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Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a global agricultural processing firm based in Illinois, transforms crops such as corn and wheat into food and agriculturally derived fuels and chemicals. Recently, the firm sought to improve its online customer experience by creating a more engaging Web site. As part of this initiative, the company wanted to shift content management duties from IT to customer and product experts in each business unit. Working with Microsoft and IT consultant Avanade, a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner, ADM implemented a new Web solution based on Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007. The new site offers customers a more effective online experience. Also, the ADM Corporate Communications team can more easily update the site. The company has been able to redeploy IT staff formerly responsible for maintaining the site to higher-value business application projects.
Microsoft Office System Customer Solution Case Study Agricultural Firm Improves Customer Experience, Saves Time with Web Solution Overview “We would rather see our developers spending their Country or Region: United States Industry: Manufacturing time building new business applications than changing Web site content. Office SharePoint Server Customer Profile Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is 2007 gives us the ability to do that.” a global agricultural processing firm with Jeff Bomball, Senior Director for Global Business Systems, ADM more than 27,000 employees. Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a global agricultural Business Situation ADM needed to redesign its Web site for processing firm based in Illinois, transforms crops such as corn and better usability. Additionally, the company wheat into food and agriculturally derived fuels and chemicals. sought to move site content management duties away from IT staff. Recently, the firm sought to improve its online customer experience by creating a more engaging Web site. As part of this initiative, the Solution With help from Microsoft and consulting company wanted to shift content management duties from IT to firm Avanade, ADM implemented a Web customer and product experts in each business unit. Working with solution based on Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 that includes Microsoft and IT consultant Avanade, a Microsoft® Gold Certified built-in Web publishing functionality. Partner, ADM implemented a new Web solution based on Microsoft Benefits Office SharePoint® Server 2007. The new site offers customers a Gives customers a better online more effective online experience. Also, the ADM Corporate experience Eases Web updating process Communications team can more easily update the site. The Improves ability to view global content company has been able to redeploy IT staff formerly responsible for Saves IT resources Lays foundation for new e-commerce site maintaining the site to higher-value business application projects. Situation management system in place,” remarks Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) Steve Smith, IT Application Manager, ADM. converts corn, oilseeds, wheat, and cocoa “Because we had built the site, the work of into products for food, animal feed, chemical, changing the HTML code fell to us. So any and energy uses. Headquartered in Decatur, time Corporate Communications wanted to Illinois, ADM operates the world’s foremost make a change, they had to go through us.” global crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops and markets in That made every update to the Web site a nearly 60 countries. The organization, which time-consuming process. “Because the employs more than 27,000 people in more content was all in HTML, financial updates than 600 offices and 230 processing plants were difficult,” says Jeff Bomball, Senior throughout the world, had net sales of Director for Global Business Systems, ADM. U.S.$70 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008. Additionally, site content was published in seven different languages on 12 sites, to Through its Web site, which was based on the reflect ADM’s global customer base. But the ASP.NET Web application framework, part of site’s inefficient global environment the Microsoft® .NET Framework, ADM presented challenges. “Whenever we needed promotes food safety and quality, to make a change in English, we also needed sustainability, and its commitment to the to make that same change on the other 11 environment. sites,” says Bomball. “There was very little flexibility as far as changing content.” Customers who visit the global ADM site request information by specific product type Because of these issues, users of the current or ADM business unit, and download product site, including shareholders, media, ADM specifications and other documents. customers, and consumers, struggled to find Customers also rely on the site to locate the information they needed. It was also updated contact information based on difficult for the ADM Corporate products they are interested in. Communications team to keep the Web experience fresh and interesting. “As far as “The Web site is our primary external the customer experience, Corporate presence globally,” says Gary Mruz, IT Senior Communications wanted to make the site Operations Officer, ADM. “That’s why it’s crisper and cleaner in terms of look and feel,” important that all content on the site be says Mruz. “We