Today’s post was written by Sal Chiovari, CIO for Edwards Lifesciences.
When I joined Edwards Lifesciences three years ago, I was attracted to an innovative medical technology company that clearly puts patients first. I also saw an opportunity to revamp the IT organization to partner more strategically with the business and deliver a modern, agile workplace that strengthens the collaborative culture at our company. We embraced the Microsoft Office 365 suite to drive mobility, agility and innovation at Edwards Lifesciences.
Collaboration is at the heart of the corporate ethos at Edwards, so much so that the user-friendly services within Office 365, such as Yammer, have already gone viral within the company. I’m thrilled to see employees using the enterprise social network to ask questions and create a dialogue across our global network. Today, Skype for Business Online is the primary tool for meetings and collaboration at Edwards. I love the whiteboard capability for large meetings and problem-solving discussions with colleagues around the globe. And we’re using Microsoft Surface Hub devices to augment our video calls with a great interactive whiteboarding experience. As we begin using Skype for Business PSTN conferencing with dial-in capabilities, it will provide a new level of effortless communication in an environment that meets the high demands for security in our industry.
We’re in a highly regulated industry, so security played a major role in our decision to go with Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Our strategy is simple: when you provide employees with a protected environment and user-friendly, leading-edge tools, they won’t feel compelled to pursue rogue IT. The rich set of productivity apps within Office 365 addresses all the collaboration scenarios that employees had tried to fill with third-party solutions. And we take advantage of rights management and data loss prevention capabilities within Office 365 to protect our information, so that collaboration happens in a highly secure environment.
We have an estimated 5,000 terabytes of data in our organization, so understanding where that data is and how it’s being used is a huge concern, especially when you want to enhance mobility. We’re using Enterprise Mobility + Security to support secure mobile access to our data via personal devices. In the past, Edwards employees were required to change their passwords every 60 days, creating confusion and inefficiency, but with Azure Active Directory Premium in Enterprise Mobility + Security providing multi-factor authentication, we are doing away with this cumbersome practice. In addition, if our employees forget their password, they can handle this on their own with Self-Service Password Management, which is quicker and more efficient, which also frees up our help desk for more important items. The wealth of security features in Enterprise Mobility + Security and Office 365 work together to create a highly secure, productive workplace where people can get their work done without distractions.
We’re also eliminating file shares within the organization. Thanks to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, employees will have a more secure, efficient alternative that saves time when it comes to searching for documents and files. And with Office 365 ProPlus, employees have the same great work experience with the latest version of Office on more than one device. It all comes back to ease of use; employees deserve secure, effective tools that facilitate collaboration and are as intuitive as the technology they have at home.
Historically, the IT organization at Edwards Lifesciences put a huge amount of effort into responding to requests and keeping the environment up and running; it left little time for anything else. Early on, I wondered if our reactionary approach was more of a help or a hindrance to innovation. I see a paradigm shift in IT at Edwards Lifesciences with the deployment of easy-to-use Office 365 services that usher in a new way of working for our employees, and free up time for IT to focus on more strategic initiatives and serve as stronger business partners. We’re using the Office 365 platform to take us to the next level of mobility, productivity and security, so this amazing company can continue to innovate, creating medical devices that improve the health of people everywhere.