4-page Case Study
Posted: 8/10/2009
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Astra International Holding Company Empowers Employees and Decreases Costs by Replacing OpenOffice.org

Based in Indonesia, Astra International is a holding company of one of the largest conglomerates in the country. The company includes six core businesses: Four and two wheelers automobiles divisions including its components, Financial Services, Heavy Equipment, Mining & Energy, Agribusiness, Information Technology, and Infrastructure & Logistic Value Chain. After several years of supporting a mixed environment in which employees used either OpenOffice.org or Microsoft® Office, Astra decided to standardize and fully migrate all desktop information workers to Microsoft Office Standard 2007, a Microsoft Office suite. Astra expects this migration to help reduce IT support, training, and development costs. More importantly, Astra anticipates an increase in employee productivity by empowering people to collaborate and make better-informed business decisions.

Situation

Astra is the holding company of one of the largest conglomerates in Indonesia, with six core businesses: Four and two wheelers automobiles divisions including its

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* At the end of the day, many users ended up calling IT and asking if they could buy Microsoft Office. *
Ganda Kusuma
Chief Information Officer
Astra International
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components, Financial Services, Heavy Equipment, Mining & Energy, Agribusiness, Information Technology, and Infrastructure & Logistic Value Chain. Founded in 1957 as general trading company based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Astra is a dominant player in automotive manufacturing and distribution, serving over 50 percent of the automotive industry business in Indonesia. Astra holds multiple brands, including Toyota, Daihatsu, Isuzu, BMW, Peugeot, Nissan Diesel Trucks and Honda Motors and is one of Indonesia’s largest automotive distributors and producers.

Astra works closely with its principals (such as Toyota, Daihatsu, Honda), partners, and suppliers to provide automotive manufacturing, sales, and financing. The company relies on efficient communication to ensure accurate delivery of automotive services. Through its integrated network, Astra is considered a one-stop shop for automotive purchases in Indonesia. Astra scored a top ranking for quality, vision, and corporate reputation based on Asia’s 200 Most-Admired Companies rated by The Wall Street Journal.

Prior to 2003, Astra employees exclusively used Microsoft® Office suites. But in an effort to save license costs, Astra decided to switch to OpenOffice.org. The company estimated that 20 percent of employees would need to stay on Microsoft Office, but OpenOffice.org would be sufficient for the remaining 80 percent of employees who need an office productivity suite.

Soon after the move to the mixed environment of OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office, Astra began to experience additional training and support costs. The time and costs allocated to end-user training increased. IT support costs also increased as help-desk personnel had to learn multiple products and resolve issues that resulted from managing a mixed environment. The move to OpenOffice.org affected the productivity of employees who found it difficult to use. For example, because many of their principals or business partners use Microsoft Office suites, Astra employees could not always exchange documents externally. If one of the principals sent a file that required a fast response, it would take employees extra time, in some cases up to 15 minutes per document, to update formatting and make sure the document was correct prior to responding. This loss of productivity frustrated many Astra employees. “At the end of the day, many users ended up calling IT and asking if they could buy Microsoft Office,” says Ganda Kusuma, Chief Information Officer for Astra International.     

With OpenOffice.org, employees complained of non-intuitive user commands, poor integration across the office productivity suites, lack of an e-mail messaging and calendar client, and no built-in collaboration tools. Many people began calling IT for assistance to develop small applications and custom macros for functions that could be done out-of-the-box with the Microsoft Office system. Additionally, because no external training was available for OpenOffice.org, employees had trouble finding commands, building professional documents, and developing their own macros. 

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* I don't necessarily agree that open source is a free product. There are always costs related to support, standardization, and compatibility *
Ganda Kusuma
Chief Information Officer
Astra International
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Running OpenOffice.org on workstations with older hardware caused performance issues.  IT had to purchase additional memory or upgrade hardware to make the application perform better and quicker.

For Astra, the license cost savings did not compensate for the additional costs and challenges that OpenOffice.org incurred. “I don’t necessarily agree that open source is a free product. There are always costs related to support, standardization, and compatibility,” explains Kusuma.

Solution

Although OpenOffice.org initially saved Astra software license fees, the total costs to the company were significant enough to justify switching all users back to Microsoft Office.  More importantly, Astra wanted to make an investment in its future by empowering employees to help grow the company. Astra is committed to improving its future by focusing on its most important asset: employees. 

After 5 years of using OpenOffice.org and supporting a dual environment, Astra decided to fully replace OpenOffice.org with Microsoft Office Standard 2007, a Microsoft Office suite. 

In 2008, Astra began the migration to Office Standard 2007 to all employees who required an office suite. With Office Standard 2007, Astra employees increase their productivity with innovative content creation, easy-to-use analysis features, and effective communication and collaboration tools. For example, the Microsoft Office Fluent™ user interface enables employees to use applications, such as Office Word 2007and Office Excel® 2007, without spending time searching for commands and features. Employees also use SmartArt® graphics to easily create high-impact professional documents.

