Manufacturing leader connects global employees and speeds innovation

Kennametal, a leading material science and manufacturing company, wanted to become a tighter-knit organization so that it could bring products to market more quickly, which is no small endeavor with 14,000 employees spread around the world. To extend communication and collaboration to factory workers and make it easier for all employees to share ideas and foster skills building, the company adopted Microsoft Office 365. Kennametal embraced Microsoft Office 365 and now makes information, people, and answers readily accessible from mobile devices used on the factory floor, at home and on the road. Factory workers now access the company’s intranet through their personal devices, which improves their ability to work together to resolve issues, stay up-to-date on corporate information and contribute to the company’s greater mission. Engineers, scientists and other information workers collaborate across locations so that they can move forward more quickly with product development and promote innovation.

Opportunity for improvement

Kennametal reevaluated its technology infrastructure when the time came to upgrade IBM Notes and the related servers. The company looked to the cloud to replace existing email and file-sharing methods and to add conferencing, data storage, and enterprise social networking to its capabilities, considering solutions from Google and Microsoft. “We spent quite a bit of time evaluating Google cloud offerings, and while we liked a lot of its technology, we felt that Google lacked tools that could handle the full range of our demands,” says Steve Hanna, chief information officer at Kennametal. “It didn’t provide many executive administration functions that we need on a day-to-day basis, such as the ability to delegate calendars. At the same time, Microsoft Office 365 was nearing release and we were excited about where it could take us.”

Connecting and empowering factory workers

Now Kennametal factory workers use their mobile devices to instantly access the company intranet, known as the Hub, from anywhere. Based on Microsoft SharePoint Online, the Hub includes an integrated feed for Yammer, the company’s enterprise social network. Manufacturing technicians, managers, and other factory workers easily.

Enterprise-class capabilities

Kennametal appreciates having security-enabled, sophisticated tools that meet the needs of an international company. “Some cloud solutions are intended for more of a consumer audience and don’t have the built-in security and granular control that we get from Office 365,” says Hanna.

Read the full story of this global manufacturing giant’s move to Office 365. For more on the CIO’s decision to move to Office 365, read Kennametal: manufacturing leader creates unity and harnesses knowledge with Office 365 by Steve Hanna.