Owens-Illinois sees clear advantage in driving collaborative agenda with Office 365

Logo of Owen-Illinois.

Today’s post was written by Rodney Masney, vice president of Technology Service Delivery at Owens-Illinois.

Image of Rodney Masney, vice president of Technology Service Delivery at Owens-Illinois.My job as the vice president of Technology Service Delivery means that I look at our IT solutions with the same eye to longevity and serviceability that Owens-Illinois (O-I) craftspeople use when they create the 10,000 different glass containers in our portfolio. With Office 365, we found a suite of cloud-based services and apps that are as sustainable and functional as our products.

O-I is a global company, with 79 factories in 23 countries. We were using an on-premises Lotus Notes platform, but it was a struggle to keep the regionally autonomous locations of our large company in sync. To boost efficiency, we needed to perform better as one interconnected organization. The wide range of integrated capabilities for communication and collaboration within Office 365 aligns better with the goals of this workplace transformation. And we are driven by a desire to connect our workforce, standardize manufacturing processes, and collaborate better with customers.

The importance of collaborating and sharing best practices across the company comes back to our passion for creating superior products. When our employees use Office 365 to work together, they are empowered to enact that passion. In a simple, streamlined way, mobile employees can stay productive with anytime, anywhere access to the data they need, and dispersed teams can collaborate in real time.

Today, we use SharePoint Online and Yammer to fuel our Manufacturing Fundamentals initiative. Employees can upload and collect best practices for a range of manufacturing processes into SharePoint team sites. Here the information is made available across the company. Employees add comments to the documents, connect directly to engineers, and turn to Yammer to post their findings back to the company at large. From the beginning, we knew collective insights had to involve the shop floor to include our Firstline Workforce, so we added Office 365 Enterprise F1 to empower our shop floor workers with a highly secure digital platform to offer their unique perspectives and expertise to enrich our enterprise.

Thankfully, cloud-based computing doesn’t make us feel that our security profile is any less robust. It makes sense to let a technology company do what they do best, so we can focus on our 115 years of expertise making great glass products for our customers. For instance, we’ve used Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection to address concerns over phishing emails that were targeting certain accounts within the company, with positive results.

Surface Hubs make a great addition to our boardrooms and meeting rooms at several key locations. Engineers, designers, and developers use Surface Hubs to facilitate global, collaborative design work. It’s incredible to think that in the past, engineers would have to mail physical copies of designs to colleagues and wait for their response.

As important as it is to provide our internal workforce with the right tools to communicate and collaborate, we also wanted to facilitate conversations with external stakeholders. Using Skype for Business to gather feedback from partners and customers, we’re creating more impactful products to sustain our competitive advantage. As we evolve into a more global, connective organization, it’s clear the real value of a rich, integrated set of applications like Office 365 is that it’s collaborative and it standardizes manufacturing operations. Innovative products produced more efficiently means we can expand our business and continue to satisfy our customers and shareholders. It’s a great formula for success.

—Rodney Masney

Read the case study for more on the Owens-Illinois digital transformation.