4-page Case Study - Posted 2/17/2011
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Aditya Birla Financial Services

Non-banking Financial Company Switches to Microsoft Solution, Improves Productivity, Boosts Communication and Collaboration

Aditya Birla Financial Services Group (ABFSG) is one of the top financial services companies in India and a member of the prominent Aditya Birla Group. For many years, the company’s systems for email messaging and collaboration were based on Lotus Domino platform. However, the company wanted to better integrate these systems and therefore to address these issues, it deployed a comprehensive communication and collaboration infrastructure based on Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007. As a result, the company has gained efficiencies from a high-performance work environment, and employees are performing routine tasks faster, collaborating more efficiently, and enjoying the advantages of an integrated communications environment.

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* The integration between the two has helped boost employee efficiency and teamwork. We’ve realized a tremendous increase in productivity creating a common technology stack thereby integrating various productivity tools. *

G. V. Gopalakrishanan
Chief Operations Officer
Aditya Birla Financial Services

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Situation

The Aditya Birla Financial Services Group (ABFSG) has built a significant presence across verticals in financial services viz life insurance, asset management, private equity, NBFC, broking insurance advisory services, wealth management and distribution.

ABFSG is committed to being a leader and role model in a broad based and integrated financial services business. Its 7 lines of businesses, with over 5.5 million customers manages assets worth approximately USD 20 billion and prides itself for having a talent pool of over 15,000 committed employees. ABFSG has its wings spread across more than 500 cities in India through more than 1600 branches and about 200,000 channel partners. This allows ABFSG to offer its customers virtually anything other than a savings or current account. ABFSG is a significant non bank player and one of the few players who have a top 5 position in mutual funds and 6th rank in life insurance.

ABFSG is a part of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd (ABNL), is a U.S.$ 3.5 billion conglomerate. Over the years, it has built successful ventures into sunrise sectors viz. Financial Services (Life Insurance, Asset Management, NBFC, Private Equity, Broking, Wealth Management etc), Telecom, IT, ITeS and Fashion & Lifestyle. The razor sharp focus on manufacturing businesses has made it a leading player in Carbon Black, Agri-business, Rayon, Insulators and Textiles businesses. ABNL is a part of the Aditya Birla Group, India’s first truly multinational group. The group operates in 26 countries across the globe, is anchored by an extraordinary force of over 130,000 employees belonging to 40 nationalities and drives more than 60% of its overseas operations.

Headquartered in Mumbai, India, ABFSG has a wide network through its branches and channel partners across the country. It operates with 7 business units including Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Ltd., Birla Sun life Asset Management Company Ltd., Aditya Birla Money Ltd., Aditya Birla Money Mart Ltd., Aditya Birla Finance Ltd., Aditya Birla Insurance Brokers Ltd. and Aditya Birla Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

ABFSG previously employed the Lotus Domino platform for email and collaboration. It was an integral part of their infrastructure, a common store for compliance, email, archiving, and journaling.

Lotus Domino was also being used as a heterogeneous email platform. But, the company experienced manageability and co-ordination issues with the Lotus based email applications along with address book issues.

Soon ABFSG realized that Lotus Domino wasn’t the ideal platform. Therefore, it sought a solution that would better meet the expectations and working styles of its employees. It needed a suite of integrated products capable of supporting collaboration technology along with effective email messaging.

Solution

ABFSG began evaluating various solutions available in the market. However, after careful evaluation, it chose to implement Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Some of the reasons for deciding on these were integrated authentication and authorization using Active Directory, faster search capabilities, out-of-the box web parts, shorter development cycle, modern Web 2.0 features, and integration with Microsoft Outlook.

The solution was designed with the following objectives in mind:

To have an intranet which is far more engaging, where users can contribute with content and ideas, benefiting from collective intelligence.

A tool to enhance collaboration across businesses, and come out as an integrated financial service provider.

To have a common email platform across entire organization.

A common GAL with centralized monitoring, manageability and co-ordination.

Some of the modules implemented in the SharePoint based intranet include My Site, Corporate Communication, Ideation, Q & A, Hot Deals, Blog Wikis, Resource Center, and Search. Web parts were customized to meet specific requirements of business users. This project was started in November 2009 and was completed by mid March 2010. The second phase of the project is expected to start in November 2010. It will cover team sites, which will bolster internal work related collaboration amongst functional teams.

