Sonova, headquartered in Stäfa, Switzerland, is the leading provider of innovative hearing care solutions. The group operates through its core business brands Phonak, Unitron, Advanced Bionics and Connect Hearing, and offers its customers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry—from hearing instruments to cochlear implants to wireless communication solutions.
An analysis of the initial situation at Sonova highlighted several problems: Business requirements required newly acquired companies and their branches to be integrated quickly. This posed continual sizing and scalability challenges for the existing Exchange Server 2010 infrastructure, especially as the additional load mustn’t affect operation. Additionally, every expansion to the on-premises infrastructure required a preparatory project, which delayed integration of new companies. Moreover, a solution for archiving existing e-mail data which complied with Sonova’s new retention policies was desired.
Implementation of Office 365 at Sonova introduced the required flexibility in scalability. New business units can now be integrated into the existing infrastructure very efficiently and quickly. The scalability, memory dimensioning, storage, and database distributors problems have been solved. Creating a user in the Active Directory and selecting the correct licence in Office 365 is all that’s required to quickly and simply add a new business unit. Existing users can now take advantage of the Exchange Online Archiving solution—even if their mailbox is hosted on on-premises exchange servers. Internal corporate compliance requirements are thus fulfilled in the simplest way.
The project was divided into two phases. In the preliminary project, the existing Exchange 2010 server infrastructure was analysed and small adjustments made to bring it in line with Microsoft best practices for implementation of hybrid Exchange 2016 Server and Office 365.
In the second phase, Exchange 2016 was then added to the environment and the hybrid connection to Office 365 configured. This configuration included automation processes and designs in conjunction with the new retention regulations. Employing Office 365 technologies thus simply and elegantly solved the technical requirements together with those of business.
As the Office 365 and Azure projects progressed, the great benefits of both became clear to Sonova. Thanks to the cloud strategy, further projects are already being planned to transform other systems such as mobile device and application management with cloud-based Intune. The Office 365 and Azure Competence Centre will remain Sonova’s reliable contact for these future projects.