TMD Friction Group is the world's largest original equipment manufacturer of friction materials in the automotive and brake industry. Boasting a global production of over one million friction products every day, the comprehensive product portfolio includes disc pads and drum linings for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, as well as brake pads for motorsport and friction materials for rail and industry. Among many others, TMD's brands include Mintex and Don.
With offices and staff spread around the world, collaborative business processes are crucial to their ongoing success. TMD Friction had invested in SharePoint to provide inter company collaboration through a dedicated intranet solution. Following deployment TMD found that the solution was not working out as well as had been originally anticipated.
TMD Management still perceived SharePoint to be the solution. Clearly something had to be done to release its full potential. Dave McIver, TMD Friction Group IT Business Project Manager, said that a chance encounter at a SharePoint business intelligence seminar, hosted by Business Agility was the start of a brand new business relationship. The Microsoft Gold Certified Company offered a wide range of Microsoft-based competencies including the provision of SharePoint Delivery Services through a dedicated hosting partner - Rackspace Hosting.
A new start
Dave McIver said, "Following our attendance at the seminar, we met again with Business Agility and arranged a full technical workshop for our CFO and accounts team to show them exactly what SharePoint was really capable of delivering when set up by professionals and hosted correctly."
Business class hosting is essential for success
Business Agility stressed the importance of the hosting platform and the need for guaranteed network uptime linked with reliable, high speed delivery. Rackspace was the perfect hosting partner with a 100% network uptime guarantee and one-hour hardware replacement, combined with the unmatched Fanatical Support promise. Business Agility's assessment of the original SharePoint revealed that a brand new implementation of SharePoint was necessary. This, backed by Rackspace Hosting, would provide the required functionality and project success.
Dave McIver revealed, "Business Agility worked alongside TMD's IT team and quickly identified the most efficient way to set up the SharePoint portal and maximise the investment in SharePoint Licenses, allowing for the adoption of best practice and unhindered future growth. Work commenced by automating several key business processes in the HR & Finance departments."
Much needed functionality included:
Final activity in the first phase migrated all the existing content from the current hosting provider to the new Rackspace environment.
The Hosting solution
Dave McIver went on to say, "As TMD Friction was undergoing major IT refreshes across many sites and systems, our IT department was already working at 100% capacity. To reduce the impact of having to maintain and support another system, we happily followed Business Agility's recommendation to switch to their hosting solution partner, Rackspace."
Mission critical hosting
Since 2001 Rackspace has been hosting and supporting mission critical websites, internet applications, email servers, security and storage services for over 100,000 customers around the globe. The company boasts a network of data centres across Europe, USA and the Far East providing seamless, global coverage. It is widely acknowledged as the industry-leader in hosted business solutions. Rackspace Data centres are some of the most secure facilities in the World with ISAE 3402 Type II SOC 1 Audited accreditation.
Security and uptime
Dave McIver reported, "We worked directly with Rackspace to accommodate our existing infrastructure and determine priorities for a stable hosting environment. The result is a future-proof SharePoint solution specifically designed with security, scalability and uptime in mind."
Roy Murphy, Managing Director of Business Agility said, "We are very happy to introduce Rackspace to our customers, because we are totally confident in their ability to understand client needs and assist in implementing the optimum solution."
Dave McIver said, "SharePoint is a company wide source of information for collaboration. The Finance Department required new changes to the site as a result of evolving requirements. Business Agility was able to deliver and train TMD staff following just one week of consultancy. Exciting changes included multilingual support using SharePoint variations with language packs."
The English language site is set as the source and a German variation created. When UK content is changed, corresponding German text becomes 'pending' awaiting translation. The flexible framework of SharePoint allows multilingual support to be cascaded to sub sites in the future. Further developments have enabled users to upload multiple files and check them into document libraries simultaneously. A newly developed component allows a user to check-in all files that are currently checked out to them.
Dave McIver summarised, "Business Agility and Rackspace have been a real pleasure to work with right from the start. The setup of an agreement and working relationship was smooth and pain free. One of the biggest benefits was their ability to live up to their names; the flexibility and constant testing of understanding brought phase one of the project in on time and on budget."
Dave McIver said, "TMD Friction has adopted Business Agility and Rackspace as technology partners to support the existing infrastructure and engaged them as consultants for future exciting developments." He added, "We are implementing the new SharePoint 2010 solution, to enable better handling of linked spreadsheets across the intranet as well as setting up personal dashboards. The new Taxonomy (indexing) is metadata navigation, which provides users with navigational elements constructed from publisher applied content tags. This simplifies search and refines results based on taxonomy that has been bound to managed metadata columns. This will wean users away from folders resulting in improved workflow."
Dave McIver concluded, "We have discovered a very powerful combination of knowledge, capability and technology with the Business Agility/Rackspace alliance. I can recommend the partnership to any company looking for business solutions."
To learn more about the global stopping power of TMD visit their website at www.tmdfriction.com. To contact Business Agility about SharePoint development and integration services, call +44(0)1462 476160, email email@example.com or visit the website at www.business-agility.com.
To discover more about Rackspace global Business Hosting visit the website at www.rackspace.co.uk or call the sales team FREE on 0800 988 0100, for a friendly chat about the latest developments in hosting technology including hybrid cloud.