Veyance Technologies manufactures and sells branded Goodyear Engineered Products. After the company was spun off from Goodyear in 2007, Veyance inherited decentralized operations in 21 countries throughout the world. In 2011, it brought in new leadership who sought to increase the company’s competitive advantage by transforming the business into a global enterprise with shared services. As a critical step, Veyance moved to Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based services to modernize its communications infrastructure, which quickly boosted employee collaboration and lowered the cost of email by 40 percent. By using Office 365, employees can work with the latest Microsoft productivity software to deliver quality products and customer service, ensuring that Veyance is a leader in the global marketplace for years to come.
Based in Fairlawn, Ohio, Veyance Technologies is the exclusive manufacturer of Goodyear Engineered Products worldwide, such as air springs, power transmission products, conveyor belts and services, industrial and hydraulic hoses, and rubber track and molded rubber products. Veyance serves a variety of markets, including the military, automotive, industrial, and manufacturing sectors. Formerly known as Goodyear Engineered Products, the company changed its name to Veyance Technologies in 2007 after being spun off from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
Veyance has more than 9,000 associates, with facilities in 21 countries around the world. Each of the major facilities ran its business as an independent operation with its own back-office services, such as accounting, HR, IT, and customer service. In 2011, new executive leadership decided to introduce shared services with the goal to transform the business into a connected global enterprise to reduce costs and better compete in the marketplace. John Hill, the Chief Information Officer at Veyance Technologies, explains, “Veyance had lots of duplicated services and fragmented business processes across different regions. We wanted to change the business to operate as a global enterprise by improving communications and collaboration capabilities and using shared services to provide uniform service levels across the company.”
As Veyance consolidated its back-office services into a new global shared services center in Manila, Philippines, it also focused on how it could improve its IT infrastructure to enable global communications and collaboration. Veyance had a traditional outsourcing relationship, which included hosted Lotus Notes that the company used for email. Outside of email, it did not have centralized or full-featured solutions for team collaboration, document sharing, and cross-company communications. “Veyance had made very little investment in IT solutions since it was separated from Goodyear,” says Hill. “We had an expensive outsourcing arrangement that included an aging email platform that needed to be upgraded or replaced. Plus, we lacked modern communications tools to help our employees find and collaborate with experts across the company.”
To meet the pace and speed in which the new leadership team wanted to achieve change, Veyance decided to explore cloud-based solutions as a new IT strategy. Hill says, “We wanted to transition to the cloud to enable a global infrastructure, achieve rapid implementation, and take advantage of the cost savings that cloud solutions provide.”
The search for a cloud-based global communications and collaboration solution led Veyance to select Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 delivers Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online as a connected solution, along with the familiar Office applications in Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus. Office 365 ProPlus is the full client version of Office delivered as a service. It includes applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. “We looked at alternative solutions, but we felt that these solutions lacked the breadth of enterprise capabilities we needed, such as a full-featured Office suite and the ability to work effectively in a disconnected state,” says Hill. “Microsoft creates additional value for our business, and we knew that our employees would appreciate the synergy of using one connected solution; something that alternative solutions cannot provide.”
Veyance worked with a Microsoft Cloud Partner to plan, implement, and manage the migration from Lotus Notes to Office 365.
In July 2012, Veyance completed its worldwide deployment—six months after selecting Office 365. Currently, information workers use the Office 365 E3 plan, and factory workers use the Office 365 Kiosk plan for email communications, access to shared materials, and Microsoft Office Web Apps. “The speed in which we provided new productivity tools to our employees around the world was a very powerful and symbolic achievement toward our business transformation efforts,” says Hill.
By using Exchange Online for email and calendaring, Veyance receives premium antispam and antivirus protection, georedundant data centers for enterprise-class reliability, and a financially backed 99.9 percent uptime service level agreement. Hill says, “Employees find the Outlook client and Outlook Web App to be more feature-rich and user-friendly than Lotus Notes.” Employees can also easily save email into a hosted, personal archive. For compliance, the IT staff can place legal holds on mailboxes, rapidly perform eDiscovery, and enforce retention policies.
