In 2018, brewery AB InBev decided to replace its outdated Intranet. They chose Valo, a ready-to-use Intranet solution based on Office 365 and SharePoint, to increase productivity within the company. “We used to send countless e-mails with questions and answers and often repeated the same information. That’s a thing of the past now: our employees can find everything in the forums on our new Intranet”, says Jonathan Orroi, Director Enterprise Architecture at AB InBev.
Installing new hardware and software for 10,000 employees is a Herculean job. That’s why brewery group Anheuser-Busch InBev chose stability over large-scale innovation projects for a long time and only invested in a full technological update once every ten years. Last year, they decided to change course and partly switch to the cloud with Windows 10, Office 365 and SharePoint Online. The latter two laid the groundwork for the company’s new Intranet.
By switching to the new Microsoft applications (especially the new Intranet), the company wanted to encourage their employees to collaborate more efficiently. They used to send countless e-mails back and forth to request information, which meant that the same questions were asked and answered over and over. The new Intranet includes a forum where employees can ask and answer questions.
“We’re trying to teach our employees to make a habit of checking the forum before they ask a question – maybe it’s been answered there already. This way, we no longer answer the same questions endlessly. Now that we’ve stopped bombarding each other with e-mails, we can spend our time much more efficiently”, Jonathan Orroi, Director Enterprise Architecture at AB InBev, explains.
Valo offers an extra layer on top of AB InBev’s SharePoint and Office 365. “We can choose our own look and feel, which enables us to set up everything with an AB InBev theme. We now use handy templates to ensure that our layout remains consistent”, Jonathan says. They also paid attention to the mobile version to ensure that the Intranet is easily and continuously accessible on mobile devices.
AB InBev contracted Xylos to update their Intranet system. “As a premium partner, they’re the ultimate Valo reference in Belgium. They’ve implemented many similar Intranet solutions, so they didn’t need much guidance at all – and they know SharePoint and Office 365 like the back of their hand. That made things easier for us and allowed us to get started with the platform quickly”, Orroi continues. Xylos needed half a day to install the software.
Xylos is one of 13 premium Valo partners worldwide. “We’ve earned this status thanks to our commercial approach, high customer satisfaction, extensive implementation experience and our Office 365/SharePoint expertise. It’s a great reward for the hard work of our 365 Business Solutions team”, says Thomas Vochten, Solution Architect at Xylos.
Thanks to Windows 10 and Office 365’s As-a-Service model, the applications used by AB InBev’s employees are now upgraded constantly. They regularly get new features, such as OneNote and OneDrive, which the company introduces step by step. Additionally, all data are now stored in an encrypted environment. Microsoft and Xylos didn’t just boost productivity and collaboration with their cloud solution – they also improved the company’s cyber security.
“This application puts a layer on top of SharePoint that allows us to choose our own look and feel, while keeping the basic structure of SharePoint.”