60% of CAC40 companies have adopted Office 365

Société Générale, Alstom, Legrand, Vinci … The jewels of our economy are massively opting for Microsoft’s collaborative suite. Overview of these deployments.

The Microsoft steamroller is running. In the war against Google in the adoption of collaborative solutions in cloud mode in business, the group of Redmond has put the turbo. Google has been able to hang in recent years beautiful references among the jewels of the French economy – Air Liquide, Lafarge, Essilor or Valeo use its Google Apps for Work. But since then, Microsoft has worked hard, boosted by the talk “mobile first” and “cloud first” of its CEO, Satya Nadella. As a result, 60% of the CAC40 companies use all or part of their Office 365 suite. “Two years ago, we saw an acceleration of projects,” observes Nathalie Wright, director of the large companies and alliances division of Microsoft France.

630,000 Office 365 users identified in the Cac 40

In this folder, the Journal du Net has identified ten CAC40 groups that implement Offce 365, totaling more than 630,000 users of the Microsoft offer (see the table below). These most iconic projects? Announced a year ago, Société Générale’s DigitForAll program aims, for example, to install SharePoint, Skype for Business or Yammer on the workstation of 150,000 employees. At Accor and Vinci, migration projects exceed 100,000 users. (And our panorama does not take into account the 60,000 posts recently announced by Suez Environnement, the latter having left the CAC40).

Faced with Google, Microsoft plays on its assets: its historical presence in business, its dense network of partners and, of course, but also the data security component. This last point being the main obstacle to the adoption of SaaS services. “For a big account, the respect of the localization of the data and the data privacy are essential elements,” recalls Nathalie Wright. Microsoft recommends hosting sensitive data within the company’s own infrastructure or at a hosting provider. What makes Office 365 possible , since it gives the choice between a SaaS version … and an internalized version. An alternative that remains impossible with Google Apps.

First brick: messaging

The deployment of the various Office 365 modules is progressively carried out by the CAC40 actors involved. The first brick is usually messaging with the desire to switch to a new generation mailbox. “In 2013 and 2014, we saw a significant wave of IBM Lotus Notes migrations to Microsoft Office 365,” says Cyril Drevon, head of infrastructure activity at Exakis Lyon, a Microsoft Gold Partner.

Legrand has switched 20,000 Lotus Notes mailboxes to Exchange Online and Lync (now Skype for Business) in less than six months. In fact, email and instant messaging usually go hand in hand. For unified communications, change support is light. Users already often use this type of tool in their privacy – with Gmail or Outlook. “Deploying Skype at the same time as messaging creates a ‘wow’ effect, which generates a positive momentum,” confirms Maximilien Chayriguès, head of the firm EMS Conseil, which notably supported Alstom and LVMH.

SocietyNumber of usersNature of deployments.
Accor160,000Project initiated in 2013. Deployment of Office 365 (including SharePoint Online) for employees and franchisees around the world.
Alstom85,000Choice of Microsoft cloud solutions as early as 2010. Deployment of Office 365 including Skype for Business. Support by Orange Business Services
AxaNCDeploy Office 365 with Axa Global Direct.
BNP ParibasNCDeployment of Microsoft solutions including Skype for Business on Windows 8 tablets .
Capgemini8,000Yammer retained as a corporate social network. Deployment of Office 365 (Exchange and SharePoint) for employees of the Sogeti subsidiary as of 2013.
Great20,000Migrating Lotus Notes mailboxes to Exchange Online and Skype for Business. SharePoint and Yammer being deployed.
L’Oreal25,000Yammer retained as a corporate social network. In September 2014, deploying Office 365 in pilot phase on a few hundred users.
Societe Generale150,000Deployment of all Office 365 on workstations announced in September 2014. Delivery of 90,000 Windows tablets being finalized
Vinci183,000First large-scale deployment announced in September 2012. On its own, the subsidiary Vinci Energies has 42,000 active accounts (including Skype for Business, SharePoint and Yammer)

Next step, the collaborative

After email, the next step is the collaborative. Change management is this time more complex. It is necessary to introduce new uses, good practices, in the absence sometimes of existing. With Yammer, OneDrive and SharePoint, Office 365 offers a variety of tools for pushing and sharing content. The challenge is to highlight the most relevant brick for a given use. While some organizations are trying to eradicate email in-house, the risk would be great if not to stack the boxes (messaging, chat, corporate social network (CSR) …). Hence the importance of this support to change.

“A CAC40 company has for it to have a population seeking mobility and innovation solutions,” Cyril Drevon positive. “In these multinationals, employees are used to working in virtual teams around the world, especially in the research or marketing departments, just to guide them to good practices.” Nathalie Wright also sees it as an asset for these large accounts to attract and retain talent. With this type of tool, young Y-generation workers would not understand that we could work differently. 

Most important organizational issues

Another difficulty to overcome for CAC40 groups: the permanent evolution of these collaborative solutions with functional contributions about every 30 days. Maximilien Chayriguès counted 440 evolutions of Office 365 in one year! An inherent mode of SaaS but a disturbing hair for companies that are used to conducting a major migration project over two or three years, then move to another without looking back. “Large groups must be able to absorb these new features and return them to the right department, a new service can be interesting for marketing, another for IT,” says Cyril Drevon. Which supposes to have internal resources like transition manager or community manager. Profiles that have begun to appear among CAC40 actors.

Office 365 vs Google Apps for Work

While Microsoft asserts its legitimacy over its knowledge of the business world, it is amusing to see that the publisher has recently reconciled the names of Office 365 modules of its consumer solutions to facilitate their adoption. Lync has become Skype for Business, Exchange, Outlook.com. All the reverse of Google which, coming from the general public with a pure web approach, tries to seduce companies by professionalizing its offer. “The choice is there,” says Cyril Drevon. “The big groups who want to be in the continuity of the uses choose Office 365, those who are positioned on the ‘disruptive full web’ turn to the Google Apps,” he notes. The difference is not, therefore, in his eyes, the costs, very close.