A customer journey to Azure and Modern Workplace has been working alongside Bally – a historic Swiss brand active in the luxury sector – supporting its digital growth path based on Microsoft technologies. supported Bally in the Azure migration process and in building an advantageous and cost-effective integration between its on-premise Data Center and Microsoft Cloud.  It also allowed Bally to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by Microsoft Teams to create an agile and inclusive business collaboration environment that could overcome the pandemic’s period limitations.
Thanks to the consulting service of and Microsoft’s technological solutions, Bally has achieved the objectives initially set: an overall reduction in costs and a simplification of the company’s IT infrastructure while pursuing its commitments in terms of sustainability.  
The project created by was modelled to Bally’s specific needs; however, it is also designed as a concrete action plan for migration processes that can be replicated for other companies, regardless of sector and size.  

Migrating to Azure, a choice of costs and sustainability

In June 2020, Bally, starting from a completely on-premise global architecture, relied on’s Azure expertise to redesign its IT infrastructure in a Cloud perspective.  

The spark of change was the need to reduce the corporate DC’s management costs, which started to become too onerous. But the desire to approach the cloud, particularly Azure, has taken roots on broader grounds, including the need to improve productivity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability, a major focus for the company.

The creation of the Azure Switzerland Region, and therefore the possibility of storing data on the Swiss territory, was also a fundamental start point for this change process.

Migrating to Azure, a choice of costs and sustainability


Bally’s IT infrastructure was almost entirely on-premise. Not only the headquarters in Caslano, Switzerland – where the primary Data Center is located – but most of the branches and offices in other countries (there are more than 10 Bally offices located all over the world) had their own DC on-premise.  

The first step was to thoroughly analyse the entire IT infrastructure and perform a careful and scrupulous assessment of the existing situation, of what would be migrated and how and of the migration costs. To do this, used Azure Migrate services and tools to identify, evaluate and migrate workloads to Azure.  


The preliminary assessments led to a complete overhaul of Bally’s global IT structure.  

The Caslano headquarters’ Data Center has been transformed by migrating some workloads to Azure. The primary site is also supported by four other Data Centers, called “Regional Hubs” – in New York, Milan, Shanghai, Hong Kong – which have now kept only the essential services. The services hosted in the rest of the offices have been moved to the nearest cloud or “Regional Hub”, effectively transforming them into “Cloud Offices”.   

For example, the synchronization of the New York File Server with Azure File Sync service made it possible to recover over 60% of the space occupied on-premise, analysing the access frequency of the files and moving the less accessed ones to Azure.  

The migration, executed using Azure Site Recovery, took place in two phases: the Caslano Data Center and then all the local offices.  The migration was carried out in the classic lift & shift method, guaranteeing in this way a stable and secure infrastructure.


The hybrid solution designed with fully meets Bally’s needs. In this way, it has simplified and rationalized its infrastructure, lowered the costs of the existing NetApp storage, and maintained equal, if not superior, quality in efficiency and security.

The adoption of Azure and the consequent non-renewal of NetApp support has allowed Bally to reduce costs by approximately 35%, saving a total of approximately CHF 30,000 per year. 

Besides, having used Site Recovery, sure that Bally is already prepared to implement its Disaster Recovery on Azure strategy.

Modern Workplace, a winning adoption strategy.


Like so many other companies, Bally was forced to find immediate solutions to collaborate and communicate remotely in the wake of the emergency.

When the pandemic changed work habits, Bally’s employees used many tools to communicate and work: some used Teams, others WhatsApp, and then WeTransfer or Google Drive for document sharing. A babel of tools beyond corporate control, with obvious governance and security issues.

The primary need was to ensure that Teams became the only tool for collaboration, communication and document exchange. However, it was also necessary to deal with different levels of digital proficiency in the company.


Starting from these assumptions, outlined an adoption process for Bally to ensure that the change started from the collaborators themselves, trying to channel the skills of those who possessed a higher level of digital awareness to spread them to all other components of the organization.

The “Champions Adoption” project was carried out in close collaboration with the company’s HR department, which created a list of employees with a greater inclination towards digital collaboration. The “Champions” group was drawn up.

These employees were involved in a series of Teams training workshops. In the end, small groups of 2/3 people were interviewed to collect their feedback, understand the current situation, and investigate their expectations regarding the company’s use to improve business processes.


Based on the feedback collected, strategies for the massive introduction of Teams in the company were outlined and implemented.

The first path involved the Firstline Workers of the ten sales locations stationed worldwide. In addition to a dedicated Teams environment, a pilot project for integrating the telephone system has started thanks to Calling for Microsoft Teams.

The second step consists in the involvement of the Supply Chain, particularly regarding the migration of files and documents to Teams and SharePoint.

The numbers testify to the increase in the use of Teams: from October 2020 to today, the users have gone from 2,522 to 3,388, the teams created from 18 to 108, the average monthly meeting frequency has gone from 93 to over 3,000 meetings in the last month. In the last 90 days, 216 active channels, 360 channel messages, 657 thousand chat messages, 17,232 calls and 10,763 organized meetings have been recorded.


Modern Workplace, a winning adoption strategy.

Before the pandemic, Bally already adopted Microsoft Teams, but it remained mostly on paper or used sporadically, without getting the solution’s full capabilities. supported Bally’s IT and HR departments, developing an adoption plan in which people are at the center of the technological change: consultants interfaced directly with a selected group of employees, spanning all of the company’s components and divisions, transforming them into testimonials of the digital transformation.