Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG’s products are a staple – Whether it’s Bad Reichenhaller alpine or seasoning salt or Aquasale sea salt, their products are used everywhere. But the high-ranking European salt producer also processes salt for animal feed, curing, and pharmaceuticals across its four sites. The four pillars of success for Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG are salt, disposal, logistics and tourism. Bechtle supported the company on its way to digitalisation and modernisation of their IT workplace environments, with their experts accompanying some 1,000 employees from consulting, design and installation through to user adoption.
Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG is located in Heilbronn and offers services in the fields of salt, disposal, logistics and tourism. The company extracts salt from mines and brine deposits at four locations. A traditional undertaking that still involves a high degree of complexity and administrative effort. Which is why Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG’s IT, administration and technology departments above and below ground work closely together, constantly exchanging information with each other. The company had video conference systems in their meeting rooms based on a classic on-prem infrastructure that was only used by individual user groups. The AG wanted to improve collaboration and was hence searching for a solution for a digital, efficient IT workplace for all employees above and below ground, all from a single source with a holistic project approach from planning to implementation to user adoption. Once Bechtle’s business architects introduced the possibility of a Modern Workplace to Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG, the decision was made. Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG was ready to digitalise and standardise its entire means of communication. It was important for the company to get the employees onboard with this journey and help them adopt these new tools properly from the very start. A social intranet to replace the bulletin board in the corridor, video conferences at every workstation and data exchange via central platforms instead of e-mail were all critical points for Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG.
Smooth collaboration between IT, the specialist departments and the digital experts was a decisive factor for the project. User adoption was especially beneficial for us in getting started with the Modern Workplace and establishing this topic. Even in challenging times, Bechtle was a great partner.
Markus Bohn, Head of IT, Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG
Bechtle held workshops and invited the company to visit its very own Digital Workplace Showroom, which left a great impression From here on out, Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG decided it wanted to work more flexibly with Microsoft 365, Teams and Endpoint Manager as a basis for its social intranet. Employees were to be equipped predominantly with Microsoft Surface Pro devices and supported through intensive guidance and training as part of the user adoption and change management. The strategy for the Modern Workplace of Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG was quickly decided, and Bechtle took charge of implementation. It stood to reason to use the company’s Microsoft licences and convert them to the Microsoft SaaS model M365 while introducing the E5 security suite. The modern, flexible IT workstations are based on the Microsoft 365 tenant that was configured by Bechtle. Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Defender were also very important for Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG. Using Teams, all employees can now conduct video conferences and a second project stage enabled phone calls to now be made through the software too. Microsoft Defender has replaced the virus protection previously used for endpoints, Bechtle having implemented it in the cloud. Bechtle Hosting & Operations is supervising the IT department in the follow up stage with operational support services. To enable hybrid working, Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG also introduced Teams Rooms systems in its conference rooms. Those employees who work remotely received a Poly Voyager headset with corresponding peripherals in addition to their Microsoft Surface Pro devices. Bechtle loaded an image onto the Surface Pros by means of the cloud-based Autopilot deployment . This way, the devices could easily be provided to the users on site for group-wide rollout across the four locations in Heilbronn, Bad Friedrichshall, Berchtesgaden and Bad Reichenhall. To make it easier for employees to get started in the new, flexible working environment, the Bechtle subsidiary, HanseVision, created a digital map on which products from the Microsoft 365 environment and additional applications are presented and explained with training videos. There, contact persons can be found that can help the users navigate the Modern Workplace. The content for this, and for the new social intranet based on SharePoint, comes from the company’s own intranet editorial team and digital experts. The employees chosen for this task by Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG have been trained to act as facilitators for change, accompanying their departments into the new working environments. Bechtle worked with them to break up old work processes and transform them into new, digital workflows.
The holistic consultation by Bechtle’s business architects really impressed me. They explained the technical framework from the get-go and provided the necessary expertise during implementation. This way we were always on the same wavelength and talking to the right person at the right stage.
Markus Müller, Team Lead IT-Infrastructure, Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG
The new modern workplaces enable Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG to collaborate more efficiently across departments. Thanks to the uniform communication platform—Microsoft Teams—it’s child’s play to host meetings, whether its in a container 200 metres underground or in an admin building above surface. The system Bechtle implemented together with their holistic approach to its introduction simplified the transition to the new world of work and ensured the required flexibility of the workplaces. Thanks to M365 and Surface Hubs, the new conference rooms offer a modern environment for hybrid meetings. Bechtle will continue in its role as a consultant for Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG as they progress further with their digital transformation.