Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) employs approximately 72,000 people in 431 facilities around the globe. Much of its workforce is mobile with 55,000 vehicles and 2.4 million coolers, vending machines, and beverage dispensers. With increasing competition in the marketplace, CCE needed a more effective way to collaborate with its employees, to increase its productivity, to enable better flow of information, and to create more time for sales persons to engage with customers. Its worldwide presence required employees and executives to spend numerous hours on the road every week, travelling to internal meetings. Using Microsoft Online Services technologies, CCE is able to save travel expenses through online meeting tools and collaboration platforms that span time zones and geographies.
Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: “CCE”) is the world's largest marketer, producer, and distributor of Coca-Cola products. Coca-Cola Enterprises’ growing product portfolio includes the world’s greatest brands and beverages, which it delivers with the industry’s most effective marketplace execution. Today, it serves 419 million consumers throughout North America, the U.S. Virgin Islands, other Caribbean islands, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands. It employs approximately 72,000 people and operates 431 facilities, 55,000 vehicles, and 2.4 million coolers, vending machines, and beverage dispensers.
Coca-Cola Enterprises faces strong competition from other beverage companies and needed a way to work more effectively with its customers and partners. This required innovation and a new way of communicating within the corporation. In 2008, CCE acknowledged that the current communications platforms were no longer enabling the innovation and collaboration required to take it to the next level and compete in an increasingly demanding economic environment.
||John Brock, our CEO, challenged us to identify better ways to connect all our employees…. Microsoft helped us launch from a legacy infrastructure to a solution that provided better business value to all our people.
Director of Enabling Technologies, Coca-Cola Enterprises
CCE required a centralized platform on which to promote the company initiatives. Its messaging was based mainly around e-mail, which was unable to reach its largely mobile workforce. Chairman and CEO John Brock and CIO Esat Sezer, agreed that in order to evolve the company culture and improve customer relationships at CCE, the leadership team needed the ability to communicate with all CCE employees, especially those managing day-to-day operations in the field. Most of the diverse CCE personnel work in a distributed manner. Employees in manufacturing facilities had limited access to the corporate network. Its mobile customer-facing employees, who are on the front line making sales and positioning the CCE products in store environments, also lacked convenient access to company e-mail and content. Additionally, CCE needed a way to drive action and information to all employees in its business by role. Current infrastructure did not allow for this, making it difficult to find appropriate content in a timely manner.
Efforts to solve key business challenges across the organization ran the risk of being fractured and disjointed without effective collaboration tools. The IT department, led by Sezer, was tasked to provide a companywide intranet, as well as a way for self-managed team sites to be created to foster collaboration and integration across business units. The company had relied largely on e-mail-based communications for years.
Coca-Cola Enterprises had multiple platforms with multiple integration points that IT was responsible to create, maintain, and understand. IT was also expected to be the experts on all these platforms and successfully manage the infrastructure. CCE faced high administrative overhead managing nonstrategic aspects of IT.
With an organization as established and diverse as CCE, the IT department found it was managing as many vendors as solutions. When the new CIO asked the IT team to rationalize the infrastructure, they focused on simplification and consolidation while providing a platform that was robust enough to continue to meet the stringent requirements of the business. John Key, CCE Principal Collaboration Technologies, says, “If you looked at our legacy e-mail platform, we had more than 50 servers. Managing that type of situation required a lot of overhead. There were patches, upgrades, support, and services for all of those 50 different environments. It was costly and there was no way for our IT department to focus on value-added opportunities.” As a manufacturing company with the number one brand in the world, CCE was excited to deploy a solution to deliver on its Business and IT requirements and help drive performance and competitiveness in the market.
CCE saw an opportunity to optimize its communication and collaboration with field personnel by broadening its relationship with Microsoft. Through the implementation of Microsoft® Online Services and Microsoft on-premises software, CCE consolidated and streamlined its IT partnerships and enhanced its focus on providing value to the business. CCE deployed Microsoft Online Services and its corporate intranet, while also centralizing purchasing with Microsoft through a full platform professional desktop Enterprise Agreement and a User Subscription License to include its on-premises software, services, and software support.
||In a five-month timeframe, we migrated roughly 30,000 people to a hosted solution, without impacting their business or interrupting their day-to-day operations.
