Rheinmetall AG improves its project processes with an integrated collaboration software suite.

Published on 30-Apr-2009

Validated on 14 Jan 2014

"IBM has implemented functionalities and standard components for unified communications and collaboration, which considerably increases user acceptance." - Markus Bentele, chief information officer, Rheinmetall AG

Customer:
Rheinmetall AG

Industry:
Automotive, Aerospace & Defense

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Social Business for Customer Service, Social Business for Knowledge Sharing and Innovation, Social Business

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

Rheinmetall AG (Rheinmetall) was founded in 1889 under the name Rheinische Metallwaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft. Today, Rheinmetall is a financially strong, internationally successful player in the automotive supply and defense technology industries. With more than 19,000 employees worldwide, the company posted sales of over €4 billion for 2007. The automotive division, held by Kolbenschmidt Pierburg AG, specializes in modules and systems “for every aspect of the engine.”

Business need:
To replace a functionally insufficient collaboration platform with innovative standard software

Solution:
To introduce an IBM Lotus collaboration software suite consisting of IBM Lotus Connections, IBM Lotus Quickr and IBM Lotus Sametime software—and including integration into the SAP company portal and implementation of functional requirements in close coordination with IBM Labs

Benefits:
—Efficient and highly transparent collaboration among employees and within teams, regardless of time zones, national borders and corporate divisions —High quality of personal information management —Long-term security and protection of investments thanks to further development work through IBM

Case Study


“IBM has implemented functionalities and standard components for unified communications and collaboration, which considerably increases user acceptance.

—Markus Bentele, chief information officer, Rheinmetall AG



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The Task
To replace a functionally insufficient collaboration platform with innovative standard software

The Solution
To introduce an IBM Lotus collaboration software suite consisting of IBM Lotus Connections, IBM Lotus Quickr and IBM Lotus Sametime software—and including integration into the SAP company portal and implementation of functional requirements in close coordination with IBM Labs

The Benefits
Efficient and highly transparent collaboration among employees and within teams, regardless of time zones, national borders and corporate divisions
High quality of personal information management
Long-term security and protection of investments thanks to further development work through IBM

Technology company concentrates on automotive and defense industries
Rheinmetall AG (Rheinmetall) was founded in 1889 under the name Rheinische Metallwaren- und Maschinenfabrik Aktiengesellschaft. Today, Rheinmetall is a financially strong, internationally successful player in the automotive supply and defense technology industries. With more than 19,000 employees worldwide, the company posted sales of over €4 billion for 2007. The automotive division, held by Kolbenschmidt Pierburg AG, specializes in modules and systems “for every aspect of the engine.”

The defense division is one of Europe’s leading suppliers and foremost specialists in the international security industry. Internationalization and innovation help ensure long-term growth. Overseas business, currently at 70 percent, is therefore of great importance for both company divisions.

Knowing which collaborative functions business requires
“We give our employees the tools they need in order to localize expert knowledge, share information and expand personal networks,” explained Markus Bentele, who is responsible for the company’s uniform, integrated approach to IT technology, knowledge management, portals and collaboration. “This is essential for our company because of its flexible organization forms and processoriented team structures.” Numerous company employees work together with colleagues from other departments and divisions and across borders on a daily basis. The IT landscapes of the various company divisions are heterogeneous. That is why collaboration functions within the GATE2defence/GATE2 automotive company portal were integrated.

This SAP NetWeaver Portal component consolidates access to several worlds of business intelligence: the company’s intranet and those of its subsidiaries, the SAP ERP application, and communication and collaboration. Access is role related and personalized. “Enterprise business collaboration has been a company focus since 2002,” added Bentele. “We were able to gather a variety of practical experiences and now know precisely which collaborative functions are necessary in day-to-day business.”

Wanted: manufacturers with impressive development potential
The previous software platform was no longer sufficient in terms of functionality and was no longer going to be supported by the manufacturer, starting in 2008. “Therefore, we were looking for alternatives in the marketplace,” explained Bentele. The company wanted standard software without time-consuming modification work, and it wanted innovative Web 2.0 technologies, stable manufacturer commitment and guaranteed further development. “Also on the table was our list containing 300 requirements, based on feedback from users,” said Bentele.” An evaluation was performed among all relevant manufacturers in 2006. “Not only was the current version of the collaboration software important to us, but also its development potential in the following decade. IBM’s presentation offered the best solution and technical expertise compared with those of its competitors.”

An integrated suite forged from individual products
Rheinmetall integrated IBM Lotus® Quickr™ software for team-oriented departments and document management, IBM Lotus Sametime® software for realtime collaboration and IBM Lotus Connections software for social networking into a highly standardized and flexible collaboration suite. The software helped the company implement employee profiles, employee blogs, an activities folder, online and Web conferences, and virtual team rooms, with services that included team memos, blogs, Wikis, contacts, feed readers and document libraries.

“This means we have developed a truly integrative suite,” explained Bentele. “IBM has implemented functionalities and standard components for unified communications and collaboration, which considerably increases user acceptance.” These include consolidated lists that make it easier for the individual user to gain an overview of the newly created documents in the team rooms, which often number in the dozens. And subscriptions can be set up in the user’s most important team rooms. This means that users, including personal digital assistant (PDA) users on the go, are notified only by e-mail of selected changes. Bentele added: “Such components are essential for individual users in order for them to escape being flooded by information. This matches our philosophy that the individual user can consciously open up such e-mail alerts and individually manage them.”

Practical knowledge from day-to-day business meets technology expertise
IBM Labs was decisively involved in the close collaboration between Rheinmetall and IBM. “IBM had an excellent understanding of our requirements and was able to implement them into practical functionalities,” described Bentele. “The symbiosis between our practical experience and the high technological expertise of IBM is what has made the development partnership so successful.” The company procures its comprehensive IT services from IBM Deutschland Mittelstand Services GmbH. The concentration on core competencies, the global presence of IBM and the opportunities for collaboration with IBM’s worldwide research and development facilities were crucial to this project.

After two months of consolidating the existing collaboration platform with the newly integrated and multilingual collaboration suite, global activation was completed in October 2008. Comprehensive training measures were not necessary. Employees simply received application examples for individual areas of activity. “The new collaboration platform has to be largely self-explanatory,” emphasized Bentele. “Not only are research- and development-intensive departments integrated, but also commercial ones—because user friendliness is the most important thing.”

For more information
IBM Deutschland GmbH
70548 Stuttgart
ibm.com/de

IBM Austria
Obere Donaustrasse 95
1020 Vienna
ibm.com/at

IBM Switzerland
Vulkanstrasse 106
8010 Zurich
ibm.com/ch

To learn more about IBM Lotus software, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit:
ibm.com/lotus

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Lotus Quickr, IBM Connections, IBM Sametime

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2009 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America April 2009 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Lotus, and Sametime are trademarks or registered trademarks of the International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study illustrates how one IBM customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. The information contained in this documentation is provided for informational purposes only. While efforts were made to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in this documentation, it is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied. LOC14116-USEN-01