One of the most rewarding aspects of our work is transitioning an organization with improved technology. Advancements in technology often leave organizations with archaic systems that might serve their needs, but close the door to many of the improvements available. Traditional email service was initially provided by ‘POP’ servers and included for free with internet service and website providers. IMAP and POP3 servers are still the most common form of email communication systems. These mail services are very primitive by today’s standards. Essentially you write an email, then transmit it to an email server which routes it to a mailbox on another server. The receiving POP server holds the mail which you retrieve on a local computer or mobile device. The mail can be stored at the server for a long period of time allowing for eventual retrieval on multiple devices. Eventually the emails are deleted from the POP server, however, they can be saved on local devices. Email that is sent is only stored on the local device where it originates. None of the local email stores are synchronized and no other information is transmitted between devices. This was the system that Wild Goose Vineyards was utilizing for many years.
General Manager, Roland Kruger, and Marketing Manager, Leslie Matheson, contacted Silver Lining Technology Services Inc. regarding the changeover to an improved system that went beyond the need to simply send emails. Initially we discussed the differences between Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. These two collaboration suites are the industry leaders, with Microsoft having gained about a 70% market share. A distinct advantage that Microsoft has is that many users are familiar with many of the traditional office tools like Word, Excel, and Outlook; Wild Goose made the decision to go with Microsoft.
Office 365 moves your store of emails to the Cloud and allows all your mail (sent, draft, inbox, deleted, and other folders) to be synchronized between many devices. It also provides collaboration between the various mailbox accounts that you assign to individuals. Shared calendars, contacts, and tasks in Outlook are now possible. With One Drive for Business, you can create and share files and folders with another member of the team, as well as invite people outside your organization to participate. Office 365 also includes SharePoint, which is a collaborative tool that is a web-based document management system designed to work with Office 356 products.
All the amazing features available in Office 365 take time to implement, and Wild Goose Vineyards are taking the first steps required to move forward with improved collaboration. The fantastic team who won their first of many awards in 1992 now have new tools that will allow for even more growth and allow them to continue to be recognized as one of the top producers of Okanagan wines!