This week Toyota Motor Corporation made the announcement that the company will be migrating over 200,000 employees to Microsoft Office 365. Specifically, Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. and other affiliates will be making the shift across the entire employee base. Company staff declared that the purpose of this is to “globally streamline its communications and collaboration capabilities”.
In a case study released on the decision, their reasoning was further illustrated to the public: “The company decided to employ a public cloud service as a long-term solution to flexibly and efficiently support the information platform of a company that has 87 offices in 5 regions around the world and continues to grow into a global company. A detailed comparison and examination resulted in the company selecting Microsoft Office 365.”
In the same study, the company also outlined the main value points it sees in the product as it relates to their mission as an auto manufacturer:
- The elimination of on-premise servers has made the factories free from the influence of system shutdowns caused by power outages, resulting in a substantial increase of availability.
- Every employee can use a 25-GB large capacity mail box.
- Address books and schedules can be shared among employees in 19 offices in Japan.
- A significant reduction in the burden on IT engineers involved in security measures to guard against viruses and prevent spam mail.
- The Transport Rule function allows the employees to observe the security guidelines without being aware of them.
- The ability to archive mail with no capacity limit allows data that used to be stored locally by employees to be managed centrally. Rules regarding mail storage can be controlled centrally; for example, a mail storage period can be set arbitrarily.
- Operation can be continued in the event of a disaster, because the servers are located in two sites, including one in Singapore.
- Mail system collaboration with smartphones and slate PCs has been made possible, and is being tested by executives.
Toyota is far from the first manufacturer to move to Office 365, following similar moves by Dell, Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, and Evco Plastics earlier this year. For it’s Japan offices, Toyota plans to continue existing on-premises versions of Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Windows Server. In doing so the company will be able to leverage the integration features between Office 365 and on-premises environments such as ADFS (active directory federated services).
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