Building a global brand with local flavor  

Today’s post about Office 365 was written by Anders Munck, enterprise architect with the Carlsberg Group.


Carlsberg logoThe past 14 years have been some of the most tumultuous in Carlsberg’s 167-year history of manufacturing beer. We used to license our beer to other breweries, but when our competitors started buying them up, we had to change our business model. So we began acquiring our own breweries. We’ve grown from serving four small markets in 2000 to successfully reinventing ourselves as a global beer brand. Becoming the fourth-largest brewer in the world brought with it a huge challenge: how do we incorporate many globally dispersed businesses into one company? And how do we ensure that our 500 different brands all live up to Carlsberg’s high standard of excellence?

To address these questions, Carlsberg introduced a vision for the business that we call “GloCal,” which talks about building one common culture, while staying true to our local roots. We can aim for global efficiencies, but we can never lose sight of the fact that people are very attached to their local brew. So, as the company took steps to enable the GloCal vision—for example, launching the Carlsberg Supply Chain (CSC) company to streamline our global supply chain—in IT we began thinking about how we could use technology to play a role in enabling that vision. We began looking for a single communication and collaboration solution that employees could use to connect with one another around the world. We chose Microsoft Office 365 as a key solution to help push the company toward realizing its GloCal objectives.

As the first global IT service we’ve introduced in Carlsberg, Office 365 is a game changing experience. As we deploy our new global collaboration services to support the procurement, production, logistics, and planning functions that used to occur in isolation all over the world, we’ll begin to enjoy the benefits that come with centralized planning and economies of scale. When everyone works together, it’s easier for Carlsberg to deliver the right product at the right time, to the right location, at the right quantity and price so that the millions of retail outlets, restaurants, and bars that sell Carlsberg beer will be even happier to work with us.

Anders Munck enterprise architect with the Carlsberg GroupWe need to ensure that our consumers continue to love Carlsberg beer by guaranteeing that breweries all over the world operate at the same high standards. This can be a challenge because a beer brewed in a small brewery in Western China is not going to be the same as a beer brewed in one of our gigantic Russian operations. But through Office 365, we support our breweries all over the world in staying true to local market preferences, yet ensuring that all our beers have that special Carlsberg quality.

We’re also seeing improved innovation at Carlsberg, thanks to the social media that people are using to drive creativity through spontaneous conversations—from the latest technologies for aluminum beer cans to how to create really eye-catching packaging.

When we finish deployment, approximately 20,000 employees will be using some, or all, of the Office 365 online tool set to create vital connections that build the corporate culture we need to compete globally. I see it already in the dynamic interplay of our web conferences. Yes, we save money by not flying hundreds of people around the world, but the real benefit is the relationship building and lively discussions that generate fruitful ideas and build camaraderie. Instead of watching a distant manager’s PowerPoint presentation alone in your office, we’re having face-to-face conversations that help to build a sense of belonging in our widespread organization. At the end of the day, beer is about congenial experiences; Office 365 extends that notion to the workplace. We are using it to engender a sense of pride in our company that generates the productivity and drive we need for Carlsberg to win on a global scale.

—Anders Munck

Read Carlsberg Group case study to learn how the Carlsberg Group is using Office 365 to become GloCal.

The technologies involved

Most of the 40,000 employees at the Carlsberg Group use the Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E3 plan. This plan includes Office 365 ProPlus, the familiar Office desktop suite, which employees can download on more than five devices and work productively with synced files on all of them. Employees use Microsoft Exchange Online for email and calendaring and Microsoft Lync Online to connect via web conferencing and instant messaging. Virtual teams are beginning to adopt Microsoft SharePoint Online to collaborate on projects, and employees are adopting the Yammer enterprise social networking platform for messaging and collaboration on product innovation. And when the company deploys OneDrive for Business for online document storage, employees will be able to access the latest version of their files on any device anywhere.