2 page Case Study
Posted: 11/11/2011
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Carlsberg Group Brewing Firm Drives IT Innovation and Business Value with Strategic Collaboration

With a disparate, outdated IT environment that did not align well with its new global business objectives, Carlsberg needed to optimize its IT infrastructure while balancing its short-term and long-term priorities. To help ensure that its IT investment achieved its objectives, Carlsberg engaged Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Services. Using its new strategic insights, Carlsberg is developing a standardized IT model that will drive business value.

Business Needs
Carlsberg is one of the world’s largest breweries, producing more than 35 billion bottles of beer a year and distributing more than 500 brands in over 150 countries. The Copenhagen-based company is an international brand that has built its success by maintaining meaningful connections to local markets.

Carlsberg wants to be the fastest growing global company in the brewing industry. To help achieve that goal, the Carlsberg IT department has adopted an approach that will allow it to take advantage of best practices from around the world to improve the company’s business efficiency, while still enabling a local approach in individual markets.

“We have to harvest the synergies of being a global company,” says Kenneth Schmidt, Chief Information Officer at Carlsberg. “On the other hand, we have to maintain intimate relationships with our local customers. Many of our power brands are still local.”

The IT team at Carlsberg relied on an IT sourcing partner to manage a disparate variety of environments left from previous acquisitions, and the company was using outdated software that did not align well with its new business objectives. When Carlsberg did deploy new software, employees did not always adopt all the new functionality, so the company could not realize the full business value of its technology.

Schmidt saw that Carlsberg needed to clean up its IT infrastructure, reduce costs, and deliver solutions that create business value for the whole company. He wanted to develop a standardized IT operating model at Carlsberg while balancing the company’s short-term and long-term priorities.

“We had to save money and be efficient. We have to produce and deliver and sell beer every day,” says Schmidt. “On the other hand, we have to look long term, and when we see a potential, make sure it’s being delivered and actually used within Carlsberg.”

Carlsberg had already deployed Microsoft software, but it wanted strategic guidance to ensure that its investment achieved the
* Our collaboration with Microsoft helps us make sure that when we see potential, we can deliver and execute it within Carlsberg. *

Kenneth Schmidt
Chief Information Officer, Carlsberg

company’s objectives. In 2010, Carlsberg began a multiyear engagement with Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Services. “There is no doubt that Microsoft delivers great technology,” says Schmidt. “The challenge for me is translating technology into value for my business.”

Carlsberg worked with Enterprise Strategy Services to develop shared goals and then design, prioritize, and plan IT initiatives, such as standardizing European operations by deploying the Windows 7 operating system and Microsoft Office 2010 productivity software and developing a collaboration platform using Microsoft Office 365. The Carlsberg IT team collaborates daily with a Microsoft Enterprise Architect from Enterprise Strategy Services who works onsite at Carlsberg and functions as a trusted advisor. The Enterprise Architect became familiar with the IT environment and processes at Carlsberg, and then brought Microsoft expertise and resources to help the company identify pain points, develop solutions, and realize real business impacts.

More than a vendor, the Microsoft Enterprise Architect works to understand and represent the IT and business needs at Carlsberg. During meetings between Carlsberg and Microsoft, the Enterprise Architect attends as a member of the Carlsberg team. Insight provided by the Enterprise Architect helped Carlsberg’s IT sourcing partner reduce its own costs while delivering more business value to Carlsberg.

The Enterprise Architect also helps educate and drive the Carlsberg IT team. For example, with guidance from the Microsoft Enterprise Architect, Carlsberg and its IT partner better aligned their practices and capabilities. “Our Microsoft Enterprise Architect collaborates within the Carlsberg IT community and moves with our shared agenda,” says Schmidt. “He’s also opened a lot of eyes and asked a lot of hard questions, both internally and externally.”

By October 2011, Carlsberg had worked with Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Services to develop a standardized IT model across the organization and deliver solutions that its employees can use to drive business value.

Strong Relationship, Targeted Goals
Carlsberg has used the strong relationship and deep engagement with Enterprise Strategy Services to keep Carlsberg, its IT partner, and Microsoft focused on the same results. “With this engagement model, Carlsberg and Microsoft have common goals and a common structure,” says Schmidt. “So I’m confident that we will actually reach those goals.”

According to Schmidt, the daily collaboration with the Enterprise Architect has been integral to the success of the engagement. “With a single contact at Microsoft who is dedicated to Carlsberg and who understands our IT environment and business goals, we can translate our IT investments into the ability to reach long-term targets for the company,” he says. “We see the Microsoft Enterprise Architect as part of the Carlsberg team.”

New Solutions, More Business Value
By adopting Office productivity programs and deploying Windows 7 to 10,000 employee PCs, Carlsberg is taking steps toward standardizing its IT infrastructure and developing a centralized collaboration environment that will help its business units use the company’s global resources without sacrificing the flexibility to respond to local markets.

Carlsberg has also improved its change management so more employees adopt the new technologies. Schmidt predicts that in five years, the company will have an infrastructure so advanced that employees will wonder how they lived without it. “IT has to set the pace,” he says. “Our collaboration with Microsoft helps us make sure that when we see potential, we can deliver and execute it within Carlsberg.”

Microsoft Services
Microsoft Services helps customers and partners discover and implement high-value Microsoft solutions that generate rapid, meaningful, and measurable results. As the consulting, technical support, and customer service arm of the world’s leading software company, Microsoft Services enables the successful adoption, deployment, and use of Microsoft solutions and technologies for all customers, from the individual to the enterprise.

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Solution Overview

Organization Size: 41000 employees

Organization Profile

Carlsberg manufactures and delivers premium beer in more than 150 markets throughout the world. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Carlsberg employs 41,000 people.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Services
  • ITAP Advisor
  • Enterprise Strategy Program

Vertical Industries
Consumer Goods


Business Need
  • Support and Services
  • Mission Critical
  • Business Critical

IT Issue