How could textile manufacturer Lantal—with offices in Switzerland, France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and the US—ensure that teams in different continents could work together efficiently and effectively?
With a sophisticated employee collaboration platform from IBM, staff can share knowledge and documents, and communicate faster and more easily than ever before.
Boostsproductivity with efficient information exchange between offices
Acceleratestime-to-market for new products and enhances customer service
Introducesmobile capabilities that enable staff to work on-the-go
Business challenge story
Streamlining long-distance collaboration
When your company has operations around the world, fast and effective collaboration between offices is key to ensuring that global business processes run smoothly.
Georg Probst, Director of Business Engineering Infrastructure at Lantal, explains: “We sell 94 percent of our products outside Switzerland. But it’s not just our products that travel the world―so do our internal communications, knowledge, documents and data.
“In the past, collaboration between offices and across time zones was complex. Without a dedicated collaboration solution, employees relied on email to share files. Because information is often shared between employees at different stages in projects, this resulted in a lack of clarity, as there were often numerous versions of any given document in circulation.”
He continues: “We wanted to improve knowledge management by making files easy to find and share. It was critical that our employees could work more efficiently by making information available to them within the context of a task or workgroup.
“Additionally, our flat corporate structure means that new ideas are taken seriously, so we can innovate faster than larger competitors. To take full advantage of this agility, employees must be able to work flexibly, so it was important for us to find a solution that could support mobile devices as well.”
Teaming up with IBMLantal turned to its long-term partner IBM for assistance, as Georg Probst recalls: “During several meetings and workshops, the IBM team helped us create and test several use cases to help us find the right solution for our business.”
The company decided to deploy IBM® Connections™, a comprehensive social business platform, at the heart of its collaboration environment. Deployed as an on-premise solution, IBM Connections equips Lantal’s staff with a broad selection of communication tools, including online communities, forums, wikis and polls.
Georg Probst explains: “IBM Connections matched our needs perfectly. The solution makes it quick and easy for our employees to bring their skills and expertise together to collaborate on projects and share information.”
Next, Lantal extended the functionality of its collaboration suite by integrating IBM Connections Docs, which provides hassle-free collaborative document editing, and the IBM Domino® social business application platform. The company also integrated the Connections solution with the IBM Notes® email client and IBM Sametime® instant messaging application.
Georg Probst comments: “The various software components integrate seamlessly to form a slick collaboration hub, providing an excellent user experience. The solution also provides a wealth of opportunities for Lantal to introduce additional functionality in future. For example, the company can easily implement the ProjExec tool for IBM Connections to optimize project management across the company. We have also implemented additional software from IBM Business Partner TIMETOACT, including User Access Manager, Web Content & Custom Apps and a Connection Administration toolkit, to extend functionality even further.”
He adds: “The implementation went quickly and very smoothly. Initial feedback from those testing the solution has been extremely positive.”
Massive productivity gainsWith a wide range of communication and file management tools in place, employees are able to work more collaboratively, productively and flexibly than ever before.
Georg Probst remarks: “We are currently rolling out the solution, and we are already achieving impressive benefits.
“For example, in the past, employees had to sift through previous versions and emails to locate the latest version of a file. Now, with straightforward file-sharing capabilities, employees can find and retrieve the documents they need quickly, anywhere, at any time.
“On top of that, employees can now edit documents directly in the collaboration hub. That’s much faster than having to download the files, complete the updates, then re-upload and re-send, as users would have to do with documents transferred via email.”
He continues: “In addition, innovative co-editing and contextual commenting features mean that review cycles of product specification documents, for example, are much easier to keep track of. We predict that enabling employees to work more productively will accelerate time-to-market for new products and enable us to offer even better customer service.”
Easy mobile access to the collaboration hub means that employees can work on their smartphones or tablets without missing a step. The ability to access IBM Connections on their mobile devices enables staff to work on-the-go―ideal for travelling salespeople and design teams working closely with customers to discuss and finalize patterns and styles.
Georg Probst concludes: “By streamlining employee collaboration, we can boost productivity and gain competitive advantage. The IBM solution plays a key role in our strategy, because it enables employees across the globe to collaborate as easily as though they were in the same office.”
Lantal designs, manufactures and distributes textiles for transportation firms. Headquartered in Langenthal, Switzerland, the company also operates offices in France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and the US, employs nearly 400 people worldwide, and generates sales of around CHF 96.7 million (USD 99.6 million).
- Connections Cloud (SaaS)
- IBM Connections Engagement Center-Cloud
- ICS: Domino
- ICS: IBM Docs on Premise (non Saas)
- ICS: Notes
- ICS: Sametime
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Collaboration Solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/collaboration
TIMETOACT Software & Consulting GmbH is one of the leading providers of professional services for IBM software in the German-speaking region. An IBM Platinum Business Partner, the company operates offices across Germany and Switzerland, and employs more than 280 people. To learn more about products, services and solutions from TIMETOACT, please visit: timetoact.de