Tata Elxsi – India

Design Company Chooses Microsoft Office 365, Reduces Total Cost of Ownership

Solution Overview

Organization Size

4000 employees

Organization Profile
Tata Elxsi’s creative leadership in core technology and strength in design makes it a global leader in design with customers across automotive, aerospace, consumer, telecom, storage, and semi-conductor industries. It employs 4,000 people globally.

Business Situation
The company was maintaining multiple technologies such as an Exchange Server and WebEx for video conferencing. The costs were prohibitive and did not permit widespread use of collaboration technologies, thus, no longer meeting employee expectations.

Tata Elxsi selected Microsoft Office 365 because it offered collaboration and communication capabilities in a cost-effective integrated suite.

• Increases productivity across the organization
• Reduces IT administration
• Improves reliability
• Offers flexible, cost-effective pricing

Software and Services
• Microsoft Office 365
• Microsoft Exchange Online
• Microsoft Lync Online
• Microsoft SharePoint Online

Vertical Industries

IT Services





Company Overview

Tata Elxsi, Tata Group’s design company was looking to replace its messaging solution with an integrated collaboration and communication suite. It chose Microsoft Office 365 for its real time collaboration, web conferencing, and cost-effectiveness.

TATA ELXSI Case StudyWith a flexible deployment and pricing profile, Tata Elxsi has been able to pick and choose features required by each employee. With email available to all 4,000 employees, a select set of employees has access to web conferencing with Lync Online and SharePoint Online for collaboration. The company is seeing a significant change in the work culture and productivity with mobile access to email and document sharing, and better response time to its customers.


Tata Elxsi (NSE:TATAELXSI) is the product engineering company of the Tata Group, one of India’s largest and most respected business conglomerates. It has a global delivery footprint through offices and centers in India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany. Headquartered in Bangalore, India, its core practice areas cover embedded product design services, industrial design and engineering, animation and visual effects, and systems integration services.

Tata Elxsi is the world’s first company certified at SEI CMMi Level 5 for product design workflows ― a testimony to its focus on quality, which translates into greater reliability, lower design risks, and faster time-to-market.

Ever since we deployed Office 365 we have had no downtime at all. With Microsoft hosting the solution, we believe its round-the-clock management and monitoring ensures our data is safe, secure, and available 365 days a year.

– BS Lokeshwaran Vice President – Information Technology, Tata Elxsi

Tata Elxsi was using a hosted Exchange Server deployed at a service provider’s data center since 2006. The company was responsible for the management and maintenance of the same. The solution was configured for POP and SMTP protocols for emails. This created certain restrictions, such as calendar sharing.

The existing solution was primarily meant for email usage, and did not integrate with any instant messenger or audio/video calls or conferencing solutions. The IT team would create and manage a separate infrastructure, while employees had to track multiple user names and passwords. Furthermore, in case employees forgot their passwords, they needed the IT helpdesk to reset it―a frequent occurrence and additional workload on the helpdesk.

Email is a critical tool and although web conferencing is becoming the norm for the management, the expense incurred on it did not justify its wider availability to more employees.

It was therefore time for the company to explore integrated email, calendaring, and audio and video conferencing solutions, with an eye on increasing collaboration and reducing costs company-wide.


To increase mailbox sizes and maintain a more efficient, modern infrastructure would require additional capital investment for an on-premise solution. Keeping in mind the best use of its IT budget, the company began evaluating various cloud-based solutions. These included available applications for Business and Microsoft Office 365, the next generation of Microsoft online services.

We had seven people to manage the 4,000 mailboxes; now we have only two responsible for the entire messaging service and collaboration platform.

