Started as a Mitsubishi dealer in the eastern part of Indonesia in 1978, Bosowa has grown into a major conglomerate in the region. In 2006, the company became a holding group and consolidated its five business groups. There was no standard platform while there were around 100 branch offices all over in Indonesia. Communication among these points was essential, but it was often non-unjustifiably expensive. It tried Open Source solutions, but found them inadequate for their requirements. Bosowa then looked for a solution to overcome its communication challenges. Having considered all available options, the company then decided to standardize on Microsoft® platform and adopt Microsoft Unified Communications® suite.
First founded in 1978 as a dealer for Mitsubishi cars and trucks, Bosowa has grown into one of the largest business conglomerates in automotive dealership, infrastructure development, financial services, cement manufacturing and property business. With a workforce of 5,000, it focuses its business activities in the eastern part of Indonesia.
Bosowa’s IT story was a familiar one. After the consolidation of the five business groups, the company ended up having a heterogeneous IT environment. For example, they used Yahoo® as their email provider, OpenOffice and Microsoft® Office® as their business productivity tool. The business groups were also running SAP®, Oracle® as well as other in-house developed applications to support their operations. Not all the systems were linkable. Monthly data took up to 20 days to reach the headquarters.
The holding company, Bosowa Corporation, is located in Jakarta. It is where the R&D team set up the model data center for the entire company. The real headquarters where the production servers are maintained is located in Makassar, the largest city in the region. Understandably, communication between Jakarta and Makassar is intense and accounts for a substantial part of their monthly operational costs.
In addition, there are also around one hundred big and small branches such as automotive dealers and cement outlets all over Indonesia. In many cases, voice and data communication incurs costs that are too high for the outlets to cover as the revenue is still too small. Nonetheless, the headquarters has to collect data on their daily activities to support business strategy development.
The company then started looking for a more cost-effective solution to reduce communications and travel costs as well as to support collaboration and to expedite decision-making.
|Before the consolidation, we used to have small kingdoms in the groups. Each of them was free to choose the platform that they wanted to use, including some Open Source solutions. When we adopted Microsoft platform, we eliminated a lot of headaches caused by the diverse environments that we would have to support and manage. |
|Muhammad Rizal Kaimuddin|
IT Research & Development Head
The IT research and development team under Muhammad experimented with a variety of products. During the selection process, vendors brought in combined solutions from OpenOffice.org, IBM, Google and Adempiere—a Open Source-ERP system.
The team from Microsoft offered its powerful set of Unified Communications tools including Microsoft Office Communications® Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server® 2007 to provide Bosowa with one-click access to a broad range of collaboration capabilities. Muhammad’s team immediately saw its superiority over any of the competing products—even those based on Open Source.
Convinced that Microsoft Unified Communications solution would give it the capabilities it needed, the company signed an Enterprise Agreement deal comprising four Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, 250 seats of Enterprise CAL, one Microsoft® Exchange® Server 2007 Enterprise Edition, one MOS® Server 2007 with MSS 3.0, two Microsoft® SQL® Server 2005 Enterprise Edition, one Microsoft Office Communicator® Server 2007, 250 seats of Desktop Pro® Platform as well as a Microsoft® Dynamics® CRM license for future implementation.
The entire overhaul of the company’s IT system has brought a number of benefits. “Microsoft solution meets Bosowa’s requirements and even exceeds our expectation,” says Muhammad.
As the Presence-based Unified Communications solution allows users to communicate efficiently, it improves collaboration between employees in geographically dispersed locations.
Reduced time to decision
As the result of better collaboration and more efficient communication, the management can use realtime data to respond to market changes and develop new strategies.
Reduced overall costs
As Microsoft Unified Communications utilizes the data network infrastructure, the 5000 employees in different locations can substantially reduce their reliance on the expensive public telecommunication services. It also helps reduce the need for employees and members of the management teams to travel back and forth to the headquarters in Makassar or to the holding company’s head office in Jakarta. “We can save at least 50% on travel costs alone,” says Muhammad.
Increased manageability, security and integration
Bosowa has been able to keep its IT team lean because the more familiar Microsoft platform is easier to manage, offers stronger security and integrates well with existing applications to make a single but complete platform.
By standardizing on Microsoft platform and acquiring all the necessary licenses for the products that they are using, Bosowa has at the same time maximized its compliance. This helps strengthen its corporate image.