In its assessment of whether to upgrade its current platform or transform the company to a hosted model, it considered a number of different options. CCE desired a partnership where it could use its enterprise software on premises with integrated software services in the cloud, and turned to Microsoft to execute upon its objectives. Sezer says, “The business value comes from expanding the use of our communication collaboration technologies that we’ve built with Microsoft. Our ability to communicate strategies and the changes that we are introducing and getting our employees engaged in is tremendous. In a five-month timeframe, we migrated roughly 30,000 people to a hosted solution, without impacting their business or interrupting their day-to-day operations.”
Companywide Intranet Implementation
CCE now has a robust intranet portal to support worldwide collaboration and communication of corporate strategy. The intranet serves as a central location for things like CCE’s HR process improvement and self-service HR portal, and provides a communication platform for CCE’s desk-based workers. The CEO has launched active blogs where employees openly comment and interact with company leadership. CCE has also increased employee engagement and education around corporate responsibility and sustainability through the portal content. Within four weeks of enabling users to create SharePoint team sites, there were over 800 requests for sites focused on business priorities and customer-facing business teams.
Lauren Sayeski, a member of the Communications Council that drove the project , says, “We have a very passionate and committed CEO. He’s a great business leader and a natural communicator. Finding better, more relevant ways for him to communicate with the organization was a priority. The ability to integrate video into the intranet and have more of our 72,000 employees experience the CEO, making him more broadly available, is important.” Through the intranet, CCE employees are eager to be part of the company direction and dialogue.
Sayeski says, “There have been some particular areas where we’ve seen that concept of two-way dialogue playing out very well. One is in our corporate responsibility efforts where employees are actively sharing their own ideas and their own solutions within their own facilities about ways they’re generating energy effectiveness.”
Increased Effectiveness with Remote Teams
As a global company, CCE workers need to be connected to business leaders at company headquarters and at other facilities. Using Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Microsoft Roundtable™ communications and archival system, CCE saves travel costs and enables this connection.
Ease of Use
Microsoft software is easy for companies to implement and user adoption is not an issue because most people use Microsoft software at home. Michael Wright, Senior Director for North American IS Deployment, says, “From the business side, there were three reasons why we chose Microsoft: familiarity, features, and function. CCE had been using Microsoft Office for quite a while, so all of our associates in the field were used to the look and feel of Microsoft. It was very important to give them something they were familiar with. The function of the software is very well integrated between Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office Communicator for IM. For example, if I go to a meeting that’s in my Outlook calendar, Communicator knows I’m not available.”
“John Brock, our CEO, challenged us to identify better ways to connect all our employees. Microsoft helped us launch from a legacy infrastructure to a solution that provided better business value to all our people,” says Kevin Flowers, Director of Enabling Technologies, Coca-Cola Enterprises.
The Road Ahead
In phase II, CCE will be expanding the Microsoft Online footprint to reach an additional 42,000 deskless workers who work in the field or in sales/distribution facilities. These employees do not have computers but will be enabled in phase II to access the intranet via Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server through computer workstations at their facilities. Additionally, Microsoft is co-developing a sales force automation system that will further utilize Office SharePoint Server and enable local merchandisers to be more efficient in getting the things they need into the outlets and stores. CCE will be taking advantage of Office Communications Server desktop voice and video for multi-user applications and adding more than 10,000 mobile users. Key reports, “There is a large group of about 12,000 individuals today who are merchandisers in the stores with limited mobile support. We will be enabling them with mobile devices to connect with their supervisors, and share video and other information in the stores through our sales force automation system. So Microsoft Online will be managing about 15,000 mobile devices for us that have e-mail, calendaring, and so forth. That’s a great service for us to be able to take advantage of.”
Flowers concludes, “There was huge excitement and energy around the CCE partnership with Microsoft. This has been one of the best IT partner projects CCE has experienced, and we have the added value of a longer IT roadmap with Microsoft than if CCE had built the solution on premises. This project has exceeded our expectations from an IT standpoint, showing how well an organization can lay a foundation and transform the way people communicate in a large company.”
Microsoft Online Services
Microsoft Online Services is a business-class communications and collaboration software offering delivered as a subscription service, hosted by Microsoft, and sold with partners. These services make it easier for customers to rapidly and cost-effectively access the most up-to-date technologies, with rapid deployment to provide customers with streamlined communications, simplified management, and business-class reliability and security. For IT staff, Microsoft Online Services reduces the burden of performing routine IT tasks such as installation, provisioning, ongoing maintenance, patches, updates, and upgrades, making it possible to spend more time on initiatives that move the business forward. These services are backed by SLAs and are designed to meet the regulatory compliance and reliability needs of enterprise customers. On a technical level, the services boast the sophistication that customers expect from Microsoft, which continues to invest heavily in building data centers to support these services.
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