Archer Daniels Midland by MicrosoftCaseStudies


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									                                              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
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
 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
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
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For more information about Avanade
products and services, visit the Web site at:

For more information about Archer Daniels
Midland products and services, visit the
Web site at:

                                                                 Software and Services                        Partner
                                                                  Microsoft Office                              Avanade
                                                                   − Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
                                                                   − 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

Document published March 2009

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