Modern Work & Security


  • Customer Name: UACN PLC
  • Industry: Conglomerate (Manufacturing, Real estate, Agribusiness)
  • Deal size: $1.3m Triannual Contract
  • Microsoft Solution: Modern Workplace (Microsoft 365)
  • Partner: Reliance Infosystems

Business Problems and Opportunities

UAC of Nigeria PLC

UAC of Nigeria PLC is a holding company with 9 subsidiaries and diversified interests and investments across Manufacturing, Paints, Animal feeds, and quick service restaurants.

As part of UAC technology decentralisation strategy, UACN embarked on the re-design of its IT operations across all subsidiaries. Prior to our engagement, UACN PLC had ran a consolidation IT services operation with core applications such as email, ERP, IT Service desk all managed at the group level. While this design help achieve significant cost savings in terms of headcount and licensing fees, it was flawed by poor service response time, lack of accessibility to support consultant, accountability at the subsidiaries was weak and skill development suffered greatly at the subsidiary.

The need for change was apparent. As a large enterprise, UAC of Nigeria (UACN) was not satisfied with its IT (Information Technology) Infrastructure being centralized and managed from the organization’s corporate headquarters only. Having its email systems, SharePoint, and business applications accessed via Primary MPLS Links and VPN over the internet, was no longer efficient as downtimes at the group level crippled the operations all subsidiaries. The need to fully decentralize these services and grant autonomy to the different subsidiaries to independently manage its IT services became an important need and a crucial part of their business strategy.

Under the initial setup, business units were also having trouble scaling their infrastructure due to high maintenance costs and the complexity of managing outdated systems. Collaboration on files and folders as well as disaster recovery operations were severely hampered by the initial setup. The realization of their need for better business innovation, speed, and security at a large scale brought to fore the need for Microsoft 365. Top on their consideration list was the cost-saving benefits of Microsoft 365, its flexibility with the capacity adjustments it offers, technology stack with multiple solutions in one portfolio and the icing on the cake—its capability to free up their internal resources to cater to more strategic tasks.

Solution Deployed

Embarking on the decentralization journey with UACN PLC required that we setup separate Microsoft 365 tenants for all the subsidiaries and migrate data from the existing consolidated on premise Microsoft Exchange server to the respective Microsoft 365 tenants for each subsidiary. Drive adoption and change management of the new email platform, modernize the workplace experience and democratize intelligence across the entire organization for 1,350 users at a cost of $300,000. Modern Work and security solutions were recommended for implementation.

Each subsidiary was immediately onboarded on Microsoft 365 exchange to improve operations experience since one of the biggest challenges at the time at UACN PLC was mail box storage constraint. This greatly impacted communication considering the organisation had a long history of archiving mail on local machines and servers. This outdated method became resolved.

Value derived from Microsoft Teams was impactful as the communication possibilities became apparent. We initiated free 3 months trials of Enterprise voice with integration with existing Avaya phone systems for key users. Meetings with partners and employees in the field enjoyed the quickest adopted solution. Its integration with meeting schedulers and visitors booking systems were well received providing good visibility into the availability of meeting participants.

Prior to onboarding on MS Teams, Field representatives relied on emails to get approvals and had to dial up via VPN to access on-premise SharePoint systems. SharePoint online replaced the on premised version and business processes were readily available online with Multi-Factor Authentication for users. Decision-making became an “on-the-Go” action. Engagement and operational efficiency grew geometrically. Every employee now had access to all collaborative tools under Microsoft 365. A service only a few managers enjoyed before the decentralization initiative. Departmental shared folder services and document classification were enabled.

The impact of the shift from a predominantly on-premises environment to a cloud-first organisation was a big leap forward for UACN PLC operations. IT reported a significant reduction in CAPEX expenditure as replacement of Storage units, mail servers were discontinued giving way to a new OPEX model that was flexible and encouraged the review of licenses usage within the organisation. We significantly drop number of service account, and rightsized our usage.

Typical approvals took about 2-5 hours and often required you following up with calls. This crashed down to approximately 15 mins. IT recounted “Our reach and response speed to queries from customer was impacted since we could now collaborate faster, approvals were visible and on the go. We had to dedicate resources prior to M365 to email service because the environment was highly unstable. We could only guarantee 80-85% uptime. Users often called in to ask about missing emails, high rate of spam mails in their box. With M365 exchange, downtime was eradicated, and spam management became self-service quarantine which was visible to the email box owner. This gave assurance to users that their emails were secure and no longer going missing. We credit the increased productivity to Microsoft 365”.

Reliance Differentiation in the Marketplace

We have continued to focus on helping our customers digitally transform their operations creating a reliable partnership that drives the achievement of collective objectives. On top of the Microsoft 365 stack we also introduced the Digital workspace value add to UACN PLC. This solution is built on the foundation of Microsoft SharePoint Online, Digital Workspace is a modern productivity platform where all business tools are converged for centralized access and simplified experience. The platform also provides for elaborate mechanism for envisioning, digitizing, automating, and onboarding new business processes at the speed on thought. This solution allows us to differentiate ourselves from the pack in terms of value add to the Microsoft 365 stack of offerings for our customers in their digital transformation journeys.

In recognition of our commitment to digital transformation, Reliance Infosystems was recently awarded the Digital Transformation company of the year 2021 issued by the Beacon of Information & Communications Technology in addition to the Microsoft country partner of the year 2021. These awards are a testament to the great achievements of Reliance Infosystems in digitally transforming businesses while helping customers lower costs, improve efficiency, and boost productivity.

Engagement with Microsoft Nigeria

UACN PLC was worried about onboarding the right partner who could decentralise its on-premise Microsoft exchange platform and successfully migrate to respective Microsoft 365 tenants. They needed some assurance that Reliance Infosystems possessed the right skillset to deliver a project of this scaled and complexity. Evidence of our advance specialization in Modern work and security credentials and support received from Microsoft Nigeria team, Tosin Okubanjo and Remi Olowu provided the much needed assurance to the customer.   UACN PLC was reassured of our competency in delivery which gave the comfort to proceed.

Removing Deployment Complexities

Migration of email boxes was going to be a challenge considering the requirement of UACN PLC. Mailboxes of the subsidiaries were set up as linked mailboxes and we could not use the same Microsoft IMAP migration method deployed for the parent company if we were going to avoid downtime. We had to consider other migration options for the subsidiaries. Also, mail servers were unhealthy and affected the data migration flow. Through the dedication of your migration team, we were able to achieve full migration of the mailboxes across the subsidiaries within the agreed time frame. No mailboxes were lost and cut-over was seamless.  The successful migration to exchange online established new consumption needs around SharePoint and Azure for the individual business units.


Recent testimonials showcase countless positive feedbacks from Customers on the roles Microsoft technologies are playing in their environments to help them increase productivity and reduce cost.  View attached links for feedback from a few Reliance infosystems customers who are today, leveraging the opportunities provided by Microsoft cloud platforms in delivering business outcomes.

Microsoft 365 Deployment Footprints

As at FY 2022, our deployment foot print for M365 spans across the following organisations but not limited to the list here. UAC Group, OVH Energy, Enterprise group Ghana, we have continued to help these organisations create new possibilities with Microsoft 365 platform. Currently we are developing new personalized apps with power platform and hosting on Teams to allow UAC to support its business processes in a more flexible manner accommodate the frequent changes within the operating environment.