SoftwareOne case study

Centris AG modernises ways of working in just six months with Microsoft Teams and M365

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Seeking a modern way of working, the Swiss IT service provider Centris AG worked with SoftwareOne to migrate its communication and collaboration tools to Microsoft Teams and M365 in just six months. The provision of appropriate training helped the company's 300 employees to better prepare for the new ways of working and tools.

Centris AG, based in Solothurn, Switzerland, supports Swiss health and accident insurers in the digitalisation of their businesses. With efficient and secure IT solutions, it ensures capabilities such as smooth workflows in the verification of invoices or the secure handling of insured data. Among its clients are 26 insurers, including SWICA, ÖKK, AXA and Helsana, which together serve more than 4 million insured persons – about half of the Swiss population.

When the COVID-19 pandemic created a critical need for decentralised collaboration, Centris decided to accelerate its already-planned communication technology changeover to Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 (M365) collaboration tools. It set itself and SoftwareOne a demanding deadline of six months.

In addition to the migration to the cloud, the implementation also included helping employees to successfully adapt to new working methods, tools and processes. Working closely with Centris' IT team, SoftwareOne supported the company-wide rollout of a modern, digital workplace and an effective, hybrid work culture.

  • 6 months

    to set up a digital workplace with Microsoft Teams and M365 tools and train 300 users

  • 10–15%

    reduction in internal emails due to easier collaboration using Microsoft Teams

  • Improved communication

    for remote/hybrid working, and faster onboarding for new employees

Centris AG logo
Centris AG
Information technology
Digital Workplace Services: Microsoft Teams migration from on-premises Skype for Business, implementation of M365 collaboration tools; Digital Workplace Adoption services incl. staff trainings
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Moving from on-premises Skype to the cloud

Centris' health insurance ecosystem is used by around 8,000 insurance employees every day to provide services for their customers. Centris is also in close contact with health and accident insurers for advice, support and the joint development of new IT solutions. For internal and external communication, Centris used – among other tools – its own hosted Skype for Business solution.

With increasingly decentralised workplaces and more and more virtual meetings, the need for communication and collaboration options also increased. Centris’ aim was to exchange information and documents in real time and to effectively communicate virtually – both internally and externally – via calls and video conferences.

So Centris AG brought forward the switch to Microsoft 365 – including Teams and OneDrive – that had originally been planned for 2025. The company set itself the ambitious goal of migrating its communication tools to the cloud-hosted Microsoft 365 platform within just six months. In doing so, Centris needed the support of a partner that was demonstrably capable of helping to realise a project of this size.

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SoftwareOne tackles multiple projects in parallel

Having worked with SoftwareOne for many years, Centris knew that SoftwareOne had expertise and project experience in the areas of Digital Workplace, Unified Communications and adoption and change management (ACM) and decided to work together again.

SoftwareOne's experts have a wealth of experience from other projects, because they work with many companies that are bigger than us. That helped us a lot.
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Ari Zaugg

IT and Collaboration Services Team Director, Centris AG

Due to the tight timeframe, SoftwareOne and Centris set up a project plan that enabled different teams to work on multiple aspects of the project simultaneously.

This included setting up Centris' own IT infrastructure for the phased Teams and M365 implementation, devising the appropriate support and training for different user groups covering a total of 300 employees, and organising workshops to clarify the company’s security requirements. Data security was a key concern, because Centris manages particularly sensitive data on behalf of its health and accident insurer customers.

Throughout the entire project, SoftwareOne regularly sought feedback from Centris’ staff. This helped to shape the development of user guidelines and training materials to fully address the needs and concerns of all users.

Regular consultations with Centris stakeholders created the necessary transparency about project statuses and made it possible to quickly address and resolve issues and concerns. As the deadline for migration approached, meetings that had been held weekly became even more frequent, sometimes even daily.

“There was never really any question about resources or if they had time,” Zaugg says of SoftwareOne’s support throughout the project. “They adapted really fast to what Centris needed at the time.”

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Could you benefit from a similar service?

Our 900+ digital workplace specialists are standing by to help you accelerate communication and enhance your collaboration capabilities.

Key services that SoftwareOne delivered, at a glance:

  • Step-by-step migration from on-premises Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams and M365
  • Development of a customised Adoption & Change Management (ACM) strategy for successful use of Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, etc., for all employees
  • Coaching of key stakeholders throughout the ACM process
  • Identification, structuring and implementation of the required end-user trainings for all 300 employees
  • Development and implementation of a cloud security concept and a backup concept for cloud data

Fast delivery ‘a big achievement’

Shortly after testing the implementation of Microsoft Teams in a small pilot program, Centris completed the full migration from Skype for Business over one weekend. From the first day, SoftwareOne was available to provide remote support via a dedicated Teams channel for questions and support needs. After three days, the Centris IT team was able to take over support.

The service has been very well received within the company – 98% of Centris employees indicated in an internal survey that support with Microsoft Teams had been efficient in helping to solve their problems. And the number of support tickets – previously two to four tickets per week – has been reduced to almost zero.

Communication within the company has also become much more efficient since then. When Teams went live, the volume of internal emails being sent dropped by 10-15% because employees are instead using Teams Rooms and the chat function. The switch to Teams also eliminated problems with video conferencing – 82% of respondents in the survey said that the quality of conversations and video calls with Teams had improved.

Overall, collaboration is more flexible, easier and more effective than before. The newly gained capabilities of Teams and OneDrive enable the sharing and editing of files, at any time and any place. In the employee survey, almost 90% of respondents confirmed that chat, video conferencing and telephony via Teams meet the current needs of their daily work. As a result of the success of the project, Centris has now adopted a hybrid working policy that allows people to work from home three days a week. This new flexibility not only helps to increase productivity, but also improves employee satisfaction.

The Teams app helps me to quickly get in touch with colleagues and supports our team’s daily communication. This means it is no longer necessary to be in the office or on-site every day.

– Anonymous employee feedback, Centris AG

And thanks to the newly acquired skills in adoption and change management, the recruitment process is also simplified, because new talent can be interviewed and onboarded virtually. This saves time and money. Centris can also save costs on its four large annual staff meetings. This is because two of the events now take place virtually, meaning there are no costs for logistics.

Zaugg says he was most impressed with the speed at which SoftwareOne was able to implement the project.

Usually, a project like this takes at least a year. The training of the employees, the introduction of all the new functions and the entire technical implementation of Teams and M365 – we managed all that in just six months. It helps us to make our collaboration – whether with our employees, customers or partners – as effective and easy as possible. That's a big achievement.
A man with a beard and a plaid shirt.

Ari Zaugg

IT and Collaboration Services Team Director, Centris AG

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