On the other hand, Exchange Server 2010 implementation enables single-sign-on using Active Directory. People search has become easy and fewer efforts are required to get connected to Exchange from anywhere. In addition, it integrates well with the other Microsoft suites. Tarun Pandey, V.P Information Technology, ABFSG says, “Since ABFSG is spread across India and has 7 business units, our plan was to first migrate the small business units with user capacity of 400 to 500. Later, Birla Sun Life Insurance which has over 600 branches and 12000 employees was initiated.”

Both these solutions were developed for the 7 business units of ABFSG from the Mumbai office. Currently, this solution is architected to accommodate 20,000 users.

Overall, ABFSG believes that having a Microsoft powered system will enable the company to achieve better results at a much faster phase, boosting their processes to accomplish their business targets in the coming years.

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* With a single unified platform, information is easily searchable resulting in efficient use of time and resources. Because the new solution is easy for employees to use and is helping them better share information and manage projects, overall communication and collaboration are more effective. As a result, productivity is up. *

G. V. Gopalakrishnan
Chief Operations Officer
Aditya Birla Financial Services Group

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Benefits

For ABFSG, the migration from Lotus Dominos platform to Microsoft technologies has proven to be remarkably successful. From the beginning, the company experienced noticeable improvements in productivity, collaboration, and communications. “The new solution not only promotes effective communication and collaboration it also provides a foundation for other future applications,” says Vitthal Naik, V.P Business Solutions, ABFSG.

Provides a Centralized Platform to Collaborate

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides a centralized platform to facilitate collaboration. It provides users with a highly efficient and cutting-edge technological tool to assist in day-to-day business activities. “With a single unified platform, information is easily searchable resulting in efficient use of time and resources,” says Vitthal Naik. “Because the new solution is easy for employees to use and is helping them better share information and manage projects, overall communication and collaboration is more effective. As a result, productivity is up.”

Improves Messaging Capabilities

With the deployment of Exchange Server 2010, ABFSG greatly enhanced the stability, speed, and function of its email messaging. Implementing Exchange Server 2010 is just the beginning of plans to improve communications at ABFSG. Tarun Pandey says, “We see implementing Exchange Server 2010 as a foundation for improved collaboration and communications, leading to staff being able to work when and wherever required. The system also simplifies email and inbox management, saving time for our IT team.”

Boosts Employee Productivity

With corporate communications, documents, and employee information consolidated and made easily searchable on the intranet, employees spend much less time finding information and more time putting it to use. This results in increased productivity.

Additionally, with Exchange Server 2010, employees have seamless access to messaging tools and data from a single inbox.

“The integration between the two has helped boost employee efficiency and teamwork,” says Tarun Pandey. “We’ve realized a tremendous increase in productivity by making the switch from Lotus Domino to Microsoft platform.”

Streamlines IT Administration

The new solution simplifies IT management by supporting a more integrated, secure, and reliable environment. With Exchange Server 2010 and Office SharePoint Server 2007, the environment is much more tightly integrated than it ever was using Lotus Domino. Tarun Pandey says, “Specifically, the integration of core Microsoft products with Active Directory makes it environment easier to set up and manage and also more stable. The IT staff has fewer issues to resolve, which is a great timesaver and promotes better security.”

Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office system is the business world’s chosen environment for information work, providing the programs, servers, and services that help you succeed by transforming information into impact.

For more information about the Microsoft Office system, go to:

www.microsoft.com/office

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 Aditya Birla Financial Services Group visit:
Birla Sun Life Insurance: www.insurance.birlasunlife.com

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund:

www.mutualfund.birlasunlife.com

Aditya Birla Money: www.adityabirlamoney.com

Aditya Birla Insurance Brokers Ltd:

www.adityabirlainsurancebrokers.com

Aditya Birla Capital Advisors: www.adityabirla-pe.com

Aditya Birla Finance Ltd.

www.adityabirlafinance.com

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 15000 employees

Organization Profile

The Aditya Birla Financial Services Group (ABFSG) is a significant non-bank player in India with employee strength of over 15,000.


Business Situation

Until recently, ABFSG had used the Lotus Domino platform for both collaboration and email messaging. ABFSG wanted to create a high-performance work environment by improving internal communications and enabling employees to collaborate effectively.


Solution

ABFSG deployed a communication and collaboration solution based on Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010, and Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007.


Benefits

  • Provides a centralized platform to collaborate
  • Improves messaging capabilities
  • Boosts employee productivity
  • Streamlines IT administration


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Vertical Industries
Financial Services

Country/Region
India

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Collaboration
  • Unified Communications

IT Issue
  • Personal Productivity
  • Virtualization

Languages
English

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