– B S Lokeshwaran Vice President – Information Technology, Tata Elxsi

Exploring its options for a new email and calendaring solution, BS Lokeshwaran, Vice President – Information Technology, Tata Elxsi, explains. “A key task was to schedule conference calls (audio or video) for multiple people from the desktop. This was cumbersome and tedious. Therefore, the company would have to continue with the expensive collaboration tools subscription in addition to the existing infrastructure, which would increase the total cost of ownership significantly.”
Office 365 was far more favorable, as it unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with the power of Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online into one connected online solution. “We realized that real-time communications tools and improved collaboration opportunities for sharing documents and other content between employees would be far more effective with Office 365,” affirms Lokeshwaran.

The company migrated all 4,000 employees to Exchange Online in five days from the existing set-up. “The migration was easy as it integrates seamlessly with our existing environment,” says P Sivakumar, VP –Professional Services Group, Tata Elxsi. “The IT team works on a centralized, web-based access to configure and administer Exchange Online services—including mailboxes, user settings, distribution lists, company settings, etc.”

In addition, Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE), an anti-virus and multi-layered antispam solution secures the network by eliminating threats before they reach the corporate firewall.

Tata Elxsi identifies employees who need web conferencing, based on their roles within the organization. Lync Online access has been provided to the management team as well as to other employees in the organization. Earlier, only a few employees had access to the collaboration tools. In future, more employees will get Lync Online, as the initial data suggests high usage is reducing telecommunications and travel, while increasing productivity.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus is available for all senior executives and managers on their laptops and desktops. Extending the experience to all other employees, Office Web Apps is available to access documents, spreadsheets, etc, on the web. With full feature access such as editing, formatting, and version control, it makes the solution ideal for the extended organization. In addition, it’s cost-effective and fits into the IT budget.


One of the main goals of consolidating all email accounts into a single messaging service with adequate storage has been achieved. The employees are happy, as their emails are available on any mobile device of their choice, and are in sync with their mailboxes.

We can check our colleagues’ calendars before scheduling a meeting. Earlier it would be several phone calls before a meeting could be set up. This saves time and energy, improving internal communications.

– M Thangarajan Vice President – Broadcast Business Unit, Tata Elxsi

Increases Productivity Across the Organization

With a reliable email service and easy search for calendar, contacts and mails has improved the way in which employees interact and respond to business needs, as well as customer communication. “We can now check our colleagues’ calendars before scheduling a meeting. Earlier it would be several phone calls before a meeting could be set up. We now save time and energy, improving internal communications,” explains M Thangarajan, Vice President – Broadcast Business Unit, Tata Elxsi.

Enterprise-class collaboration with SharePoint Online ensures documents are available to relevant employees and their customers. “Our customers have recognized our ability to respond faster. With access to SharePoint Online, they know the exact status at any given point in time,” says Lokeshwaran.

Reduces IT Administration

The IT team at the company has seen several tasks either eliminated or simplified ―saving a lot of time and resources. For example, there is no need to adjust mailbox sizes because a person is on leave or travelling, or resetting passwords, or back-ups. There are no servers to manage, patch-up, or maintain anymore. “We had seven people to manage the 4,000 mailboxes; now we have only two responsible for the entire messaging service and collaboration platform.”

Improves Reliability

Tata Elxsi was experiencing significant downtime with its previous messaging solution. “Ever since we have deployed Office 365, we have had no downtime at all,” comments Lokeshwaran. “With Microsoft hosting the solution, we believe its round-the-clock management and monitoring ensures our data is safe, secure, and available 365 days a year.”

Offers Flexible, Cost-Effective Pricing

Had Tata Elxsi opted for other solutions, it would have continued the conferencing subscription. This would have been an additional cost burden and limited the number of users with access to voice and video conferencing. “The flexible per user cost of Office 365 makes it the ideal solution for a large company where everyone requires email but may not need high-end collaboration and conferencing solutions. This flexibility allows us to increase the number of Lync Online users for communication. This brings down our telecommunications costs significantly,” explains Lokeshwaran.

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: Tata Elxsi – India

--> /**/
We look forward to working with you for Cloud, Security, and other IT product-related opportunities. You can connect with us at +91-8826294740