The features in Office Standard 2007 help increase employee confidence and proficiency, resulting in reduced calls to the help desk. Astra employees are now more productive and can respond to internal and external requests quickly. “Enabling and empowering our employees is a good thing. Without this, people don't get satisfaction in their own work, and they might leave to work for a competitor,” says Kusuma.

By switching to Microsoft Office Standard 2007 and standardizing on a single office productivity environment, Astra reduces the burden on the IT support team. “Large

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* Large amounts of IT requests can now be solved by the empowered users, which translates to lower IT costs. *
Ganda Kusuma
Chief Information Officer
Astra International
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amounts of IT requests can now be solved by the empowered users, which translates to lower IT costs,” explains Kusuma.

In addition to deploying Office Standard 2007, Astra implemented Microsoft SQL Server® data management software to replace a DB2 installation and the Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition operating system. The company also plans to deploy Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 e-mail messaging and collaboration software to use with the Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 messaging and collaboration client.

Moving forward, Astra plans to deploy a Microsoft unified communications solution based on integration between Office 2007, Office Communications Server 2007, and Exchange Server 2007. The solution will integrate all communications, including e-mail, instant messaging and presence, and audio, video, and Web conferencing, into a standardized environment, which can be accessed through a familiar user interface, such as Office Outlook 2007 and Office Communicator 2007.

Benefits

Astra International replaced OpenOffice.org with Microsoft Office Standard 2007 to provide a standardized office productivity suite that will help employees fulfill their potential. The 2007 Office system empowers employee decision making, improves employee satisfaction, reduces IT development and support costs, and provides a platform for improved communication and team collaboration. “Astra’s success is based on effective teamwork,” says Michael Ruslim, President and Director of Astra.

Improved Decision Making

With Office Standard 2007, Astra employees can make informed business decisions.  Kusuma says, “We want our employees to be more productive assets to the company. As they grow their expertise in using complex tools, they make better-informed decisions. Thus, the value of these people as an asset to the company increases as well. We can better compete in the market because of the quality of our people.” 

Additionally, with Office Standard 2007, employees experience fewer delays due to reduced IT support calls. “Employees don’t have to wait on IT; they can respond

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* We do not live alone in this world, so we have to be compatible. With Microsoft Office, people can start working and collaborating.  That is an immediate benefit. *
Ganda Kusuma
Chief Information Officer
Astra International
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to customers and make decisions faster. Because of this, we are justified in making this investment in Microsoft Office,” explains Kusuma. With faster, more informed decision making, Astra can react quickly to market demands and better serve customers.

Increased Productivity and Employee Satisfaction

Astra employees no longer spend time addressing formatting issues in OpenOffice.org, especially when exchanging files with external parties. This productivity boost improves employee satisfaction and the ability to satisfy customers.

With Office Standard 2007, Astra employees can focus on the specific request from their customers and quickly respond, saving up to 15 minutes per request. Says Kusuma, “We do not live alone in this world, so we have to be compatible. With Microsoft Office, people can start working and collaborating. That is an immediate benefit. I think employees will become more confident and more advanced in their analytical work.”

Reduced IT Development and Support Costs

By switching to Office Standard 2007, Astra’s IT department receives fewer requests for IT support. “If IT had to address all the small application requests from end users regarding OpenOffice.org, I would probably have to add up to 10 additional staff members. Who knows where it would end?” explains Kusuma. Employees now benefit from the out-of-the-box capabilities in Office Standard 2007 and can develop macros or complex Excel spreadsheets themselves. This decrease in requests reduces IT staffing requirements and IT development costs.

Astra has also reduced IT support calls. In addition to the familiarity that people have with Microsoft Office, empowered users can find answers to their own questions. Due to the vast knowledge and experience with Microsoft products in the community, users can reach out to their network of peers, instead of relying solely on the company’s IT support desk. Microsoft also provides easy-to-use online help that enables people to resolve questions on their own.

 

 

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com

For more information about Astra International products and services, call (62-21) 6522555 or visit the Web site at:
www.astra.co.id

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 116000 employees

Organization Profile

Astra International is a holding company of one of the largest conglomerates in Indonesia. 


Business Situation

Astra deployed OpenOffice on a majority of desktop computers to help save costs. However, the company soon experienced higher training and IT costs and decreased productivity related to supporting a mixed environment of Microsoft® Office and OpenOffice.org. 


Solution

Astra decided to switch from OpenOffice.org to Microsoft Office Standard 2007 to empower employees, reduce IT support costs, and improve customer service.


Benefits
  • Empower employee decision making
  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce IT support and development costs

Software and Services
Microsoft Office 2007 Suites

Vertical Industries
Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace

Country/Region
Indonesia

Languages
English

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