Colian is one of the largest FMCG-oriented capital groups on the Polish market, with well-known brands like “Grześki” chocolate bars, “Hellena” soft drinks and “Goplana” chocolate, among others.
Part of production is being sold abroad to more than 60 markets around the world. The group employs more than 2 000 employees and in 2016 saw sales revenue of 930 mln PLN (approximately 212 mln euro; source).
In its pursuit of increasing competitiveness and strengthening its market position, Colian invests in development and improves company infrastructure. To continue the successful streak, the group decided to modernize its office tools.
The first decision was to simplify the email system and introduce features which are useful in modern work environment, such as shared calendars or document repositories. To make it easier for knowledge workers to share information and documents and to organize meetings, the group has elected to implement modern solutions.
It was also important to update the intranet system, providing an internal communications platform for all employees and departments.
In cooperation with Microsoft and Predica, Colian decided to implement the O365 cloud software for all its knowledge workers. Using Microsoft technology, Predica experts with the active participation of Colian’s IT Department, migrated the email system to Exchange Online (allowing to share calendars and contacts) and implemented OneDrive for Business solution.
The modernized intranet has been based on SharePoint Online and integrated with Yammer – an enterprise social media service.
Predica has also introduced a couple of lesser-known services that are part of O365, such as:
- Video Portal (allows to upload, share, and play back videos across the company)
- Planner (makes it easy to organize and assign tasks and get updates on progress).
A comfortable and modern system
The basis of the new emailing solution is Exchange Online. It enables Colian employees to work more comfortably and securely on various devices. They can retrieve relevant information at any time and location.
With the O365 productivity suite, they also have access to many modern tools, making it possible to do all office work within a single environment. This solution enables teams to easily collaborate, create and share documents, and co-edit them in real time.
As a result of introducing OneDrive for Business, all files stored e.g. in users’ “My Documents” folders are synchronized with the O365 service (with 1TB of storage per user).
Skype for Business makes it possible to organize remote meetings as if the entire team was present in one conference room. This is a considerable improvement for Colian, as organizing internal meetings was relatively expensive and time-consuming in the past. The headquarters are in Opatówek, but the capital group has many branches, incl. Bydgoszcz, Kalisz, Lublin, Kostrzyn Wielkopolski, Wykroty or Warsaw.
With Skype for Business, synced calendars and OneNote integration, it is easy to arrange a meeting at a time most suitable for all participants. As the meeting happens, employees can share and edit notes, then keep them all in one place for reference.
Another improvement is the modernization of the intranet. Colian’s Internal Communications Team and other approved users publish useful and important content without the need to involve the IT Department. SharePoint Online forms the basis of this new network.
The above solutions, based on the public cloud service, required development and implementation of identity management tools. They now make it easier for Colian to manage permissions and access to O365 services and company information.
Sharing the knowledge
In parallel with the O365 implementation, Predica ran a series of workshops for senior managers and Colian’s leadership team. The training involved real-life scenarios of systems usage, as well as business cases and practical examples.
The participants used O365 tools which meant that they could see the benefits of the new software in practice. Thus, they became ambassadors of new solutions to their respective teams.
Implementation and migration happened gradually so that more and more staff members could use the new environment in their everyday work. During this process, the IT Department was working with old and new IT systems at the same time. This secured Colian against interruptions or downtimes and ensured successful migration of all data.
The entire process, including planning, development and implementation, migration and training, took around 7 months.
Everything under control
Colian decided to implement the Software as a Service solution to free up the IT team and transfer to the flexible payment model. Using cloud services ensures high security. It is guaranteed alongside the provision of various services by Microsoft – the world leader in IT solutions. After deployment, Predica supports Colian in maintaining the functionality of the new software.
Tools such as the O365 suite always develop and extend in nature, e.g. with new services or features. Therefore, we constantly collaborate on further adoption plans. Additionally, security is key – if potential threats or safety gaps appear, Predica will help to eliminate them.
Into the future
With cloud-based office solutions, Colian is free to implement further innovations which would not be possible without the digital transformation. A unified Office suite equipped with cooperation, communication and sharing tools, enabled knowledge workers to work faster and more effectively.
All thanks to the smooth transformation process supervised by the Head of the Colian IT Department – Maciej Barczewski – and Predica’s architects and consultants.
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