also wanted to improve the pertinent to our customers and other site’s search functionality and site stakeholders. ADM needs to constantly navigation.” update content on the site, including everything from product data sheets to press In late 2007, the ADM Corporate releases to stockholder financial Communications team began an effort to information.” redesign the Web site and implement a new content management system that would Unfortunately, updating the Web site’s provide more flexibility, ease the burden on IT content was both slow and cumbersome. employees, and offer a better user Even though the ADM Corporate experience. Communications team initiated all content changes, the IT department had to make the actual HTML changes. “There was no content Solution part of the Windows Server® 2008 operating Initially, ADM considered hiring an outside system, provides a security-enhanced, easily design firm to recommend and possibly manageable Web environment for developing manage a new Web site and content and hosting Web applications. management solution. However, the ADM Corporate Communications department was ADM was able to meet its requirement to not satisfied with the efficiency of that publish content in multiple languages by solution. using the Variations feature of Office SharePoint Server 2007. This feature helps In January 2008, ADM contacted Microsoft simplify the process of managing content that directly about content management and Web needs to be translated into multiple solutions. Microsoft introduced ADM to languages by maintaining customizable Avanade, a Seattle, Washington–based copies of content based on a primary site. global business technology consultancy. Teaming with Avanade, Microsoft presented Additionally, because Office SharePoint “Office SharePoint to ADM the idea of a completely new Web Server 2007 provides built-in flexibility with Server 2007 helped us infrastructure based on Microsoft Office extensible workflows, the Web development SharePoint® Server 2007. team was able to quickly build new content create a new Web site functionality without the need to create that gets our customers Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a custom ASP.NET pages. For example, development environment, based on the .NET developers extended the content types used to their online Framework, that gives developers a set of to support page documents and images destinations faster, integrated content, collaboration, and search inside SharePoint Server 2007 as searchable services. SharePoint Server 2007 also tags, which can be applied to those content which improves the contains built-in Web publishing features that types. overall customer can be customized for Web content management purposes. For instance, a built- Benefits experience and may in publishing template enables users to The new Web solution gives ADM the ability to help drive business modify documents and have changes add new search features and other immediately applied to all documents within functionality to its Web site, which give users growth.” a Web site if so specified. “Office SharePoint a much better experience. Also, the ADM Jeff Bomball, Senior Director for Global Server 2007 features a lot of out-of-the-box Corporate Communications team can more Business Systems, ADM Web publishing functionality, and we knew easily update the site. ADM has also been we could extend that to make this solution able to reduce the time its IT department work for ADM,” says Mike Wood, Vice spends on the main Web site, which means IT President, Account Portfolio, Avanade. employees can primarily focus on other high- value business application projects. After several weeks of consulting and analysis, Microsoft and Avanade worked Gives Customers a Better Online closely with the ADM IT and Corporate Experience Communications departments to design and ADM’s new ability to tag content improves deploy a new Office SharePoint Server 2007– ADM customers’ ability to quickly search the based Web presence that uses a database Web site for the content they need. “With built on Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 data Office SharePoint Server 2007, we are able management software and runs on Internet to deliver content to our Web site in a much Information Services 7.0 Web server more visible, easy-to-follow manner,” Mruz technology. Internet Information Services 7.0, says. “As an end user looking for information, you are pulled toward specific content much team can be more proactive about the faster and in a more fluid way.” content they deploy to the site. “They now have the ability to build and deploy content in Having a new, more user-friendly Web site a much more timely way,” Bomball says. “As means that ADM can concentrate on boosting a result, ADM can communicate more often its online growth opportunities. “Office and more quickly.” SharePoint Server 2007 helped us create a new Web site that gets our customers to their Improves Ability to View Global Content online destinations faster, which improves The new Variations feature in Office the overall customer experience and may SharePoint Server 2007 improves ADM Web help drive business growth,” remarks site users’ ability to view content in their Bomball. native language. For example, Office SharePoint Server 2007 can detect the In fact, the ADM Corporate Communications default language of the user’s browser. If a team has already reported an increase in language variation is available in a “Before, site visitors saw online customer requests for product customer’s preferred language, that language us as 12 different Web information. “They were tracking metrics, and is automatically displayed. they saw almost immediately that product sites. Now, because of information and customer contact requests Because Office SharePoint Server 2007 the Variations feature in were up,” says Mruz. “It was a noticeable improves the way translated content is increase, and they attribute that to the fact displayed to customers, ADM can easily offer Office SharePoint Server that customers are able to find information variations of pages within the main Web site. 2007, we can provide faster now.” “Before, site visitors saw us as 12 different Web sites,” says Mruz. “Now, because of the more languages without Eases Web Updating Process Variations feature in Office SharePoint Server adding any unnecessary ADM’s new solution gives Corporate 2007, we can provide more languages Communications employees a simple, fast without adding any unnecessary confusion to confusion to the way to publish content to the company’s new the navigation. We are already looking at navigation.” Web site. From their computers, the having content translated into 20 languages, employees access an Office SharePoint which we never even could have considered Gary Mruz, IT Senior Operations Officer, ADM Server 2007 portal, through which they can doing with our previous system.” import documents, enter and edit content, and set deployment for specific times. Press Saves IT Resources releases can be set up to be published at Previously, the ADM IT department had to specific times, and ADM employees no longer devote many hours each week to content need to manually enter extensive HTML code. changes. “On average, we were dedicating “Previously, we could only change one one and a half full-time developers to the site document at a time,” says Lorri Walker, IT every week. That amounts to around 60 Business Analyst, ADM. “Now, with Office hours spent on content changes to the site,” SharePoint Server 2007, we can make Bomball says. “In some cases, that took time changes to one document and immediately away from other business application apply those changes to any number of projects, or meant we had to augment ADM IT documents or pages. It’s a much easier staff with external resources to address process.” them.” With the new solution, ADM Corporate Communications employees can publish new Because they can update the Web site much press releases and make other content faster, the ADM Corporate Communications changes themselves. The ADM IT department can now save 60 hours each week, because IT employees are no longer directly involved in content management for the Web site. IT developers who previously had to work on content management have been redeployed to work on other critical IT tasks. “We would rather see our developers spending their time building new business applications than changing Web site content,” says Bomball. “Office SharePoint Server 2007 gives us the ability to do that.” Lays Foundation for New E-Commerce Site With its new solution, based on Office SharePoint Server 2007, SQL Server 2005, and Internet Information Services 7.0, ADM now has a foundation in place on which it can build its new e-commerce customer site. In fact, ADM strategically chose these technologies because they would effectively support this business-to-business site. “That site will include functionality such as contract information, order confirmation for farmers and other customers, logistics tracking information on shipments, and electronic payments,” Mruz says. Now that IT employees are no longer required to spend their time on Web site updates, they can turn their full attention to this new e- commerce site. “The time that we’re going to save with the new Office SharePoint Server 2007–based solution will be used on the e- commerce site and other business applications that have been deemed critical by the business units that we support,” says Mruz. “Those are projects that could potentially bring in additional revenues to ADM.” For More Information Microsoft Office System For more information about Microsoft The Microsoft Office system is the business products and services, call the Microsoft world’s chosen environment for information Sales Information Center at (800) 426- work, providing the programs, servers, and 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft services that help you succeed by Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- transforming information into impact. 2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of- hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone For more information about the Microsoft (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in Office system, go to: the United States or (905) 568-9641 in www.microsoft.com/office Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com For more information about Avanade products and services, visit the Web site at: www.avanade.com For more information about Archer Daniels Midland products and services, visit the Web site at: www.adm.com Software and Services Partner Microsoft Office Avanade − Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 − Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft SQL Server 2005 − Windows Server 2008 Enterprise This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published March 2009
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