To prepare for its new corporate social network, missile manufacturer MBDA decided to upgrade to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. For the planning and implementation stages of the project, the company
chose to work with Microsoft Services. With help from Microsoft experts, MBDA successfully achieved the move to SharePoint Server 2010 and produced a proof of concept for its new social network solution.
Established in 2001, MBDA is a joint subsidiary of France’s EADS, Germany’s BAE Systems, and Italy’s Finmeccanica. It is currently the European leader and number-two world leader in missile development, manufacture, and distribution. The company employs
approximately 10,000 people in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.
||Microsoft consultants are extremely knowledgeable and are familiar with Microsoft technologies. They quickly understood our expectations and limitations. There is great reciprocal trust between us.
| Jean-Luc Farion
Head of Back Office, MBDA
While its activities are obviously classified as defense secrets, MBDA has exactly the same needs and faces the same limitations as any other business when it comes to IT. So it is no surprise that the company’s workstations are equipped with the Windows operating
system, Microsoft Office, and many other familiar business applications. Its server infrastructure is also based on Microsoft solutions, including the Windows Server operating system, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft SharePoint Server.
In 2011, the IT Services group at MBDA launched a broad campaign to optimize its workstations by upgrading to the latest versions of the Windows desktop operating system and Microsoft Office. For Jean-Luc Farion, Head of Back Office at MBDA, it was an opportunity
to also update the company’s server applications, notably SharePoint Server.
”We had been using SharePoint Server at MBDA for close to eight years,” says Farion. “We adopted it to enable sharing and collaboration among our teams, which are located throughout the world. This collaboration was both horizontal, providing us a global
source of information, and vertical, bringing teams together based on their particular skills.”
Although Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 had proved satisfactory in previous years, the company chose SharePoint Server 2010 as the foundation for its planned corporate social network project. “The earlier version suited us perfectly, but we were
planning the deployment of a true corporate social network, and for that we wanted to use SharePoint Server 2010,” says Farion.
For the move to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, MBDA decided to enlist Microsoft Services Consulting and Microsoft Services Premier Support for help with the design and testing phases through to the completion of the project.
“We work regularly with Microsoft Services, in addition to several Microsoft partners,” explains Farion. “It depends somewhat on the nature of our projects. For the SharePoint project, we recognized the sound competence of Microsoft Services in terms of
architecture and design. That’s why we called on them, starting with the preparation and planning stages.”
Microsoft Services responded with immediate hands-on collaboration. It rapidly created teams to work on the project, adopting a practical approach to meet the company’s needs.
First, the existing solution was evaluated in depth and meetings were held to review the company’s business expectations, its technical capabilities, and best practices in terms of SharePoint design. Next, Microsoft Services consultants redefined the architecture
and established a deployment roadmap.
The consultants carried out the evaluations and held sessions to discover how best to optimize the company’s existing IT infrastructure. They shared expert knowledge of the Microsoft technology, but equally key to the project’s success was the consultants’
ability to ensure cooperation among all the teams involved and to synchronize the efforts of the various business divisions at MBDA.
Although the upgrade to SharePoint Server 2010 is not yet complete, Farion has asked Microsoft Services to help roll out the corporate social network that was the original motivation for the migration project. With the social network project already in the
proof-of-concept stage, Farion expects to begin the rollout soon.
By engaging Microsoft Services Consulting and Premier Support, MBDA was able to plan and implement its update to SharePoint Server 2010 and lay the foundation for the rollout of its corporate social network.
The operations assessments conducted by Microsoft Services Premier Support helped MBDA streamline its processes. Because the consultants were on standby, the update to SharePoint Server 2010 was carried out from beginning to end with no disruption
of day-to-day operations.
Access to Global Network of Experts
From the start of the project, the IT staff at MBDA had access to a dedicated team of subject matter experts who were able to contribute expertise and suggest best practices. The Microsoft Services support team continued to provide hands-on assistance
throughout the preparation and planning phases.
Optimized IT Infrastructure
MBDA gained a server solution that was designed to be the foundation for its new corporate social network. Microsoft Services consultants took the time to get to know and understand the company’s unique IT structure and challenges. As a result, MBDA
was able to get the most out of its IT infrastructure.
Because Microsoft Services consultants helped to foster easy communication and cooperation among teams, MBDA was able to deliver a quality project.
“Our relationship with Microsoft Services is excellent,” says Farion. “Microsoft consultants are extremely knowledgeable and are familiar with Microsoft technologies. They quickly understood both our expectations and limitations. There is great reciprocal
trust between us, which allows for an easy dialog and makes it possible to deliver results that are in line with our expectations.”
Microsoft Services is a global team of professionals who are dedicated to helping customers maximize the value of their investment in Microsoft software. Microsoft Services touches customers more than 715 million times a year, helping them plan, deploy, support
and optimize our technologies. They also work closely with Microsoft Partners by sharing their technological expertise and product knowledge on a regular basis.
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