Today’s post was written by John Hill, chief information officer for Veyance Technologies.
About five years ago, Veyance Technologies became an independent company after being carved out of Goodyear. Veyance manufactures and sells engineered rubber goods-products like heavy-duty conveyer belts and industrial hoses. As a private-equity spinoff of a company with roots that go back more than a century, we combine deep process expertise and supply-chain resources with the go-to-market approach of a new company.
When I took the position as CIO at Veyance, my biggest objective was to use technology to help modernize our business. My first priority was helping move the company to a shared services model so that we could improve operating efficiency and lower our costs. I saw an opportunity to leverage the speed, elasticity, scale, and variable cost advantages that come from implementing cloud technology as a way to rapidly achieve the company’s global shared services vision.
For several years, we had used Lotus Notes from IBM, which has some workflow and collaboration tools but was deployed primarily as an email tool. However, we wanted a more robust, interconnected set of messaging, collaboration, and productivity tools. And this is where Microsoft comes in. From my perspective, Microsoft Office 365 played two incredibly powerful and fundamental roles in supporting our business transformation. I knew that to even think about operating globally, we needed an online collaboration platform that was easy to use and that interacted seamlessly with the desktop applications our people rely on. Also, I wanted to show our employees that we were serious about changing the way we work by implementing some of the most advanced technology in the industry.
In fewer than six months, we completed extensive pilot testing and training. My IT staff worked with Microsoft Cloud Vantage Services to find Microsoft partner, Binary Tree, who ultimately helped us move 3,000 people to Office 365. As a result of the move, everyone in the company had access to a more user-friendly email application; a global, centralized collaboration platform through SharePoint Online; Lync Online for advanced multimedia communication; and Office 365 ProPlus. In a matter of months, we gained four times the technology infrastructure that we had before at a fraction of the cost. In fact, we saved 40 percent of the cost that we had been spending just to provide email alone. And it’s so much easier and more cost-effective to stay current with the latest releases.
Before adopting Office 365, we did take a look at some of the other alternatives on the market. But none of these options provided the enterprise-grade support capabilities or the true interoperation with Microsoft Office that we needed. Plus, Microsoft made it really simple to tailor our licensing of Office 365 to fit the different needs of office workers, field sales staff, and the people who work in a manufacturing production role. And with Microsoft Cloud Vantage Services supporting our move to the cloud, we knew we could meet the goals and timelines the business demanded.
Now that we’ve been using Office 365 for the better part of a year, I’ve found that communication among our employees all over the world happens in a much more intuitive way. For example, through the presence indicator in any of the applications, people can instantly see when a colleague in the next office over or halfway around the world is online, which makes it so much easier to interact, share information, and solve problems.
And the mobile experience with Office 365 through enhanced support for SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and the Office Web Apps, just keeps getting better. Mobility is obviously a growing area for every business, so it’s great to know we’re ready to take full advantage of opportunities to increase productivity from anywhere.
Our move to Office 365 has been a huge catalyst for us in making global communication and collaboration possible. Without Office 365, we definitely would not have been able to pursue that strategy as quickly or as effectively as we have done at Veyance.
Read the full Veyance case study here.