Turkish shoemaker expands global reach, reduces licensing costs with enterprise-grade solution
High-end shoemaker Hotic needed to simplify its IT infrastructure and maximize the value of its Microsoft software licenses. As part of a broader modernization effort, the company implemented Microsoft 365 Business, which combines Office 365 Business Premium with security and management features for Office apps and devices running Windows 10. As a result, Hotic could implement core Office 365 services and Windows 10, strengthen its security, position itself to expand into more international markets, and support mobile workers, all while containing licensing costs.
A great outfit needs great shoes. For people who demand the best in footwear for men or women, formal or casual, practical or fun, Hotic has been the choice for sartorial elegance for generations. Established in 1938 and based in Istanbul, Turkey, this privately held company designs, manufactures, and sells its goods for end-to-end quality assurance. Hotic started modestly but has grown to 150 points of sale in Turkey alone that supply some of the most prestigious street stores and biggest shopping malls in the country.
Choosing technologies and licensing that make sense
To offer such popular shoes to discriminating customers, Hotic strives to create a company environment that fosters efficiency, creativity, employee satisfaction, and great service. That means in part adopting a strategy to promote business growth by maintaining up-to-date technology.
However, the company’s 150-employee headquarters lacked a centralized IT infrastructure to manage devices and software, and its relatively small staff, compared with the rest of the larger company, had to focus too much time on license management. Hotic wanted to simplify license management and implement a broader portfolio of software but still control costs, continue to expand the business, and support an increasingly mobile workforce.
That’s what made the cloud in general, and Microsoft 365 Business in particular, such an attractive choice.
Strengthening security with minimal intervention
Microsoft 365 helps secure Office mobile apps, provides centralized management for Windows 10 devices, and confirms consistent security configuration across devices. This includes the requirement by Hotic to regularly update Windows 10, Windows Defender, and on-device Office apps, so Hotic IT staff does not have to manually check for compliance. “Office 365 by itself offers a fast way to exchange data with strong security built in,” says Harun Aksöz, IT Manager at Hotic. “And with the added components of Microsoft 365, we don’t have to worry about whether the right security updates are installed. We have confidence in the automatic protection features of Microsoft 365.”
Another dimension to security is adhering to governmental regulations covering data protection and privacy—in this case referring to documents and data exchanged through Office 365. Alp Olgaç, International Sales and Operations Director at Hotic, says, “The wide dispersion of Microsoft datacenters allows us to comply with regulatory oversight across international borders, even though from our perspective it feels like we’re operating from one place.”
This particular benefit is especially important at this stage of the company’s evolution. Covering the basic security and automated compliance bases is a necessary requirement for continued growth into international markets. Aksöz notes that it’s important for the company to connect to multiple places within Turkey and, increasingly, outside of Turkey. Hotic is expanding into Switzerland, Kuwait, Morocco, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Albania, and Poland, just to name a few. Olgaç is pleased that, from an operations point of view, serving geographically disparate areas proves just as cost-effective as serving local ones, with the same convenient Microsoft 365 license options.
Delivering enterprise functionality at less than enterprise size
Microsoft 365 Business is designed for organizations that have relatively few IT staff, do not rely on an Active Directory domain controller, and want the productivity and collaboration capabilities of Office 365—plus convenient security and device management.
With Microsoft 365 Business, Hotic gains a simple management console to easily administer its devices. “One reason that we adopted Microsoft 365 is that it’s comprehensive,” says Aksöz. “It brings together Office 365, Windows 10, management software, and a cohesive licensing structure to keep it all cost-effective.”
Maximizing the value of software licenses
The subscription pricing structure of Microsoft 365 aligns with the company’s budget requirements. Consequently, says Olgaç, “The money we’ll save by adopting this Microsoft license and pricing model means we can divert more funds to the business as a whole.” As for administration, he adds that the solution offers much-needed visibility into how licenses are being used and whether Hotic is getting the best benefits from them.
Throughout the process of purchasing and deploying Microsoft 365, Hotic worked with its technology partner, PeakUp Information Technologies, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network. PeakUp offers expertise in solution deployment, asset management, licensing, round-the-clock support, advanced reporting, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT), so it was ideally suited for the Microsoft 365 implementation and long-term planning of technology transformation.
Enhancing the Microsoft 365 solution with analytics
Because the pricing and licensing model for Microsoft 365 makes good economic sense for Hotic, the company is better financially situated to enhance the Office 365 solution with the powerful analytics capabilities of Microsoft Power BI. Olgaç explains that regional reporting becomes ever more important as Hotic expands its customer base geographically. “Historically, Hotic customers have less data than we do to make informed decisions,” he says. “With Power BI, we can both provide and gain the type of actionable business intelligence that comes with rich reporting tools. We can discuss our conclusions with customers, and they can show us through their data how we can better serve them.” Specific reporting that Olgaç considers key includes sales reports, inventory reports, service forecasts, and trending.
Aksöz adds, “We are the leading shoes and accessories brand of Turkey. To stay that way, we need good reporting from the best reporting technology. Power BI gives us that.”
Building a foundation for the future
With Microsoft 365 in place, especially the core Office 365 and Windows 10 software, Hotic is free to explore new development possibilities. For example, it can use the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning service to support demand generation solutions for e-commerce activities and advanced inventory management.
The ability to start planning such advanced projects is made possible by resolving simple but important day-to-day issues right now. Olgaç concludes, “Central management is critical. Stability is critical. The ability to connect people and sites all over the world is critical. Microsoft 365 brings all these together into one cost-effective whole so that we can be more productive and run a more profitable business.”
Central management is critical. Stability is critical. The ability to connect people and sites all over the world is critical. Microsoft 365 brings all these together into one cost-effective whole.