1-page Solution Brief
Posted: 2/4/2014
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Simonds Farsons Cisk plc Maltese brewer boosts efficiency and collaboration with unified desktop

After a growing number of collaboration problems with major partners Simonds Farsons Cisk changes open source software in favour of Microsoft Office Professional. The move is part of a wider strategic business partnership with Microsoft. In the first instance it is benefiting from a unified, cohesive and efficient desktop platform while the partnership in turn is providing a foundation for future strategic growth.

Business Needs
Simonds Farsons Cisk plc is based in Malta. Its core business is brewing, selling and distributing beer including its own brands such as local market leader, Cisk Lager. It also brews Carlsberg and Skol under license, bottles Budweiser, manufactures soft drinks including Kinnie, Malta’s national soft drink, and holds the local franchise for PepsiCo brands. For the past 10 years the company had been using open source Star and Open Office as its standard for business productivity tools.

* Microsoft Office has made a great difference to our daily operations and business efficiency. We’re now more effective and partner collaboration has been significantly enhanced. At the same time it provides a foundation for greater strategic growth for the business. *

Philip Farrugia
Head of IT
Simonds Farsons Cisk

However, as well as being difficult to manage from an IT perspective, the software was also causing problems with partners who used Microsoft software. A lack of compatibility with partner software was slowing down communications and causing frustrations. For example, when it was sharing information with partners such as PepsiCo, the presentations often wouldn’t convert properly and as a result couldn’t be read. This was a common occurrence. At the same time the company was lacking a roadmap that could take it to the next level of IT optimization.

Given that by and large, Simonds Farsons Cisk partners used Microsoft software, the company made what on the surface was an obvious choice and replaced open source software with Microsoft Office. However, as part of this move it also signed an Enterprise Agreement to cement a strategic business partnership with Microsoft. As a first step it is in the process of migrating to Microsoft Office Professional for 300 users, as well upgrading the desktop estate to Windows 8. Microsoft Office Professional provides a raft of features ranging from Word, Outlook and PowerPoint to Access, Excel and OneNote. At the same time, the company has taken a wider strategic decision to adopt other Microsoft technologies in the future. The Office migration is the first step in this strategic partnership.

• Significantly enhanced employee productivity and partner collaboration
• Better integrated experience across the company and with partners
• Much easier to manage from an IT perspective
• Reduction in employee complaints and support requests, and rise in employee satisfaction
• Platform for intranet creation, shared document management and intra-company workflows
• Ability to leverage ERP and BI potential using the power of Excel
• Provides the building blocks required to make the business more efficient
• Strategic foundation that offers a roadmap to the cloud
• Strategic business partnership with Microsoft
• Seamless communication with partners and third parties
• Common interface across companies and boundaries
• Unified desktop applications
• Well-known office applications from spreadsheet to business-class communications

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published February 2014
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 700 employees

Organization Profile
Simonds Farsons Cisk is involved in brewing and beverage production and distribution, food and beverage importation and distribution, and the fast food business. Based in Malta it employs over 700 people.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • Microsoft Access 2013
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft Excel 2013
  • Microsoft InfoPath 2013
  • Microsoft OneNote 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook 2013
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
  • Microsoft Publisher 2013
  • Microsoft Word 2013

Vertical Industries
Food & Beverage


Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting

IT Issue
  • Personal Productivity
  • Interoperability