This article first appeared in the Winter issue of The Record.
Founded in Germany in 1926 to manufacture safety goggles, uvex is now an international company that develops, produces and distributes protective equipment for both the workplace and the sports industry.
Today, uvex group has 2,000 employees and operates multiple subsidiaries and branches across Europe, North America and South Africa. However, the company’s globally dispersed employees found it hard to collaborate because they were using a number of disparate productivity and identity access solutions, as well as ageing on-premise versions of Microsoft Office.
A few months before the end of its financial year in 2016, uvex group decided to upgrade its communication platform to provide employees with a ‘workplace for the future’, enable them to collaborate more easily, and adopt new ways of working. It opted to roll out Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity platform, Office 365, to all employees.
“We want to improve the digital communication and collaboration of all people in the uvex world and get ready for the future,” says Alexander Voggenauer, who is responsible for online solutions at uvex group. “That’s why we are building a worldwide, seamless platform to communicate and unlock new ways of working.”
After evaluating various proposals, uvex group selected Avanade as its implementation partner. “We were impressed by Avanade’s experience and approach,” explains Voggenauer. “The plan [Avanade] proposed to us struck all the right notes so we moved forward.”
To create a modern workplace, Avanade coordinated a phased roll out of Office 365, upgrading older Office platforms and migrating uvex group’s identity management processes to a unified Active Directory solution. Avanade also provided intensive training, as well as change management and technical support throughout the platform implementation.
Office 365 and Active Directory have already had a significant impact on uvex end users, administrators and the company’s bottom line.
All employees have easy access to a unified modern solution that enables them to work more efficiently and productively. Meanwhile, the new solution has simplified account management and support services for the IT team. This has enabled greater self-service opportunities for employees and reduced costs.
Most importantly, uvex group can scale the platform as it continues to grow in the future, allowing it to remain innovative. For example, the company plans to migrate to Microsoft Skype for Business and harness Office Sway for interactive reporting.
“It can’t be done is not even in our vocabulary,” says Voggenauer. “Thanks to the work done with Avanade, our people are better set to innovate than ever before.”
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