Poundland is migrating to Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 productivity suite to cut costs and aid its store expansion plans.

The move is designed to enable staff to better collaborate and communicate with each other in preparation for more store growth and expansion in the UK and Ireland.

Poundland already has over 490 stores in the UK and Ireland and it plans to open over 1,000 stores as the business expands. Further growth is expected with the launch of the Dealz retail format into mainland Europe over the next 18 months.

The company therefore needed an infrastructure that could adapt to growth and enable staff to have better availability of services from the shop floor to the stock room, and on-the-move.

Poundland has selected Microsoft Office 365 combined with Windows Perpetual Licensing for desktop operating systems, to meet its evolving business requirements.

The Office 365 platform includes Microsoft SharePoint 2013, providing staff with a collaborative environment in which to work, and Microsoft Lync 2013 cloud-based unified messaging to help improve communications and collaboration between employees across the business.

“With Microsoft Office 365 we’re able to vastly improve the productivity of the business and communication amongst colleagues, all at a lower total cost of ownership,” said Poundland IT director Mike Gray.

He said: “For the first time colleagues at every Poundland retail store will have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint web apps through their browser.

“We have also invested heavily in the computerisation of stock control, distribution, financial and staff management systems and the underlying network infrastructure and communications that support these systems.”

The introduction of Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online, coupled with Outlook Web App and the ability to install the full Outlook client on up to four additional devices, means that users have the full client capability and ability to access their email from multiple locations on the move.

In addition, Poundland has invested in Active Directory and Microsoft System Center 2012 which simplifies the management of client devices.

Most recently, Poundland outsourced the running of its network and data centre to NextiraOne.