Esquel Group, a manufacturer of cotton t-shirts for brands including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike, has completed one of the largest deployments of Yammer in Hong Kong for its 4,000 employees.
The global company also moved more than 7,000 users to Microsoft Exchange Online in 2013 as part of the Office 365 cloud deployment.
According to Esquel, the move to Yammer and Office 365 has not only reduced hardware and administrative costs, but also increased collaboration, productivity and mobility, as well as enabling a unified culture.
It has eliminated the need to maintain 28 e-mail servers and 14 Windows and SP servers.
Esquel began using Yammer to connect its far-flung operations and varied businesses in 2011.
“The network quickly grew from a sharing platform for a few dozen people in the IT department to a few hundred people across the enterprise,” said Wilkie Wong, chief financial officer, Hong Kong and overseas at Esquel. “As people posted questions, answers, and ideas, Yammer became an important internal communication tool. We use it for everything from morale boosting to problem solving.”
One reason for the company’s use of enterprise social networking is its desire to unite different geographies and lines of business.
“It’s easy to invest in systems and processes, but it’s difficult to find ones that help you build a company culture,” said Edgar Tung, managing director of Human Resources and Group Organizational Development. “But Yammer does just that.”
The company says that Yammer’s translation capabilities are also important. “We operate in nine countries,” Wong said. “It’s been immensely helpful to have a platform like Yammer connect us all together, no matter where we are or what language we speak.”
It added that Yammer has enabled better collaboration and helps make the most of both institutional and individual knowledge, while not just enabling efficiencies, but helping replicate them across the company
“A lot of great ideas come from the bottom up, and in an industry like garment manufacturing, most of the crucial activity takes place on the production floor, not in headquarters,” Tung said.
“One of the challenges we’ve had is that an innovation adopted in one site often isn’t rolled out in others,” Wong added. “Yammer helps us avoid wasting time and money reinventing the wheel.”
By the end of 2014, Esuqel will also migrate to other platforms under Office 365, including SharePoint Online for knowledge management and Lync Online for web-based conferencing.
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