MARS boosts collaboration and reduces costs with Windows 10

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 09 February 2017
MARS boosts collaboration and reduces costs with Windows 10

MARS is deploying Windows 10 to more than 80,000 associates across 400 locations in 78 countries.

A manufacturing company with a global presence, MARS delivers 60 brands across six segments – food, drinks, chocolate, confectionary, pet care and symbioscience.

Thanks to Windows 10, Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, the organisation’s associates will be able to collaborate more effectively. Windows 10 will also help reduce the cost of large-scale deployments, which had in the past been in excess of US$4 million and taken many years to complete.

MARS is using a ‘Windows as a Service’ model, which has helped to accelerate the deployment of Windows 10. 12,000 associates are already using the operating system, which has exceeded the organisation’s original aim at this stage by 110%.

This accelerated deployment has afforded MARS’ IT team the time to help strengthen collaboration across the enterprise through Office 365, including via Yammer and Skype for Business. MARS is seeing a positive influence from Skype for Business, particularly on worker culture and the work-life balance of associates, while Yammer has also been widely embraced.

Windows 10 also allows for greater employee flexibility in terms of their use of devices, allowing them to work from the office, at home or on the road.

“By using Windows 10, MARS associates now finish things on the road instead of waiting until they get back to the office,” said Joe Carlin, technology service delivery director 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.”

The company has enhanced its security levels using Windows security features such as BitLocker to encrypt data and Windows Defender to enhance security and authentication.

The embracing of Windows 10 technology not only marks a digital transformation for MARS, but will help the company attract high quality candidates to jobs going forward.

“We invest a lot of money in attracting and retaining talent,” said Paul L’Estrange, CTO and vice president of core services, MARS. “These people now expect a modern, productive work environment and this includes the type of devices we provide and the tools they use at work every day. Products like Windows 10, Skype for Business and Yammer support our engagement and talent management strategies.”

MARS is hoping to have all its associates using Windows 10 by 2018. Furthermore, the organisation has two global data centres that run 85% of its business – one of which is 25 years old. MARS is therefore testing a hybrid cloud model and recently moved its first live production application into Azure, as well as about 150 other workloads.

“At MARS, we meet our goals,” says David Boersma, senior manager for end user technologies at MARS. “This company will continue to accelerate its growth organically and through acquisition and we’re using Windows 10 to build the flexibility and capabilities we need to get there.”

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