Emperor Group

Emperor Group fulfills global ambitions with smart IT resources allocation in a reliable cloud solution – Microsoft Office 365

Solution Overview:

Organization Size

7000 employees

Organization Profile

From its beginning as a watch retailer, Emperor Group has grown and expanded into a diversified group of listed companies in several industries. In recent years, the Group has ventured into overseas markets outside Hong Kong and expanded its footprint globally.

Software and Services

Microsoft Office 365

Vertical Industries
  • Financial Services
  • Film & Studio
  • Publishing

Hong Kong SAR



Company Overview:

Emperor Group was founded in 1942 by a watch shop continues to expand,businesses have become more diversified, has been flourish as many as 7,000 employees of the Group companies, with eight large business, including: financial, real estate, jewelry, watches, Entertainment Film, hotels, publishing and printing, furniture and catering.



Founded as a watch retailer in 1942, Emperor Group has expanded and diversified, and today employs some 7,000 members of staff across eight distinct business units: Financial Services, Property, Watch & Jewellery, Entertainment, Hotel, Publishing, Furniture, and Food & Beverage. Such growth brings the concomitant challenge of ensuring reliable, efficient communication and collaboration among increasing numbers of staff in more dispersed locations, and creates a need for a unified global brand identity and a single international .com domain name. Therefore Emperor Group needed a consistent IT platform that allowed integration with their current on-premises environment and offered a comprehensive set of collaboration tools for the long term.“Emperor Group runs a wide range of businesses and we realize the increasing importance of building a global brand, and a unified presence with a common IT platform and a single domain name for these businesses.

Emperor Group runs a wide range of businesses and we realize the increasing importance of building a global brand, and a unified presence with a common IT platform and a single domain name for these businesses. The deployment of Office 365 could not have come at better time as we were seeking a compelling cloud solution that could integrate well with our existing IT infrastructure and so we could migrate to cloud on our own terms.

– Gary Choi
Chief Information Officer,
Emperor Group.

Also, to keep up with the rapid growth of our businesses and cater for the increasing demand from users for communication access anytime, anywhere, we were seeking a compelling cloud solution that could integrate well with our existing IT infrastructure, so that we could migrate to cloud on our own terms. As such, the deployment of Microsoft® Office 365 could not have come at better time,” says Gary Choi, Chief Information Officer of the Emperor Group.


Emperor Group evaluated two main options for their cloud solution – Office 365 and Google Apps. With the support of technology consultant Wai On Services Limited, Emperor Group spent a month evaluating both solutions for functionality, connectivity in different locations in Hong Kong and mainland China, and speed. “Having evaluated Office 365 and Google Apps, we decided on Office 365 because it offered the most compelling solution for Emperor Group’s business and IT needs as it had the ability to support multiple domains (especially Chinese .cn domains) working seamlessly across geographic boundaries and allowed a hybrid mode to work with our current on-premises solution,” says Mr. Choi. Office 365’s complete suite of solutions from email to collaboration was also able to meet the requirements of long-term business growth, allied to robust security from a trustworthy brand.

The group’s Emperor Watch & Jewellery business is a retailer of prestigious watches and jewellery with more than 1,200 staff split between its Hong Kong headquarters and its mainland China retail operations. It sells the company’s own designs to a discerning clientele. The demand for effective communication technology has grown rapidly as the group’s Jewellery business continues to expand in China. Therefore this business unit was chosen to pilot the Microsoft Office 365 solution, with email as the pilot application. Emperor Watch & Jewellery began deployment of Office 365 at the end of September 2011, and within a month 300 users were up and running with Exchange Online providing stable performance and good compatibility with their on-premises IT infrastructure.


Significant savings in IT costs and labor; “Within just a few months of deployment, we are already seeing tremendous benefits, one of which is reduced upfront IT costs,” says Mr. Choi. “With its faster deployment and comprehensive migration and management tools, it is estimated to save our IT resources half a man-year that can now be spent on other critical business priorities. We can see a 30% reduction in upfront IT costs from moving to Office 365,” adds Mr. Choi. “The greater capacity and reliability of Office 365 email has also reduced the number of help requests we receive in the IT department by more than 50%. Users are more satisfied than before, and the department can dedicate more time to other key IT tasks.”

Rich functionality and dependable technology; “Another benefit of Office 365 is its rich functionality, including large mailboxes with auto archive and greater mobility,” says Mr Choi. “Our users now have access anytime, anywhere and on any device, meeting the increased demand for speedier and tighter collaboration between the Hong Kong and China operations. Last but not the least is the great reliability and security that we get from Microsoft’s Datacenters, certified against international standards and backed by the reputation of the Microsoft brand.”

“Previously, we had problems whereby larger files transferred by email to Hong Kong would fail due to poor connections. Office 365 doesn’t have that problem. Since its emails are stored in the cloud, the Hong Kong headquarters can access much larger email attachments without any problem. Office 365 is much more secure than before, too, as security is no longer the responsibility of just one or two people in the IT department.”

Gary Choi, Group Chief Information Officer, Emperor Group

Excellent service across countries and integration of domains; Of critical importance was Office 365’s ability to provide service in mainland China, as well as its support for .com.cn domains, an important transitional step in merging the .com.cn and .com.hk domains of the Group into a unified .com identity. “Office 365’s support for multi domains and hybrid mode makes migration much easier,” says Mr Choi.

Get started straight away; Office 365 uses the familiar, intuitive Microsoft User Interface, which means users require little or no training to switch over from existing applications. Furthermore, as a cloud service, Office 365 needs no installation of on-site hardware, and the newly streamlined implementation process means customers can have their new solution up and running quickly. “Office 365 is easy to deploy, with minimum training required,” says Mr Choi, “and it takes only one third of the normal implementation time.

“Overall, we are very satisfied with the stable performance of Office 365 and have been exploring a more extensive migration of Office 365 by increasing the users to 1,000 over time. We are also evaluating other services within Office 365 such as SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Lync Mobile so as to enjoy the full benefits of the Office 365 suite.” Having completed the first phase of transition to Office 365 – email – Emperor Group now plans two further phases of extending the unified communications platform to mobile and then collaboration applications.

Microsoft Office 365:

icrosoft Office 365 brings together cloud versions of our most trusted communications and collaboration products—Microsoft SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online—with the latest version of our Office desktop suite and companion web applications for businesses of all sizes.

Office 365 helps save time and money, and it frees up valued resources. Simple to use and easy to administer, it is financially backed by a service level agreement that guarantees 99.9 percent reliability. Office 365 features robust security, IT-level phone support, geo-redundancy, disaster recovery, and the business-class privacy controls and standards that you expect from a world-class service provider.


Microsoft Case Study: Emperor Group

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