Global automaker Toyota promotes its brand and connects with customers through a strong web presence, with 16 websites that see more than 100 million page views each month. In Japan, Toyota runs GAZOO.com, which includes a public portal where 1.7 million registered users access news, shopping, car information, and even a virtual city.
As the site has expanded over the years, the time and resources necessary to manage it have increased. In 2012, Toyota began planning a major site overhaul to reduce costs, make the site more dynamic, and increase opportunities for social networking and mobile access. The company felt that a cloud-based solution made the most sense, because it would provide a high degree of scalability without a large hardware investment. In addition, Toyota wanted a new content management solution that could quickly and accurately deliver customized information to users.
After evaluating offerings from several companies, Toyota chose Windows Azure Infrastructure Services for its development environment and the Microsoft SharePoint 2013 web application and content management solution. Toyota worked with Microsoft Services to plan and build the new site using Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, and the redesigned GAZOO.com was launched on May 30, 2013.
The combination of Windows Azure and SharePoint 2013 has helped Toyota meet its goals for the new site and offer users a better experience:
- With Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, Toyota can dynamically provision server resources to meet increased demand without buying additional hardware, and it can maintain around-the-clock uptime.
- Toyota has 300,000 pages of content, and the enterprise search capabilities of SharePoint 2013 help users quickly retrieve information they really want.
- Toyota is using SharePoint 2013 to manage blog workflows, offer customized content management functionality for the many different departments that provide site content, and optimize website content for mobile devices.
- Using built-in SharePoint 2013 functionality like blogs and-in future releases-wikis and integration with Yammer, Toyota can offer a comprehensive social networking experience tailored to users’ needs and interests.
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