Key takeaways from JELD-WEN’s migration to Office 365

Champion / MessageOps recently spoke with customer Markus Lang, Enterprise Architect at JELD-WEN, about the company’s migration to Office 365 and their current administration landscape.


JELD-WEN is a large manufacturer of windows and doors, and has multiple offices in North America, Europe, Australia and all over the world. The company has a distributed workforce of over 20,000 people and is headquarters in Charlotte, NC.


JELD-WEN was managing a variety of email environments within their different locations, and therefore was struggling with capacity issues, age, and lack of true back-end knowledge. The team knew how to make it run, but didn’t know how to make it run well, and the advanced administration features of Office 365 were both appealing and very much needed as an innovative company. Markus and his IT team also wanted to streamline and reduce many of the support requests they were receiving so that both teams could focus more on company goals, and that solution was Office 365.

A Tip for the Migration

Being a manufacturer with offices around the world, plus having multiple email solutions across these countries, adds another layer of complexity to managing the migration to Office 365. Markus was heavily engaged in the daily management of the project and involved all of the other countries as key liaisons to report any issues to him on a daily basis so he could be proactive to resolve them.

Help Desk Calls

Prior to the migration to Office 365, Markus and his team would typically receive at least one help desk support request per day, with the majority being related to email. This was largely because of JELD-WEN’s different email environments throughout the company, which made administration difficult. “We received about one ticket a day that had something to do with email. Whether that was ‘my mailbox is full’ or ‘I receive too much spam,’ this was a pretty regular thing.”

After the migration and all of the old email clients were replaced (primarily Office 2007), help desk calls dropped significantly. “Over the last 6 months, our total ticket count related to email issues is 30, or roughly 5 per month, as opposed to 1 per day.”

According to Markus, the majority of calls lately have been related to Outlook configurations and spam emails getting through the Microsoft spam engine, along with Skype for Business. The help desk calls related to spam picked up about four months ago, and has primarily been affecting the employees based in Europe.

As far as Skype for Business, Markus mentioned that since the company has only recently begun to use this collaborative tool, most of the calls are for basic administrative or configuration questions.

Using Skype to Improve Collaboration and Communication

JELD-WEN was using GoToMeeting prior to Office 365 and now the majority of users have switched to Skype for Business for messaging and conferencing. Skype for Business is the second most used Office 365 tool within the company, behind email. Markus also confirmed that the adoption of Office 365 and Skype for Business has happened across the entire company (with the exception of their craftsman making the windows and doors). When you look at the business units within JELD-WEN, Skype for Business is leveraged the most by their customer service, IT and finance teams. The customer service team uses it heavily for IM as a more reliable solution to support their community and improve service. Most of the administrative, IT, and finance staff use it as a meeting tool for voice-overs, full meetings, screen sharing and so forth.


JELD-WEN exclusively uses the Microsoft anti-spam and malware engine that come with Office 365 and works well for the team. They did bring over internal blacklists and verified IP addresses of certain email domains they don’t want to receive emails from. They have also set up rules similar to DLP to prevent certain information from being sent out via email.

Administering Office 365

JELD-WEN uses the Microsoft web portal to administer their Office 365 environment due to the simplicity of the tool. When you look at how much time is spent on actual administration, Markus reports that it is less than 15 minutes on average a day (this of course does not include setting up a user or changing spam rules, for example).

Less Pain, More Pane!

Moving to Office 365 has removed the backend administrative headaches. They no longer worry about administering Exchange servers, storage or their email environment, and can put their attention to other projects. The rest of their business units can also now be more productive and collaborative using the Office 365 suite of tools available to them (ie. Skype for Business) so they can further innovate their highly reliable and energy efficient windows and doors.

One thing Markus would like to see improved from an administration standpoint is having a tighter integration with their on premise AD environment and the cloud. There are some things they have to do in AD and Office 365, and it would be easier if one task could be performed instead of multiple.

Champion / MessageOps delivered JELD-WEN with design/architecture, implementation, project management, education, and support services for their Office 365 project.

A Tip for Other Office 365 Administrators

Markus recommends becoming familiar with PowerShell, especially if you want to make large changes. They added a new email domain for example and PowerShell came in handy.

If you have any questions or would like more information about how MessageOps can help you with your Office 365 initiatives, please contact us today.

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