SWD’s history is one of change, improvement and innovation. Within its region, the company is famous for viewing changes in circumstances as opportunities, whether they touch on electricity, gas, water, heating or waste management. As such, SWD has been a pioneering force in shaping the daily lives of Düsseldorf residents since its foundation in 1866. And that goes for digitalisation and new concepts in the workplace as well, which the company wants both SWD employees and the city’s population to benefit from. Not only had in-house workshops and surveys revealed that staff were open to new technologies, the company’s IT had reached the limits of its capabilities. SWD therefore wanted to bring together existing systems, databases and applications, and standardise its IT infrastructure while also making it scalable. In the process, it would create a modern work environment for its employees. The company decided to replace its IBM Domino and Lotus Notes environment with Microsoft Exchange, porting Lotus Notes and IBM Sametime to Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Skype for Business. SWD was looking for a partner that would bring its Citrix-based terminal server environment up to speed, roll out Windows 10 and migrate its environment from Lotus Notes to Exchange. The partner selected would be expected to supervise the entire IT transformation and user training, including all dependencies and requirements. Communications and project marketing would be handled jointly between the partner and SWD.

We wanted to increase the flexibility of our IT and replace our existing environment with Microsoft Exchange in a project whose slogan promised modern working through ‘XChange’. Our partner Bechtle not only implemented our goals perfectly, but ensured that the entire transformation—including all dependencies and requirements—went off without a hitch within the allotted time frame.

Janet Hubo, Project Manager, Stadtwerke Düsseldorf AG (SWD)


SWD made it a priority not just to migrate its IT, but to make the transition as painless as possible for its business, admin team and users. Bechtle therefore carried out the Exchange migration in multiple phases. The project began with several workshops in which Bechtle and SWD worked closely to develop a design tailored exactly to the customer’s needs. This was followed by the actual migration to Microsoft Exchange. Bechtle verified and evaluated every step in a special testing environment before implementing it live. Together with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange quickly proved to be a promising solution with respect to user friendliness and convenience. It also improved data usage and input on mobile devices.


Through employee training and specific marketing measures on the SWD intranet, Bechtle was able to support everyone affected by the transition to Microsoft, which involved not only the general infrastructure but also Lotus Notes applications and the use of new clients. Bechtle analysed SWD staff’s working methods in advance, using the results to develop an appropriate marketing concept. Training sessions were held to show different user groups how to use Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, SharePoint (as the central platform for applications used by SWD) and Skype for Business (as an alternative to the chat solution used previously).


Business Benefits.

SWD’s new standardised Microsoft environment can be scaled as needed. It is also fully documented and significantly less expensive to run thanks to operating, maintenance and licensing synergies. In addition, SWD is now able to provide its staff with a state-of-the-art infrastructure that can be easily expanded and into which SWD processes are quickly integrated. Employees were happy to switch to the new system, thanks to Bechtle’s excellent support transitioning them to this modern workplace. As a result of the project, SWD is able to build upon its existing infrastructure and respond more quickly to new circumstances, while also cutting down on administrator workload.