Macmillan Publishers India Ltd.

Cloud Email Improves Communication, Reduces IT Cost and Enhances Productivity

Solution Overview:

Organization Size

550 employees

Organization Profile

Established for around 150 years, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd is amongst the oldest publishing companies in India. It is synonymous with high-quality educational materials. With around 550 employees, it manages offices in 31 locations across the country.

Business Situation

MPIL was using a freeware email solution, Qmail, for all email communications. High downtime and support costs along with connectivity issues led the management to migrate its email to the cloud.


To improve productivity and connect all offices over email, MPIL deployed Microsoft Office 365. The solution included Office Professional Plus, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.

  • Improves productivity by three percent
  • Saves time by up to 160 hours
  • Reduces operating cost
  • Enhances users’ experiences
Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft Exchange Online
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online
Vertical Industries






Company Overview:

For Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, a smooth email system is the key to keeping employees connected and informed.


The company was struggling with its existing system that was unreliable, outdated, and needed continual updates. It needed a new email solution without having to buy, deploy, and maintain server infrastructure. In 2012, MPIL decided to move to the cloud.

With the help of Ricoh India, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, it deployed Microsoft Office 365, the cloud-based solution from Microsoft. Office 365, with its cloud-based Microsoft Exchange Online email solution, gave employees a familiar, professional, and reliable platform for all of their communication needs. It helped the company to optimize its existing technology infrastructure, improve business processes, reduce IT cost year on year, and improve productivity by up to three percent. Today, employees enjoy cutting-edge communications, while their IT is more secure and easier to maintain.


Macmillan Publishers, founded in 1843, is a global trade publishing company with prominent imprints around the world. It started operations in India in 1892. A unique player in the education market, the company enjoys a cutting-edge niche as partner-in-progress for over 120 years. It has published works of some of India’s greatest authors along with popular modern writing. It has also addressed the needs of local language educational publishing and fulfilled the digital-publishing needs of other publishers as well. In a rapidly changing market environment, the company underwent a demerger process to form MPS Ltd and Macmillan Publishers India Ltd (MPIL).

MPIL focuses solely on domestic publishing activities and has become synonymous with quality educational books. It has relationships with over 15,000 schools all over India with over 2,500 titles. With 550 employees, the company has an extensive presence across the county, with 31offices and showrooms in all the major cities. It has won numerous awards for excellence in publishing and production.

By moving to the cloud, we are benefiting from cutting-edge security, high uptime and low investment supported by high productivity.

– Vineet Anand
Senior Vice President and CIO, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd..

In order to maintain its large network of offices, MPIL needs a robust and well-managed IT infrastructure and computing environment. Until 2011, the company had been using Qmail, a POP3-based freeware email solution, with mail server and local data center in Chennai. All email communication of the organization across its 43 locations was dependent upon this solution. Yet the company’s employees struggled with the legacy email system and were regularly faced with numerous issues related to email, network, servers, and data back-ups.

MPIL earlier had close to 1000+ mail boxes on Qmail, many of which were redundant or inactive due to poor housekeeping. It frequently observed downtime due to connectivity issues and servers crashing due to overload. “We were not happy with our existing email system. We hired third- party professionals to maintain our servers, which raised our maintenance costs,” recalls Navnit Pandita, General Manager ─ IT, MPIL. “In addition, due to the 5MB mailbox size, regular back-up was an addition burden for IT team.” The 15- member IT team was inadequate to promptly fix the frequent downtimes, which used to bring the entire organization to a standstill. The old desktops running the previous versions of Microsoft Office were no longer capable of handling the workload including emails, calendaring, or scheduling.

In 2012, Vineet Anand, Senior Vice President ─ IT, who had an extensive experience of working on cloud-based solutions, decided to revamp the existing IT infrastructure. “I had the option of either rebuilding the entire computing set-up at a quick pace with a long-term plan and significant investment, or devise a strategy to move everything to the cloud,” says Vineet. He finally decided to go ahead with a secure, maintenance-free system on-cloud with minimum investment. He planned to start with email and Office and then move to CRM and ERP as well.


Along with his team, Vineet explored available options including Google and Microsoft Office 365. Better pricing and quicker deployment without any need for new IT infrastructure led him to go with Office 365. The greatest advantage was the subscription based model. “We could increase or decrease the number of users as and when required. The pay-as-you-go model without any upfront cost perfectly matched our budget,” states Soumik Bhusan, Senior Manager, MPIL. “Out-of-the-box user-friendly features without many changes in the existing set-up were added advantages.”

