2 page Case Study
Posted: 3/11/2013
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Hilti AG Construction Manufacturer Employs Cloud Service to Streamline Project Management

Hilti Corporation provides innovative technology solutions to the construction industry; however, it needed the latest technology to manage its own projects in an efficient and scalable way. It worked with Campana & Schott to conduct two pilot programs featuring Microsoft Project Online, a cloud service for project portfolio management and everyday work. The company benefits from improved agility and collaboration in project management, which helps to reduce IT workload, decrease costs, and increase productivity.

Situation
The Hilti Corporation, based in Schaan, Liechtenstein, is a private company that provides innovative products, systems, and services to construction professionals. Started as a small family company, Hilti now has production plants, in addition to research and development centers, in more than 20 countries on six continents. It uses a direct sales model, which results in more than 200,000 customer contacts each day in 120 countries “We are a solution provider,” says Dr. Christian Buddendick, Head of Workplace Platform Services at Hilti Corporation. “We want to build a better future for our customers.”

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* By using a cloud-based solution, we got the agility we were seeking. We can scale the use of Project Online from 20 people up to 10,000 users. It is easy to use and satisfies nearly 100 percent of our business needs. *

Dr. Christian Buddendick
Head of Workplace Platform Services, Hilti Corporation

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In the middle of 2012, business partners at Hilti made requests for technology that would help them manage projects with more efficiency and control. In 2011, the company invested CHF184 million (US$197.5 million) in research and development, and it undertakes numerous projects ever year. Hilti had been using Microsoft Project Professional 2010 clients and customized project management tools built mostly on the foundation of Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. It lacked a view into the project landscape and needed a centralized resource pool to make sure that employees were assigned appropriate workloads. It also wanted to ensure access to information based on roles and permissions. A long look at the company’s increasingly sophisticated project management showed that it was time to move to a Microsoft Project solution.

“We needed a tool that would enable everyone to understand a project’s basis,” says Buddendick. “We wanted a fast, powerful, and agile solution that would offer more transparency into resources, scheduling, and capabilities—and be able to track progress. At the same time, we wanted to avoid adding complexity within the IT infrastructure.”

Solution
To address the challenge of managing multiple, complex projects, the company decided to assess Microsoft Project Online, a cloud-based solution for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work. Hilti planned to use Project Online in combination with Microsoft Project Pro for Office 365, a subscription-based cloud service that includes a rich project management desktop client that’s accessible from almost anywhere.

Project Online is delivered through Microsoft Office 365, an online service that brings together familiar Microsoft applications with the power of email, calendaring, collaboration, and communication solutions. “We wanted to prove that a cloud solution would be capable of fulfilling our PPM requirements,” says Buddendick.

In August 2012, Hilti started a Project Online pilot program for a project that involved manufacturing special machines. The company also deployed the online service in its IT department. Hilti worked with Campana & Schott, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with multiple Gold competencies, to implement the solution. The partner supported Hilti in defining requirements for each department and determining the best means for configuring the product to meet those requirements.

With refined project management knowledge, Campana & Schott created project templates that reflected standard activities, tasks, and milestones—and implemented easy-to-manage user permissions and version control. “Everyone had access to the most relevant information,” says Buddendick. “We moved from ‘push’ communications to ‘pull’ communications because all information is available through Project Online.”

Image of Dr. Christian Buddendick
Dr. Christian Buddendick   
Head of Workplace
Platform Services
Hilti Corporation
                        
The project team and users especially like Team Planner, a feature in Project Pro for Office 365, to easily update resource assignments by dragging tasks in an interactive view, which simplifies complex resource scenarios. “With Team Planner, every assignment can be seen by the corresponding resource,” says Adrian Adam, Manager at Campana & Schott. “The teams use it to allocate tasks.”

Hilti took advantage of project sites, team sites, and social capabilities that enhance collaboration. “With SharePoint capabilities in Project Online, you have discussion boards and spaces where you can make news announcements,” says Buddendick. “Everything integrated into one service.”

Hilti is experimenting with enabling employees to use their own tablets to connect to the corporate network and access Project Online. It is also using Microsoft Lync to make real-time communication possible for IT projects that are staffed with people from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 When the solution is deployed companywide, Hilti expects that as many as 10,000 employees will use it. “The out-of-the-box functionality of Project Online is easy to customize by using standard capabilities,” says Adam. “At the same time, the solution simplifies project management.”

Benefits
By using Project Online, Hilti gained a high-quality project portfolio management and everyday work solution without adding to IT workload. The company also saved on communication and travel costs and improved day-to-day productivity. “Hilti has a strong engineering background,” says Buddendick. “By using Project Online, we avoid the risk of over-engineering because the tool enables us to identify and precisely plan for each project’s requirements.”

Reduced IT Complexity
With Project Online, Hilti reduced IT complexity while helping employees begin, define, and prioritize projects. With the cloud offering, the company expects it can cut the number of maintenance weekends in half—from 12 to 6. “Using a cloud-based solution is clearly an advantage compared to setting up a customized server environment,” says Buddendick. “We don’t have to worry about maintenance, upgrades, or compatibility issues. All the capabilities we need are there, and are easily customizable.”

Greater Productivity and Cost Savings
Hilti estimates that team members who, for example, formerly spent 30 minutes searching for project information can reduce that time to 10 minutes with Project Online, a savings of 1.6 hours a week or more than 75 hours a year for every participant. Team members also save time because they are using standardized project templates—and because they can easily communicate with other team members across the globe. “By adopting Project Online, we will save money on communication costs and travel costs,” says Buddendick. “Because the solution is a cloud offering, it is more cost efficient.”

Increased Agility, Collaboration, and Scalability
Hilti used Project Online to improve resource management, get better transparency into project status, and achieve a new level of collaboration and idea generation in a global environment. “By using a cloud-based solution, we got the agility we were seeking,” says Buddendick. “We can scale the use of Project Online from 20 people up to 10,000 users. It is easy to use and satisfies nearly 100 percent of our business needs.”

Microsoft Project 2013
The new Project Server 2013 and Project Online offer flexible solutions for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work, delivered either on-premises or as an online service. Enable your workforce to effectively execute with the intended business value to achieve strategic priorities with Project Server 2013. For more flexibility, take your PPM capabilities into the cloud with Project Online subscriptions through Office 365 as an always-up-to-date service with simplified IT management. Project Online and Project Online with Project Pro for Office 365 help your team deliver value from virtually anywhere.

For more information go to:
aka.ms/project/success

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 in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. 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 Campana & Schott products and services, call (770) 330-0458 (United States) or (49) 69 97 788 3-0 (Europe) or visit the website at:
www.campana-schott.com

For more information about Hilti Corporation products and services, call (800) 879-8000 or visit the website at:
www.hilti.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 20000 employees

Organization Profile

Founded in 1941, the Hilti Corporation supplies the worldwide construction industry with technologically leading products, systems, and services that provide construction professionals with innovative solutions and superior added value. In 2012, it had global sales of approximately US$4.5 billion.


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Project Online
  • Microsoft Office 365

Vertical Industries
Architecture, Engineering & Construction

Country/Region
Liechtenstein

Business Need
  • Cloud & Server Platform
  • Enterprise Project Management
  • Corporate Software Licensing
  • Mobility

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Campana & Schott

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