Lets2Share is an innovative shared letting agency operating in East Sussex providing fully serviced, shared accommodation for students and professionals and more recently offering shared, flexible business working space.
Lets2Share has rapidly grown its portfolio of properties, locations and services. During the early days of growth, it became increasingly difficult for the team to work whilst on the move and in different locations whilst also having full and effective communication between other team members, customers and suppliers. Additionally, with an office move planned, Lets2Share wanted to create a contemporary, modern workspace with technology tools to match for the times when they were office based. Lets2Share needed an Office 365 Consultant and wanted a local supplier in Sussex. They turned to Astec for help in providing the solutions.
The first step in the solution was to specify hardware devices that would take care of work whether on the road, in a coffee shop, visiting a property or when back at the office. Astec provided Lets2Share with Microsoft Surface Pro devices together with Microsoft Surface docks. Using Surfaces as the core working device provided the full functionality and performance of desktop computers but the complete flexibility to work from anywhere. When on the road the powerful Core i5 processors and Solid State hard drives provide lightning fast performance. They can be quickly converted from laptop to tablet form for quick and convenient note taking, document signing and presentations. When returning to the office, the Surfaces are connected to a desktop dock to provide connection to full size keyboards, mice and multiple monitors and of course immediate integration into the office network for a full desktop experience.
But the devices are only as good as the software being used. In addition to the cloud property management solution in use, Microsoft Office 365 has been the key to the ‘work anywhere’ approach. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with key competencies in Cloud Solutions, Astec has been able to work with Lets2Share to unlock the value in the Office 365 suite. It has provided enterprise featured, cloud based mail services and the latest Office suite of desktop applications in addition to features such as Skype for Business which have transformed how Lets2Share have been able to work and communicate. Virtual meetings can be quickly and efficiently organised and can now take place with participants wherever they happen to be. Notes are taken and shared amongst the team with OneNote and slick presentations quickly and easily prepared and presented using Sway. Documents are shared and worked on collaboratively across different locations using Office apps online and Microsoft Teams has been used to keep key staff fully informed and involved in projects without any additional, complex software.
The new office has been provided with a range features both to support Lets2Share’s own requirements and to support a new shared office experienced offered to companies looking for flexible working space. Astec provided a wireless network throughout the two floors of the offices to allow users to work ‘untethered’ wherever needed. A modern meeting room has been setup with video conferencing facilities linked to Skype for Business – this can be logged in to by any account, offering flexible and powerful conferencing facilities. Full HD video projection runs throughout the day in the ground floor office space, displaying tranquil scenery for a relaxed working atmosphere but serving a dual purpose as a presentation tool for meetings and events.
Support and service is provided to Lets2Share through Astec’s PromisePlus Premium managed support service ensuring that Lets2Share can focus on their business while Astec’s Office 365 Consultants focus on their IT.
Outcome & Benefits
The benefits have been many fold. The team now have complete flexibility in where they work meaning more time can be spent in front of customers. This has also reduced travelling time and expense significantly. This has allowed for a complete rethink of the working office resulting in less permanent desk space needed to achieve a greater level of productivity, which in turn has resulted in around a 25% reduction of office overhead. With the opportunity to provide modern, serviced desk space to businesses, Lets2Share has also been able to generate revenue from what was previously purely an overhead. Customer service has also improved with a faster and more streamlined process with previously laborious office base tasks transformed into a slick, efficient and on the spot process.
Matthew Bates, Operations Director said “Working with Astec to meet our operational challenges has really helped take the business forward. We are a forward thinking, fast growing and dynamic business and we need technology solutions and partner to match. Our operations have been transformed as a result of the technology and support provided by Astec – We have really seen the impact in reduced costs and our customer service has taken a big step forward. We are now looking forward to taking the next steps in our technology journey.”
There’s lots more to come for Lets2Share. Astec’s Office 365 Consultants will work with the business to continue to extract more value from the Office 365 suite and in particular, we will be looking to use Office Flow to automate even more tasks and processes and enhance communication and collaboration further with SharePoint team sites.
If you’d like to talk to one of our Office 365 Consultants we’d be delighted to chat. Our office is in Hastings, East Sussex, but we work with businesses across Brighton, Sussex, Kent and London. Please contact us.