Portfolio Communications goes green
Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 system help PR company
Portfolio Communications is a PR and marketing company located in London's Covent Garden piazza. The company took an 'if it ain’t broke, don't fix it' attitude to its IT infrastructure. Then EJCIT, a Microsoft Partner, encouraged them to try Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. They had been using Windows 2000, but had something of a revelation after the upgrade. "We leapfrogged a whole generation and the impact was dramatic," says Martin.
Winning new business, increasing profits
�Windows Vista and Office 2007 are such a step-change in functionality. We leapfrogged a whole generation and the impact was dramatic.�
The new software is already helping Portfolio save money and compete more effectively. Microsoft PowerPoint presentations are a mainstay for any PR company, but Martin praises the ability of PowerPoint 2007 to produce snappier presentations. He says that the ability to test different styles without having to rebuild slides from scratch saves him a lot of time and helps him produce better pitches.
The templates and formatting finesse of Microsoft Word 2007 has allowed Portfolio to start producing simple newsletters for their clients. Previously these would have gone out to an external designer, adding time and cost to the process. Now they can produce professional-looking newsletters in-house. They can also deal with amendments and iterations faster. It is cheaper for the client and more profitable for Portfolio. "Word 2007 is absolutely brilliant," says Martin.
Martin praises the ability of PowerPoint 2007 to produce snappier presentations. He says that the ability to test different styles without having to rebuild slides from scratch saves him a lot of time and helps him produce better pitches.
Although Portfolio does much of its work in the technology sector, it has recently started an environmental division that works with organisations providing services and products to companies looking to improve their environmental impact.
To build their own green credentials, they reviewed their own operations. They found that Windows Vista reduces their carbon footprint by letting them set central policies on energy management on their desktop computers. This means that computers will 'go to sleep' when not in use and shut down automatically at the end of the working day, saving electricity. On a more practical note, it means that the last person out of the building doesn’t have to go round all the computers in the office and turn them off.
Quality control and auditing
As a member of the Public Relations Consultants Association, Portfolio must pass an annual consultancy management standard audit during which their systems are checked. This checks that all their systems are auditable. For example, they have to keep records of client approval of press material. Part of the audit addresses the effectiveness of the company’s IT systems.
Portfolio uses Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to store files and records, which makes it easy to audit them. (In addition, it also saves a lot of re-work and searching for lost files.) They are also beginning to implement formal workflows using SharePoint. These will automate routine business processes so that they are consistent and compliant.
Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system are already helping Portfolio compete and grow. They help the company automate laborious processes and free up staff to spend more time on their work. So, how does Tony Martin feel about the new software? "Very enthusiastic. Personally, I’d be very unhappy to go back."