Over the years, MGM Resorts International has experienced mergers and acquisitions, opened new offices, and evolved into a global enterprise. In its efforts to coordinate multiple lines of business and better serve a changing customer base, the company is providing its increasingly mobile workforce with Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based services. With access to SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Exchange Online, and Skype for Business, MGM Resorts employees will be more productive and collaborative, wherever they are.
In 2015, the company launched a new profit growth plan designed to improve revenues and reduce expenses through optimum use of resources. In working with external consultants, the project team used the Box platform for file sharing. Over a few years, however, roughly 5,000 employees were using the service to share files without controls in place to ensure that data management was in line with corporate policies. As this quickly proved to be unsustainable, the team looked to OneDrive as an opportunity to introduce new controls and governance about what files employees could use and share, rein in escalating costs, and extend new capabilities to people beyond the original user group. With the company’s Box license renewal looming, the MGM Resorts IT team had just one month to deploy OneDrive and migrate their data. “People were ingrained Box users, so they had a lot of anxiety about the transition,” says Bill Rose, Vice President of Product and Portfolio Management at MGM Resorts. “With help from Microsoft and Cognizant Technology Solutions, our integrator on this project, we came up with a really good way to achieve the cutover.”
MGM Resorts’ IT team chose SkySync, an enterprise content integration and migration platform, as the tool to help migrate data quickly to OneDrive for the large population of users at MGM Resorts. OneDrive, the file storage and sharing component of Office 365, enables MGM Resorts to store files in one place so that employees can share them wherever they are. Paired with Cognizant’s experience with complex integrations and migrations, the SkySync tools would help to streamline the move to OneDrive.
SkySync enabled the MGM Resorts team to quickly and seamlessly migrate data to OneDrive for the original 5,000 employees. “We encountered very few hiccups, and employees experienced a seamless transition,” says Rodney Lee, Executive Director of the Product Portfolio Management Group at MGM Resorts. According to Lee, the migration to OneDrive is saving the company $750,000 in annual license fees alone. Together, MGM Resorts and Cognizant accomplished the migration to OneDrive in fewer than 30 days by utilizing SkySync solutions. “Now, most of that initial group act as our resident experts in using OneDrive, since they’ve been using it longer than the rest of the population,” adds Lee.
With access to OneDrive, MGM Resorts employees can now share and work together on all their files—wherever they are. They can work faster and smarter in real time with colleagues both inside and outside the organization, using familiar Microsoft Office applications like SharePoint, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. And with the built-in intelligence of Office 365, employees can find the information and files they are looking for faster. In fact, the company’s ultimate goal in implementing Office 365 is to manage all six lines of business as one, bringing all its employees into one way of working. “That’s what Office 365 and moving to OneDrive and all the collaboration tools means to us,” says Lee. “We’re using it to unify the company in a lot of ways—not only in how we work individually, but also how we collaborate with each other.”
Moving to the cloud has improved the IT team’s ability to focus on more strategic projects for MGM Resorts. “IT agility and business productivity were the two primary reasons we adopted Office 365,” says Sy Esfahani, Chief Information Officer at MGM Resorts International. “Moving to the cloud really freed up our IT resources. And, by housing all our files in OneDrive now, we created a productivity tool for office workers.”
“In Las Vegas, gaming—the previously highest margin business—is not the driving force for our company” says Esfahani. “As we transition and position ourselves as a Global Entertainment company, we need to become smarter about how we interact with our non-gaming customers. Digital transformation and how we interact with our customers will be the key to our future. The productivity of our workforce is the number-one reason we moved to Office 365. As we become a more productive workforce, we can serve our customers better.”
With Office 365, we see a significant opportunity to extend our reach, especially into the employee base, and give people more technological power to do their jobs."
- Bill Rose
Vice President of Product and Portfolio Management
MGM Resorts International