was completed over just a week-end.

As Rebecca Menendez, director of Information Services and Technology at Autry Museum, shared:

We chose Office 365 for consistency, but also because employees use it to search and sort information in a variety of ways that are very useful for organizing their work.

The Office 365 calendar really helped the staff to be more productive on the go. “Once we got to Office 365, everyone was thrilled to see that the calendars work seamlessly on mobile devices”, added Menendez. Furthermore, employees have also started to use OneDrive for Business for file storage as well as Skype for Business Online for calls and teleconferencing.

Maren Dougherty, director of Communications and Marketing at the Autry Museum explained:

…sending files was difficult for my team because it took a lot of time, Now we don’t have those kinds of restrictions.

Finally, Office 365 allowed the Autry IT team to save 85 percent in monthly IT maintenance costs, which represents $5,000 per year. “Anytime I can take money away from back-end administrative costs to put toward the way we communicate, it’s a real positive for the organization as a whole”, explained Menendez.

We invite you to read the full case study over here. Do you think transitioning to Office 365 can effectively help small and medium-sized organizations to increase mobile productivity and reduce IT costs? Let us know what you think in the comments.