Build-A-Bear Workshop turns to Microsoft 365

Build-A-Bear Workshop turns to Microsoft 365

The technology will help to empower employees and drive competitive advantage

Richard Humphreys |

Build-A-Bear Workshop, the global retail store where guests can make customised soft toys, has chosen Microsoft 365 to help it empower its employees and drive competitive advantage.

“While the IT team doesn’t interact with our guests on a daily basis, doing everything we can to improve the guest and associate experience is a top priority,” explains Mike Early, senior managing director and head of information technology at Build-A-Bear Workshop, in a blog post for Microsoft. “That’s why we are investing in cloud technologies like Microsoft 365, a complete, intelligent solution that empowers our associates to work more efficiently and spend more time providing great service to our guests. After our positive experience moving to the cloud with Office 365, we also deployed Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. As a global brand, we were looking for a solution that covers our complex business requirements, without adding significant overhead to the technology team. Dynamics 365 was the best option for us to replace our aging, on-premises ERP solution.”

In addition to supporting Build-A-Bear Workshop’s business requirements and reducing its IT overheads, Microsoft 365 supports the organisation’s digital workplace in a familiar environment that’s simple for to maintain and allows associates to work from anywhere.

“This frees everyone to be more productive wherever they may be,” Early says. “Associates at our headquarters are enjoying collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, which provides a hub for creative teamwork in Office 365. Associates in marketing used to collaborate on global marketing plans using Google Docs, but now they use Teams to share and collaborate on these key documents. It’s more convenient and efficient for the team to refine their plans because they can simply open the file and work concurrently on edits within the Teams environment. They can also use the Teams app and Excel Online to collaborate using other devices when away from their desks.”

From a technology management perspective, Early says he is happy about the improved security control the company gains over its corporate content, compared to storing files using other cloud solutions. “That’s because we use Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to manage employees’ access to Teams,” he explains. “Implementing Azure AD was an early priority for us, so we enlisted the aid of Microsoft FastTrack. We had a great experience working with the FastTrack Team to expedite our migration to this cloud-based identity and access management solution.

“In addition to Azure AD, we are looking to deploy other components of Enterprise Mobility + Security. Having the heft of Microsoft behind what we do is appealing from a security standpoint. We’re currently deploying Windows 10, and we are excited about the time savings we’ll enjoy with regular updates in the Windows as a Service model.”


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