Veyance did not previously have a solution for real-time online communications, so employees eagerly adopted Lync Online capabilities such as instant messaging (IM), presence, and conferencing. Hill says, “Almost overnight, Lync became a new paradigm for how the company communicated and collaborated with each other.” With presence awareness in Outlook, SharePoint Online, and the Lync client, employees in the United States can easily find colleagues at other locations, including the shared services center in Manila, and start a chat. They can quickly add more people to the conversation and start a videoconference or document-sharing session for more detailed conversations. “Since we deployed Lync, we have seen global communications happen much more intuitively and with greater convenience,” says Hill.
SharePoint Online is another new enterprise solution at Veyance. Global project teams use team sites for document collaboration and knowledge sharing. Employees, including factory workers, can easily search for documents and use Office Web Apps to view and edit documents. Hill says, “Employees find it much easier to work with documents on SharePoint Online, compared to the complexity of finding them on older shared drives.” Veyance is still expanding its use of SharePoint Online but expects to take advantage of social capabilities and SkyDrive Pro for personal cloud storage. “We looked at other cloud storage solutions, but we wanted to avoid adding the complexity of adding another third-party product to the user experience.” Using SkyDrive Pro, employees can save and access documents in the cloud with SharePoint Online. Employees can control access and permissions so that they can more securely share files with coworkers. They can also edit documents offline and synchronize their work the next time they are online.
Veyance also upgraded all of its computers to the latest version of Office 365 ProPlus as part of the Office 365 deployment. Hill says, “With user-based licensing, employees have deployed Office on multiple devices, including their personal computers and tablets, which helps them connect to Office 365 when they’re away from the office.” Because Office 365 ProPlus is delivered as a service, Veyance will always have the latest version of the Office suite.
Because of its rapid deployment of Office 365 cloud-based services, Veyance quickly modernized its communications and collaboration infrastructure and empowered its employees to support its business transformation strategy. Hill says, “We had a strategy to operate as a global enterprise, and without Office 365, we would not be able to pursue that strategy as effectively. Office 365 is a real catalyst to enabling employee communications and collaboration for the purpose of creating customer value.”
Enable Global Business Transformation
By adding Lync Online and SharePoint Online to its global infrastructure, Veyance employees can now easily access company expertise and skills that exist in other parts of the world. Employees can not only effectively share information with coworkers, but they can also use presence information to find available resources and work on problems in real time. As a result, Veyance has enabled its workforce to operate as a global entity.
“Office 365 is a huge step forward in our business transformation journey. We can now connect people and their talents from one specific region to wherever they are needed in the company,” says Hill. “Because the move to Office 365 touched everyone, we see it as symbolic: we are taking advantage of the best technologies in the industry to help us change in fundamental and rapid ways.”
Improve Communications and Collaboration
By using the communications and collaboration capabilities in Office 365, employees have changed their work behaviors and habits. Hill says, “Because of the speed that our employees can now connect and share information, we have taken significant cycle time out of all sorts of business processes.” Tasks that might have taken days to get resolved—through sending multiple email messages back and forth—can now be resolved in a matter of minutes when employees use presence awareness, IM, and conferencing to instantly communicate. “We have increased the frequency of contact and interaction across our global organization and that helps us deliver quality products and improve customer service,” says Hill.
Veyance replaced its expensive outsourcing arrangement for Lotus Notes with Office 365. “By choosing Office 365, we acquired more capabilities and capacity, and we saved about 40 percent in costs compared to what we previously spent on email alone,” says Hill. “That’s the beauty of information technology when it’s done right. You get more features, more storage, and more flexibility for less cost.” With Lync Online, Veyance expects to save additional costs by avoiding long-distance phone charges and reducing the need to travel.
Provide Always Up-to-Date, Fully Managed Services
With the shift to cloud-based services, Veyance has opened new possibilities for employee communications and collaboration, while minimizing IT administration and costs. The company can rely on Microsoft to provide a flexible, highly secure, and reliable enterprise platform from world-class data center facilities. Employees can always stay up-to-date on the latest Microsoft technology. “We have experienced excellent availability with Office 365,” says Hill. “We like that we continue to receive value as an Office 365 subscriber because Microsoft administers regular updates, as opposed to waiting for large-scale upgrade projects every three years.”
Hill also liked that Office 365 met all of Veyance’s requirements regarding compliance and security. Hill says, “During our evaluation, we raised questions around data privacy, which can be quite cumbersome especially in Europe and other parts of the world, and Microsoft provided agreements that were fully compliant.” Hill concludes, “Office 365 is a powerful solution that helped us bring value to our global enterprise in an accelerated way.”