Henkel: a move to the cloud with Office 365

  • Posted on July 30, 2015

Office 365For its transition into a digital business, global manufacturer Henkel needed its 47,000 employees in 75 countries to be able to work and collaborate anywhere, on any device. Henkel was running an outdated platform of Microsoft Office 2003 and Lotus Notes, which didn’t provide the flexibility it needed to be truly mobile. At Avanade, we had to prove to Henkel that there was an economical, evergreen business case for storing data in the cloud.

We did this by showing Henkel the future cost of running the environment, as well as detailing the management of the transitional phase. Our assessments discovered that a similar level of investment would be required to keep the existing setup with Lotus Notes running, without achieving an improvement in quality.

Avanade even established a conversation between Henkel and another customer that had already gone through the same process. This assured Henkel that the transition was the right move.

Once we had together established a plan for their cloud journey, we looked at the move to Microsoft Office 365 – set to become the industry standard as it allows a mobile and cloud first approach. This enables employees to collaborate in new ways that empower user productivity using data driven decisions, which accelerates innovation. Clearly Office 365 was the missing piece of the puzzle for Henkel’s business requirements.

What we couldn’t predict was the NSA revelations, which broke while the project was in the initial stages; high-profile managers at Henkel naturally became wary of moving to the cloud. Avanade had to educate them about the security of the public cloud, informing them that there is at times a bigger risk in storing information locally.

As part of this process we took stakeholders to the Microsoft data centre in Dublin where they could see how their data would be stored, managed and protected. This transparency provided Henkel’s decision-makers with the comfort required to go ahead with moving to the cloud.

Thanks to Avanade developing a close relationship with Henkel from day one of the concept phase, the project was delivered on time, in quality and in budget. Our partnership was complemented by a six-month planning period, proving that preparation is the key to a successful move to the cloud.

When working with clients, Avanade strives to spend 15% of the overall budget on managing change – the success of implementation relies on ensuring people use the new technology efficiently; we do this by re-educating the workforce and creatively engaging employees. We realise that success is measured in changing user behaviour, not just by hitting deadlines and sticking to budget.

This successful user adoption at Henkel has enabled it to leapfrog the competition, going from the least productive big company in Germany, to the most productive. It has also introduced new opportunities for the business, allowing it to explore avenues that were previously unachievable. Henkel has embraced, as an industry leader, the new normal in the way of working for large enterprises.

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