Case study: Nextcloud to the rescue for unhappy tradies using Office365

Providing effective IT solutions to franchisees is crucial for optimizing operations and streamlining business processes.

In this case study, we explore how Paul, an IT support specialist at a master franchisor, successfully implemented a self-hosted alternative to Office 365 using Nextcloud on a RimuHosting VM. By doing so, he enabled franchisees, primarily tradespeople such as electricians and plumbers, to have more control over their IT setup while reducing costs and improving document backup and recovery.

Before implementing the self-hosted alternative, franchisees relied on individual systems, including Office 365, for their IT needs. However, they encountered several challenges. Franchisees predominantly used Office 365 tools like Outlook, SharePoint, and OneDrive for basic tasks such as viewing PDFs and creating invoices. The lack of centralized file storage led to files being stored haphazardly, risking data loss and the absence of reliable backups. Additionally, the seat pricing model of Office 365 posed financial constraints for franchisees, discouraging them from providing necessary system access to their staff.

Paul decided to setup a self-hosted alternative to Office 365 using Nextcloud, deployed on a RimuHosting virtual machine (VM). This solution offered a cost-effective and customizable platform that empowered franchisees while ensuring data security, accessibility, and collaboration.

Seamless Transition and Enhanced File Management:
By migrating from OneDrive to Nextcloud, franchisees experienced a seamless transition. Nextcloud’s shared files feature integrated smoothly with Windows Explorer, allowing easy file management. Notably, the file conflict issues encountered with OneDrive were resolved, improving productivity and minimizing disruptions.

Nextcloud Office Suite for Collaborative Document Editing:
Nextcloud’s integration with a robust office suite, based on LibreOffice, provided franchisees with a powerful browser-based tool for collaborative document editing. This enhanced functionality enabled efficient document creation and streamlined workflows within franchisee teams.

Future Expansion: Calendar and Email Functionality:
To further enhance the IT capabilities of franchisees, Paul plans to introduce calendar and email functionality through Nextcloud. This additional feature will provide a comprehensive IT ecosystem, ensuring seamless communication and scheduling across the franchise network.

The implementation of Nextcloud on RimuHosting VM yielded significant benefits for franchisees and the overall franchisor-franchisee relationship:

Using easy to install Open Source software running on a RimuHosting VM, Paul has been able to reduce costs for his franchisees, add value of the franchise relationship, improve their document backup and recovery situation, and also introduce more consistency into the tools and processes used by each franchisee.

The adoption of Nextcloud across franchisees introduced consistency in the tools and processes used, promoting streamlined operations and better collaboration within the franchise network.

Paul’s implementation of Nextcloud on a RimuHosting VM exemplifies how a self-hosted alternative can empower businesses while reducing costs and enhancing control over IT infrastructure.

The success of this project highlights the potential of Linux-based solutions and demonstrates the value of strategic partnerships with hosting providers.

If you are seeking to optimize your business operations, reduce costs, and regain control over your IT, reach out to our RimuHosting sysadmins to explore how Nextcloud and other Linux software can benefit your business.