The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide, with 2019 sales of 77.7 Billion euros. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world.
Like all organizations, Bosch relies heavily on email to conduct its global business. In fact, 9-10 million business emails are exchanged across the company on a daily basis. And like many companies, at Bosch business records and other important information are frequently exchanged via email. Emails related to company activities in sales, purchasing, accounting, engineering, quality assurance, and human resources are just a few examples of critical email uses. With so much riding on business-critical emails, personal mailboxes in Exchange and Outlook are not suitable repositories for storing such information. Daniel Stuch, Bosch Senior Project Leader Application Development and Rollout explains why; “co-workers and colleagues do not have access to others’ personal mailboxes. So, if it comes to e-discovery or an associate leaves the company, we simply don’t have any access to critical business information.”
In the past, Bosch used SAP Portal rooms for email records management. When support for that product ended, a project was set up to find a replacement. Initially, Bosch considered simply using file shares for email storage but quickly realized this option could not fulfill core business controls, including access control and providing transparency about information access and usage. “With file shares, you don’t have a fully functional document management system, you just simply have storage.”, says Stuch. A full-fledged document management system was needed and after a detailed evaluation of options, Bosch selected SharePoint, initially SharePoint on-premises. As a full-featured records management solution, SharePoint enables Bosch workers to accurately classify content using metadata, and thereby meet governance and compliance requirements.
This selection of SharePoint dovetailed with Bosch’s plans to migrate its infrastructure to the Office 365 cloud starting in 2020, enabling the company to migrate smoothly to SharePoint in the process. With a broad and heterogeneous user community, Bosch realized it would need an additional product to make it easy for typical business users to capture and classify important business emails in SharePoint. A number of products including harmon.ie were selected for evaluation.
A rigorous product selection process was defined, and key Bosch business units were chosen to participate in the process. A ‘proof of concept’ was executed with 77 test users from various Product Management, Project Management, and Purchasing Departments. At the end of the process, harmon.ie was selected as the product of choice for Bosch.
Once selected, Bosch was defined a harmon.ie phased rollout implementation schedule. The first stage is a pre-pilot of 1000 users, followed by a pilot phase of 6,000 users, and finally a global rollout to all 360,000 Bosch business users. Training to end users at Bosch is provided through self-service via internal business social media, the company’s Docupedia, and through video-based training using the BoschTube facility.
The combined SharePoint/harmon.ie solution helps Bosch manage its millions of daily emails, including those business records that need to be accessed by colleagues. The emails are also readily available for future audits and e-discovery. The ability to easily locate important emails is an important element of Bosch’s information governance and compliance program.
By making it easy to use, harmon.ie has increased the adoption rate of SharePoint. “harmon.ie makes SharePoint more accessible for people, and with improved adoption rate and increased use of Share-Point, we also have attained those benefits that we wanted from SharePoint in the first place”, says Stuch.
A side benefit of the SharePoint solution is that Bosch sees a reduction in documents sent as email attachments. This not only decreases data volume, it also prevents document versioning chaos. “Less data is sent by attachments – version 1, version 2, version final, final-final, etc. Now people are sending links and they always have the latest version.”
harmon.ie has also proved to have an economic value – “we found that although the financial gain was not the primary reason to purchase harmon.ie, you simply save up to 70% of the steps, or gain 70% of productivity when you drag and drop emails.”
harmon.ie adoption is easy, says Stuch. “We have web-based training including an interactive one with video screenshots. But even that is not usually necessary. When we push harmon.ie out to people and tell them to use it, they find it’s quite intuitive. People don’t need to learn how to use harmon.ie, they just use it. If they have questions about details, then they can find information in the appropriate channels or get in touch with a support team, the community, or even the help desk.”