International gaming company Play’n GO grew substantially over the last five years and needed a way to give all its employees a highly secure and productive workplace without investing in numerous costly onsite servers. The company deployed Microsoft 365, a comprehensive solution that includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Standardizing on Microsoft Surface devices, the company has seen quick adoption of its new solution, resulting in improved productivity and communication among employees located around the world.
Founded in 2005 in Sweden, Play’n GO specializes in developing top-quality gaming platforms and software for online and land-based casinos. In the last five years, the company has experienced rapid growth, becoming an industry leader with additional offices in Malta, the United Kingdom, Hungary, and the Philippines.
– We work together on documents in SharePoint and store everything in OneDrive. And we use Teams for all our meetings and for moment-to-moment collaborative conversations. Christoffer Tykö: Internal IT Team Leader Play’n GO
The company’s first office was opened in Växjö, Sweden, and used Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium, but employees in many of the company’s new offices could not connect to that environment. “We were growing really fast and hadn’t created a game plan for rolling out Microsoft services or domain services or connecting our devices,” says Christoffer Tykö, Internal IT Team Leader at Play’n GO.
As the first IT employee hired to work outside of the Swedish office, Tykö had a unique perspective. He started looking for a way to give the company’s worldwide workforce the same capabilities as the folks working in Sweden, without having to invest in local servers for each office. “That’s when I discovered Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security,” says Tykö. “I wanted to promote mobile productivity and protection for our people and devices by implementing Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. I also wanted to assure that all of our employees were using Windows Hello, which I could manage through the Azure portal.”
A unified experience
To help Play’n GO harmoniously add all that functionality in multiple locations simultaneously, Tykö reached out to WeSafe, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with Gold competencies in Cloud Platform and Cloud Productivity for small and midsize businesses. Noting the rapid rate of growth at Play’n GO, the two companies decided to switch the whole company to Microsoft 365 E5, which provides expanded capabilities and supports a larger number of user accounts than Office 365 Business Premium.
After selecting a comprehensive solution that fit the company’s needs, Play’n GO migrated the services used at its headquarters from onsite servers to virtual machines. And its new offices created an optimized network infrastructure that assured good connectivity to Azure. The company and partner then rolled out Office 365, enuring that every employee had equal access to the new cloud-based infrastructure.
Advanced international collaboration
For employees signing in to Microsoft 365 for the first time, the first signal of an improved work experience was SharePoint Online. “Everyone can access our intranet and all internal resources via SharePoint,” says Tykö. “We use Azure Active Directory to enhance security and create permissions-based access to information from our compliance, information security, development, and casino departments and to our news feed.”
At Play’n GO, nearly every department takes an active role in the creation of each product the company develops. This makes clearly defined and accessible interdepartmental collaboration a necessity. On top of its role as the company’s intranet, SharePoint functions as the jumping-off point for a newly revamped communications network. “We’ve made Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive our primary resources for collaboration,” says Tykö. “We work together on documents in SharePoint and store everything in OneDrive. And we use Teams for all our meetings and for moment-to-moment collaborative conversations.”
Play’n GO employees frequently need to jump from project to project, and outside consultants are brought in from time to time to aid in the development of specific projects. Because Teams keeps a record of ongoing project-specific conversations, any newly assigned collaborators can quickly catch up with the development process after they join the corresponding channel.
Play’n GO is further bolstering its internal communications landscape with Microsoft Stream and Delve. The company uses Stream to create and share a media library of how-to videos for employees anywhere who want to expand their capabilities, and Delve lets employees quickly discover people and content through the context of their own work. “I think Delve is a great way to get a feel for somebody’s capabilities and experience,” says Tykö, “especially in a company where you have a lot of employees spread out over different countries, and many people have never met in person.”
– I’m very happy with Surface devices. Surface Laptop is the most reliable, problem-free laptop of any brand I’ve used. Christoffer Tykö: Internal IT Team Leader Play’n GO
Greater efficiency and security through standardization
Collaboration is not the only top priority at Play’n GO. Along with the company’s new intranet and communications landscape, leadership implemented new mobile device standards that include using Intune for data security and Windows Hello for identity protection. “With Intune, we got the tools we needed to begin to create a GDPR-compliant system,” says Tykö. “Before implementing Intune, our employees only had local accounts on their computers, so we save a lot of time and feel more confident in our level of protection now that we manage all our devices in the same way.”
The computers employees use to collaborate and create have also changed with the switch to Microsoft 365. “We’ve standardized on Surface Laptop devices,” says Tykö, “and we’ve introduced Surface Studio for our art team in London.”
“I’m very happy with Surface devices,” continues Tykö. “For the first time in nearly 15 years, I can hold a PC in my hand that has a build quality equal to that of an Apple device. And Surface Laptop is the most reliable, problem-free laptop of any brand I’ve used.”
This standardization and the reliability of Surface devices has already helped decrease the time IT employees need to dedicate to troubleshooting company hardware, freeing the department to handle other responsibilities. The use of a unified, comprehensive solution has also paid dividends in employee productivity. “It’s one thing for employees to understand that they can talk to each other using Teams,” says Tykö. “But it’s completely different when they realize that they can conduct meetings, create schedules and announcements, do reports, and automate flows through the same solution. Once our employees understood the full capabilities of Microsoft 365, productivity and efficiency increased definitively.”
– Once our employees understood the full capabilities of Microsoft 365, productivity and efficiency increased definitively. Christoffer Tykö: Internal IT Team Leader Play’n GO