In February 2012, MPIL approached Ricoh India, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner to deploy Office 365 across the organization. Components deployed include Office Professional Plus along with Exchange Online. SharePoint Online deployment is still going on. MPIL procured 130 licenses of Exchange Online Plan1 for its office users and editorial team and 430 licenses of Exchange Online Kiosk plan for the sales team and floor shop users who do not need calendaring and scheduling features except a communication tool.

Office 365 comes with high uptime, zero maintenance, quick deployment, and user-friendly features. All these have direct impact on productivity that has improved by three percent in the last few months.

– Vineet Anand
Senior Vice President &CIO, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd.

Initially, desktop machines were configured and upgraded by providing user guides and the team worked with users remotely using a remote connection on the issues they faced.

Ricoh India then helped the users to migrate from the existing set-up to the new solution; the transition was smooth. The migration was done on the basis of priority, department, and user-group and all PSTs were moved to the new system. The old server was retained till all users had migrated to the new system.

“We created the Distribution list for generic mailboxes and deleted all inactive and redundant mailboxes,” explains Navnit Pandita, General Manager ─ IT, MPIL. “With online training material and hand holding from the technology partner, our team at MPIL quickly gained the expertise in using the new solution.”

SharePoint Online deployment is in progress and its usage would be limited for Finance and Legal document management. A secure copy of the blueprint of the documents would be stored on server with workflows for only the Finance and Legal teams. This would enable companywide visibility of agreements and payment invoices.


Along with the obvious benefits of Office Professional Plus, the hosted solution has significantly improved the reliability of email services and enhanced the users’ experience while keeping the technology cost low.

Improves Productivity by Three Percent

Cloud-based email services have seamlessly connected teams across 31 locations, thereby speeding processes, email communication, and enhancing efficiency. Exchange Online is extremely helpful in improving the working of the team and reinforcing collaboration. Users can easily access emails and calendars, plan meetings on the basis of availability of team members and respond quickly. “Office 365 comes with high uptime, zero maintenance, quick deployment, and user-friendly features,” says Vineet Anand, Senior VP & CIO, MPIL. “All these have direct impact on productivity that has improved by five percent in the last few months.”

Vineet continues, “Last but not the least, Office 365 is scalable. We can quickly add new users to the subscription service so they can begin working productively.”

Saves Time by up to 160 Hours

With a 25GB mailbox size, users store data in their respective mailboxes. There is no need for frequent back-ups. Online services also eliminate all the connectivity issues and downtime. “We don’t think about storage, capacity planning, archives, or back-ups anymore,” says Vineet Anand, Senior VP & CIO, MPIL. “The IT team is now able to use its time to address business problems and improve productivity. Roughly, we estimate that with online services we are now saving up to 160 person hours every month.”

By moving to the cloud we now have more dependable systems. We have not only saved our upfront infrastructure cost, but support and maintenance cost too. Though it is too early to comment, but we do expect high ROI.

Vineet Anand
Senior Vice President & CIO, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd.

Reduces Operating Cost

Earlier the company was spending a significant amount in maintaining servers, ensuring uptime and restoring connectivity. With Microsoft responsible for the server infrastructure, MPIL does not need a separate IT team, which reduces administration costs. With the subscription model, it can quickly increase or decrease the number of users as per the requirement and forecast IT expenditure, thus meeting the IT budget criteria. “By moving to the cloud we now have more dependable systems,” comments Soumik Bhusan, Senior Manager, MPIL. “We have not only saved our upfront infrastructure cost, but support and maintenance costs too. Though it is too early to comment, we do expect a high ROI.”

Enhances Users’ Experiences

Post deployment, the users are extremely satisfied with the new capabilities of Office 365. It helps them manage their inboxes quickly and efficiently. Most importantly, since the new set-up did not involve drastic changes, the users accustomed to the old set-up have happily accepted it too. The solution has considerably reduced the amount of time they spent earlier in managing their inboxes. “By moving to the cloud, we are benefiting from cutting-edge security, high uptime and low investment supported by high productivity,” concludes MM Selvaraj, GM ─ IT, MPIL.

Microsoft Office 365:

Microsoft 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 guaranteeing 99 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: Macmillan Publishers India Ltd.

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