The Volkswagen Group wants to help its employees work more effectively together so it can maintain its industry leadership and grow to become the world’s leading automobile manufacturer by 2018. The company engaged Enterprise Architects from
the Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program to help it develop a more strategic approach to IT, reduce costs, promote collaboration, and align its IT and business goals.
The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers. The company manages more than 500,000 employees in seven countries, and makes 10 major automotive brands, including Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, and Lamborghini. In 2011, the
Volkswagen Group earned €159 billion (US$202 billion) in revenue and sold more than 8.3 million cars, more than 12 percent of the world passenger car market.
To stay competitive and maintain its industry leadership, the Volkswagen Group engages in internal strategic initiatives such as the Mach 18 program, which supports and promotes the company’s intention to become the world’s leading automobile manufacturer
by 2018. The company developed the Volkswagen Global Workplace initiative to help employees work more effectively together by standardizing the PC environment throughout the entire group.
Each brand unit in the group maintained its own IT infrastructure, which created complexity, generated unnecessary costs, and made it difficult to work across unit boundaries. The Volkswagen Group recognized, however, that to deliver a standardized PC environment
across a global enterprise with 10 separate units and 500,000 employees would be complex and challenging. The company wanted to start by standardizing and integrating the PC environments at the Volkswagen and Audi brand units.
The Volkswagen Group had technology issues to address such as a mixed PC environment of the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems throughout Volkswagen and Audi, and an Audi environment that supported almost 18,000 third-party applications. Still,
the company understood that the Volkswagen Global Workplace would be most successful if was executed with as much focus on future business objectives as on immediate technology issues. “To do anything across a group as large and diverse as Volkswagen takes
more than just IT,” says Dr. Frank Plagge, Head of Client and Communication Technologies at Volkswagen. “We wanted to take a fresh, comprehensive look at our technology and work together to focus it on our business goals.”
In 2009, Volkswagen and Audi each engaged an IT Architecture and Planning (ITAP) consultant from the Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program to help with specific deployments. To begin managing technology to match their business strategies, each
of the two brands expanded its Enterprise Strategy engagement at the end of 2010 from one ITAP consultant to two embedded Enterprise Architects.
||Through the Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program, we’ve enhanced our focus, efficiency, collaborative capacity, and ultimately our competitive position.
| Christian Ihring
Head of Client IT Operations, Audi
In 2011, Microsoft Enterprise Architects helped Volkswagen standardize 60,000 PCs with the Windows 7 operating system and helped Audi coordinate its Windows 7 deployment in five countries. The Enterprise Architect at Audi helped the company implement a project
to reduce the size of its application suite, and helped automate the administration of 800 PCs at an Audi production center in Brussels, Belgium. Both Volkswagen and Audi carefully developed PC environments that will support their business objectives. “Our
Microsoft Enterprise Architects help us keep the Volkswagen Global Workplace aligned to the company’s future needs and goals,” says Plagge.
The Enterprise Architects work as members of the Volkswagen and Audi teams, contributing expertise, working with other brands to coordinate solutions, and delivering strategic assistance on programs ranging from in-vehicle IT to business intelligence. “Our
Microsoft Enterprise Architects have the same high-level responsibilities as any internal Audi resource,” says Christian Ihring, Head of Client IT Operations at Audi. “They come to the same meetings, and work from Audi PCs. I have complete trust in them.”
Both Volkswagen and Audi have engaged Microsoft Services Consulting to help configure specific Microsoft solutions, and both brands have engaged Microsoft Services Premier Support to help maintain and manage aspects of their IT infrastructures.
By engaging the Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program, the Volkswagen Group has developed a more strategic approach to IT, reduced its IT costs, promoted effective collaboration, and aligned its IT and business goals.
The Volkswagen Group used the resources, expertise, and fresh, objective perspective of Microsoft to develop a more strategic approach to IT. For example, the company recognized how similar challenges at Volkswagen and Audi—and throughout the group—could
be addressed cost-effectively with coordinated solutions.
“Through the Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program, we’ve enhanced our focus, efficiency, collaborative capacity, and ultimately our competitive position,” says Ihring.
More Efficient Collaboration
Employees at Volkswagen and Audi are getting more out of technology, and the Volkswagen Group is getting more out of its IT investments. Volkswagen deployed Microsoft Office 2010 to 60,000 PCs in less than four months. Audi now supports 6,000 business
applications instead of 18,000, which will significantly reduce its IT management and licensing costs, and it reduced PC management costs at its facility in Brussels.
In a standardized Windows 7 PC environment, employees can work more efficiently and collaborate more easily. “People from Volkswagen and Audi need to collaborate with colleagues in Germany, North America, China; almost anywhere in the world,” says Plagge.
“We are talking and working much more closely together than we did before we engaged with the Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program.”
At Volkswagen and Audi, the Volkswagen Group has laid the groundwork to standardize PC environments across the entire enterprise and to meet its strategic business goals. With technology expertise and business insight from its Microsoft Enterprise
Architects, the Volkswagen Group can modernize its IT infrastructure, enhance its manufacturing processes, and execute its business plans.
“Having Microsoft Enterprise Architects on board helps us develop true strategic planning,” says Plagge. “And with their help on execution, we can focus on making Volkswagen the number one car company in the world.”
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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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