Over the past eleven years, technology has played a key role in promoting the expansion of the QI Group into a wide range of industries including retail, travel and leisure, luxury products, interactive marketing, technology, financial services, corporate investments, training and education, business consulting, and logistics. In order to reduce IT administration workload and have a clearer auditing system for compliance, the Group began setting standardisation of licensing as an important goal for 2008. In 2009, the Group upgraded its partnership with Microsoft by signing on for Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. This cost-effective volume licensing program offers a simple, flexible, and affordable way to acquire the latest Microsoft technology, enabling IT standardisation across the enterprise, simplified license management, and maintenance benefits that are customised to the size and preference of the various subsidiaries within the QI Group.

Mr. TG Kintanar, Director of Information Technology and Telecommunications of the QI Group says on this partnership, “The phenomenal success of QI over the last eleven years owes much to the value we place on partnerships. Joining Enterprise Agreement is an important partnership for us because it evolves our relationship with Microsoft to a strategic level that will allow us to continue to innovate and position IT as a business enabler.”

With Microsoft Enterprise, the QI Group can now centrally manage software usage and simplify software licensing, while enjoying free upgrades, pre-testing of new products, 24/7 support, training and other services with Software Assurance. As an Enterprise Agreement partner, the Group also benefits from Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program (TAP), which will give the Group a chance to work closely with Microsoft developers and receive early product education, among many others.

Malick Aboobakar, Chief Information Officer of the QI Group, said that the overall decision to embark on volume licensing has provided the company with greater financial flexibility. Enterprise Agreement has proved to be attractive in terms of financing and procurement because the company pays a single annual fee per desktop for enterprise products, and the cost can be spread over three years. This flexibility, along with the other benefits of the program, is leading to a greater ROI for QI’s software investments. While there are numerous other technology solutions that the QI Group could have opted for, another reason for signing the Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft is due to the strong in-house Microsoft skills-set that the Group already possesses. Moving forward, it is easier to build on the knowledge and skills that are in place, as it is far more cost-effective to find IT professionals who are proficient in Microsoft technologies, as compared to solutions from other vendors.

To read Microsoft’s full case study on the QI Group, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/hk/sia/Search2.aspx?CaseID=360.