Retailer Switches from Google to Office 365 to Simplify IT and Boost Collaboration

Solution Overview:

Organization Size

19000 employees

Organization Profile

Lojas Renner, founded in 1965, operates 234 department and home décor stores around Brazil. The company has grown quickly, with 30 new stores opened in 2011.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online
Vertical Industries

General Merchandise





Company Overview:

In 2009, department store chain Lojas Renner was one of the first companies in Brazil to embrace cloud computing by deploying Google Apps.

LOJAS-RENNER-Case-Study1-Foetron Inc.While moving from an on-premises deployment to a cloud solution helped reduce IT costs, that system didn’t sufficiently meet the company’s needs. Renner migrated to Microsoft Office 365 in early 2012, and is now enjoying better functionality, higher productivity, and improved employee collaboration.

Business Needs:

Lojas Renner, based in Porto Alegre, owns and operates 173 department stores and 35 Camicado home décor shops across Brazil. The company has 14,000 employees, and it generated BRL$2.89 billion (US$1.42 billion) in net revenue in 2011.

In 2009, Renner was using an on-premises Oracle software suite for communication and collaboration. As part of an overall corporate strategy to move IT resources to a services model, Renner decided that a cloud-based solution would better match its needs. “We wanted a system that would reduce the burden on our IT team so we could focus on our business and not IT administration,” says Leandro Balbinot, Chief Information Officer at Lojas Renner. “This helps us reduce costs, and also to shift those costs from variable capital expenses to fixed operating expenses, which helps us from a business perspective.”

Looking at the cloud solutions market at the time, Renner felt that Google Apps was the best available solution for a company of its size. Renner migrated to Google Apps in May 2009, which helped the company reduce infrastructure costs and IT administration. Over time, however, Renner found that Google Apps was not fully meeting its needs.

“Our IT strategy aims to give employees a single way to access information from any device, in any format, and to improve collaboration between geographically remote sites,” says Balbinot. “But we were limited. We couldn’t integrate it with our IP telephony solution, our external partner network, and crucial on-premises software like our enterprise resource planning [ERP] system.”

In August 2011, Renner began looking for a more compatible solution.


Renner discussed alternative solutions with Oracle, Novell, Cisco, and Microsoft, and it also talked to Google about addressing the existing system’s shortcomings. In the end, Renner chose Microsoft Office 365 as the best match for its requirements. Microsoft Office 365 unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with the power of Microsoft productivity servers into one connected, online solution.

We could see that the Microsoft solution was very robust and complete, and we liked their strategy for integration between on-premises systems and cloud services.

– Leandro Balbinot
Chief Information Officer, Lojas Renner.

“We could see that the Microsoft solution was very robust and complete, and we liked their strategy for integration between on-premises systems and cloud services,” says Balbinot. “We also felt that Microsoft SharePoint Online offered great opportunities for collaboration. In addition, Microsoft has started offering much more flexible licensing models in recent years, and that was a big incentive.”

Renner migrated to Office 365 from January to April 2012, beginning with a pilot rollout to IT staff. The five-member migration team then selected a group of executives to test how it worked with their Windows, iPhone, and BlackBerry smartphones. Following this, the team deployed Office 365 to one department at a time. Employees required little training to become comfortable with Office 365, aside from an online tutorial that the company provided, and feedback was almost universally positive.

“We do an employee survey at the end of every project,” explains Balbinot. “Normally, a successful project generates 80 to 85 percent satisfaction, but for this project, we reached 93 percent. Our employees not only appreciated the smooth migration, but they also like the new features available to them.”

In addition to migrating email, Renner moved its intranet pages from Google Sites to SharePoint Online, adding new functionality. The company implemented an internal social network to improve remote collaboration, and an online review system for new product collections. “Store managers can now contribute to the future of our products,” notes Balbinot. “They can tell us what they like and dislike, and suggest improvements. Our style team consolidates this information and uses it to improve our offerings.”


By adopting Office 365, Renner has given IT staff an easy-to-manage cloud-based communication and collaboration solution, and the company has provided all employees with a robust set of features to work and collaborate more effectively and to help improve the company’s products.

Simplified IT Management
Renner has found that Office 365 requires only minimal administration, allowing IT staff to better serve the business, and it integrates well with key on-premises systems. In addition, new features like videoconferencing have improved communication and further reduced costs. “We can set up a videoconference no matter where the participants are located, which reduces our travel expenses and creates more opportunities for collaboration,” says Balbinot.

Improved Usability and Productivity
Renner employees have found Office 365 to be easy to use, and they are excited about functionality improvements. “Employees have been excited to explore new features to take better advantage of Office 365,” says Balbinot. “We have empowered them to work more efficiently and effectively.”

Better system uptime and process improvements are also yielding benefits for the company. “Office 365 has allowed us to streamline work processes, such as restocking items for our stores, which previously took five days to complete— now we can do it in one day,” says Balbinot.

Better Collaboration and Engagement
By using SharePoint Online to collect manager comments on upcoming collections, Renner has not only increased employees’ engagement with the brand, but it is also improving the company’s products. “By giving our managers a chance to influence our future collections, they gain a sense of ownership,” says Balbinot. “And it helps us better meet customer needs by incorporating input from the employees who work directly with them.”


Microsoft Case Study: LOJAS RENNER

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