This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Record.
Founded as a confectionery company in 1911, Mars now manufactures and sells products across 60 food, beverage, confectionary, pet care and biomedical research brands. Mars attributes its expansion and US$35 billion global sales record to its employee-centric culture.
To equip employees with the tools they need to remain connected and productive wherever they are, and achieve 100% growth over the next decade, Mars has adopted several Microsoft enterprise platforms. These include Microsoft Office 365, Azure, Windows 10 Enterprise, Surface Pro devices, and other key Microsoft services.
Working with Microsoft Services and Microsoft partner VDX, Mars began rolling out Windows 10 Enterprise and Office 365 to more than 80,000 associates in 400 locations across 78 countries in February 2016. By early 2017, the corporation had deployed Windows 10 to 12,500 seats and will complete enterprise-wide adoption before December 2018.
Field associates and high-level mobile executives have also received Microsoft Surface Pro devices so they can remain productive and serve customers while on the go. Employees can also use Yammer, Microsoft’s enterprise social network, to collaborate in real time with colleagues. Meanwhile, globally dispersed teams use Skype for Business to host live video meetings, which has reduced travel costs.
“With Windows 10, Mars associates finish things on the road instead of waiting until they get back,” says Joe Carlin, director of Technology Service Delivery at Mars. “For example, field associates use their Surface Pro devices in store walk-throughs, and if necessary, use Office 365 to connect with other team members and resolve display issues in one day instead of a week.”
Mars deployed a Windows-as-a-service model, so it receives automatic web-based operating system updates and a constant flow of new tools and capabilities. In addition, Mars moved more than 100 workloads to Microsoft Azure and will transfer up to 500 in 2017. This will save millions of dollars on future full-scale upgrades, and around US$250,000 on third-party licencing and maintenance annually.
“Initiatives like Windows 10 and our new digital workplace help Mars direct IT investment dollars towards unlocking greater potential across our organisation,” says Jonathan Chong, Mars’ director of Digital Workplace and Corporate Systems. “Rather than tying up investment and time to just get through the next product release, we can focus on enhancing key aspects of our culture at a digital level, across divisions, borders, and time zones. We can preserve what is special about Mars and help all our associates be more productive and agile.”