Customer Success Stories

The Energy Cooperative

The Energy Cooperative implements Office 365 for enterprise-wide collaboration and Azure AD Premium for Self-Service Password Reset

In October of 1998, Licking Rural Electrification, Inc. (LRE) acquired National Gas & Oil Company and its subsidiaries, National Gas & Oil Corp., Producers Gas Sales, NGO Development Corp., and NGO Propane. The Energy Cooperative is the trade name used by LRE and its subsidiaries, which operate as separate corporations. The Energy Cooperative serves nearly 500,000 homes and businesses in Ohio. (www.theenergycoop.com)

  • "The ability to provide self-service password reset for our remote employees was a huge benefit."

    Scott Stitts
    The Energy Cooperative
    IT Director

Business Needs

In the classical "do more with less" model, The Energy Cooperative IT Leadership team found themselves in an ever-changing regulated marketplace but with an IT staff that was constantly juggling a large IT project portfolio.

Included in this project portfolio was the need for upgraded communication and collaboration tools for the entire organization, including field personnel and other remote/mobile employees.  The ability to provide enterprise collaboration tools, various self-service tools, and seamless connectivity for these mobile employees would provide a tremendous benefit to the organization.

Additionally, the organization had recently moved to virtual Board of Directors meetings, so they were looking for a solution that would support having virtual meetings and video conferencing no matter where the Directors were located.  

Solution

After the Energy Cooperative leadership team made the decision to implement Office 365 in order to offload the "keep the lights on" organization Email and collaboration administration and maintenance from their IT staff, they engaged Stratus Innovations Group to develop an Email migration and Office 365 collaboration implementation plan. To meet their needs, we designed and implemented a migration plan that included developing a "hybrid configuration" where mailbox migrations could be completed at a comfortable pace while allowing co-existence between users who have been migrated and those who have not.

Next, in conjunction with implementing Azure AD Connect as part of the identity management solution for Office 365, Stratus Innovations Group provided a pilot for using Azure Active Directory Premium for organization-wide Self Service Password Reset (SSPR). 

Finally, in order to support the remote needs for the Board of Directors, Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing and PSTN Calling was implemented along with a Polycom Boardroom VTC system for Skype for Business.   

Benefits

By off-loading the enterprise Email administration and maintenance activities, The Energy Cooperative's IT system administrators were able to allocate more time to an enterprise-wide wireless access security review and remediation, as well as other corporate strategic projects. Additionally, by deploying Office 365, The Energy Cooperative was able to deploy the latest communication and collaboration tools to the entire organization.

Since the Office 365 migration project included deploying Azure AD Connect as part of the Office 365 identity management solution, implementing Azure AD Premium allowed The Energy Cooperative to deploy enterprise-wide Self Service Password Reset that could be accessed remotely by their field-based and remote personnel. This had an immediate benefit by eliminating an issue that was made up a very high volume of IT service calls, which in turn freed up the help-desk for other strategic and proactive support activities.

Also, deploying Skype for Business for the Board of Directors meetings proved extremely valuable as remote Directors were able to install Skype for Business on their desktops and laptops and virtually attend board meetings or dial into a teleconference bridge. By implementing the teleconference bridge based on Skype for Business, The Energy Cooperative was able to eliminate a 3rd party teleconferencing system and see immediate cost savings.

Solution Overview

Product and Services

Office 365

Azure AD Premium

Industry

Energy/Utilities

Organization Size

Medium (50 - 999 employees)

Country

United States

The Energy Cooperative