Amway, a global multilevel marketing and consumer products company, provides product development, manufacturing, and logistics services to more than 80 countries and territories worldwide. The company reported annual sales of $8.4 billion for the year ending December 31, 2009.
SharePoint at Amway
In 2003, savvy IT users began using Windows SharePoint Server sites for document sharing and collaboration. The natural back-end of Microsoft Office, SharePoint is easily accessible as a free component of Windows Server 2003 and 2008. Once available within workgroups, SharePoint became the new way of working and spread far and wide within the organization. By 2008, with nearly 5,000 SharePoint sites in its network, Central IT decided to deploy Office SharePoint Server 2007 to:
- create standardization, governance, and controlled deployments;
- provide better search capabilities across multiple sites;
- develop a highly available, failover SharePoint infrastructure; and
- develop custom applications using SharePoint as a platform.
Today, the company estimates 70 percent of its business users with access to SharePoint use it regularly. With such widespread adoption of SharePoint, Central IT was surprised to discover that 6,000 email users working in its Michigan headquarters send nearly 73,000 documents a day.
“Most people live in email. They try not to, but trust me, they do. Opening email is the first thing they do in the morning, and it’s the last thing they close before they walk out the door at night. More often than not, they resort to sending documents back and forth, because people think it’s faster and easier to email a document than to switch contexts and deal with multiple browser windows. In fact, they lose a ton of time searching for the most current version of a document and merging input from several people.”
- Sandy Harvey, Senior Analyst, Messaging & Collaboration
To make SharePoint faster and easier to use, and reduce the high volume of email ping pong, Amway made the decision to bring SharePoint into email.
“The best and only out-of-the-box option for Lotus shops that want to integrate SharePoint into email is to use harmon.ie for SharePoint, Notes edition.”
- Sandy Harvey
harmon.ie’s email sidebar enables IT users to easily search, access, and share documents and project emails on SharePoint that are otherwise locked in people’s inboxes. harmon.ie also exposes advanced SharePoint features in Lotus Notes, including integrated access to team calendars, Sametime integration with SharePoint documents, and access to SharePoint-based social networks from within the active email context.
Amway deployed harmon.ie for SharePoint to 6,000 email users as a sidebar Widget in the Lotus Notes 8.5.1 package, completing the process in four months. User training on newly available workflows in Lotus Notes, including accessing SharePoint, is also complete.
Results and Benefits
Since completing the harmon.ie deployment, Harvey reports a 42 percent decrease in the volume of email attachments. She estimates the investment in harmon.ie software will pay for itself within six months, based on the substantial time savings realized using harmon.ie to access SharePoint versus having to switch contexts and open a browser as well as savings in email storage costs.
“Our business users love having SharePoint access within email. The amount of time people save using a single, easy-to-use messaging and collaboration interface has been a huge advantage for our customers.”