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Food Giant Improves Reporting, Streamlines Development with Collaboration Platform
 

Food Giant Improves Reporting, Streamlines Development with Collaboration Platform

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Del Monte Foods is one of the largest producers and distributors of food and pet products in the United States. The company relies on Microsoft products and technologies to run its technology ...

Del Monte Foods is one of the largest producers and distributors of food and pet products in the United States. The company relies on Microsoft products and technologies to run its technology infrastructure and recently participated in an early adopter program for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. Del Monte is developing a SharePoint Server 2010–based application that helps the Finance department automate manual business processes such as approval workflows, and helps it ensure compliance by improving reporting capabilities. Del Monte plans to deploy similar applications for streamlining business processes to other business units throughout the company. With implementations that require little or no custom coding, Del Monte anticipates development cost savings, continued efficiency gains, and better business insights and results enterprisewide.

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    Food Giant Improves Reporting, Streamlines Development with Collaboration Platform Food Giant Improves Reporting, Streamlines Development with Collaboration Platform Document Transcript

    • Customer Solution Case Study Food Giant Improves Reporting, Streamlines Development with Collaboration PlatformOverview ―We are investing a significant amount of time andCountry or Region: United StatesIndustry: Manufacturing—Consumer energy into SharePoint Server 2010 because we know itpackaged goods will be worth it. SharePoint Server–based collaborationCustomer Profile has become a crucial part of our enterprise.‖Del Monte Foods, with 5,400 full-time Jonathan Wynn, Manager, Advanced Technology, Del Monte Foodsemployees, produces food and petproducts. Brands include Del Monte, Del Monte Foods is one of the largest producers and distributorsS&W, Contadina, College Inn, MeowMix, Kibbles n Bits, 9Lives, Milk-Bone, of food and pet products in the United States. The companyPup-Peroni, Meaty Bone, Snausages, relies on Microsoft products and technologies to run itsand Pounce. technology infrastructure and recently participated in an earlyBusiness Situation adopter program for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. DelDel Monte wanted to further enhanceefficiency and collaboration. It joined Monte is developing a SharePoint Server 2010–basedan early adopter program for Microsoft application that helps the Finance department automate manualSharePoint Server 2010. business processes such as approval workflows, and helps itSolution ensure compliance by improving reporting capabilities. DelDel Monte deployed a financialapplication on SharePoint Server 2010 Monte plans to deploy similar applications for streamliningand plans to expand use of the new business processes to other business units throughout thesoftware to take advantage of mobilityand advanced collaboration features. company. With implementations that require little or no custom coding, Del Monte anticipates development cost savings,Benefits Higher efficiency continued efficiency gains, and better business insights and Streamlined business processes results enterprisewide. Heightened collaboration Rapid, repeatable development
    • ―We wanted to automate Situation gaining traction as our enterprise Del Monte Foods takes pride in its collaboration environment. We wantedmore processes, and dedication to quality, its commitment to to see what more it could do for us.‖ consumers, and its focus on innovation.ones with higher levels These qualities have helped the company Del Monte wanted to capitalize on thisof complexity.‖ achieve its status as a leading provider of groundswell of excitement generated quality food and pet products, to the among users for Office SharePoint Server Jonathan Wynn, Manager, Advanced extent that its brands are found in 8 out 2007. ―We wanted to continue to focus Technology, Del Monte Foods of 10 households in the United States. In everyone around the SharePoint Server 2009, the company generated environment. It had become a hub of approximately U.S.$3.6 billion in net collaboration, and we were well on our sales. way to solving many business problems with it. We wanted to take advantage of Del Monte strives for continual the enhancements of SharePoint Server innovation in all areas of its company, 2010 to continue to attract users and including its technology infrastructure. A gain efficiencies,‖ explains Wynn. long-time user of Microsoft products and technologies, the company’s IT department eagerly accepts Solution opportunities to test and incorporate the In 2009, Wynn and his team were invited newest technologies into its to be part of an early adopter program environment. ―We have put a lot of for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, energy into fine-tuning our which allows companies to be involved infrastructure,‖ says Jonathan Wynn, with product development teams early, Manager, Advanced Technology at Del to provide feedback, and to gain a more Monte, ―and we look for every thorough understanding of a new opportunity to push the products to product’s capabilities. Participants often achieve the highest return on our continue to conduct accelerated investments.‖ deployments of new products and technologies. ―We jumped at the chance Del Monte has relied on Microsoft Office to experiment with the new technology,‖ SharePoint Server 2007 to run its says Wynn. To participate in this early intranet, which includes departmental adoption program, Del Monte needed to Web sites, Web-based forms and build a proof-of-concept application on workflow processes, and document the new version of the server software. management capabilities. While many ―We wanted to find a common, highly business processes—including asset manual business process to automate requests and approvals, and the with SharePoint Server 2010,‖ says Wynn. distribution of capital funds for The team hoped that it could build a purchases of hardware and other items— prototype application that, in the end, were automated with Office SharePoint could be used as a template for Server 2007, the IT department still saw automating similar processes throughout room for growth. ―We wanted to the company. automate more processes, and ones with higher levels of complexity,‖ explains Wynn and his team found the business Wynn. Again, we wanted to continue to process they were looking for in the Del innovate. SharePoint Server was rapidly Monte Finance department. The
    • ―Workflows and content department used a SharePoint Server site reports, within a SharePoint Server 2010 for collaboration, document document library, and usestypes eliminate the act management, and forms-based preconfigured schedule ―templates.‖ approvals. ―Finance was accustomed to Each month, Finance will be able toof copying and moving the SharePoint Server 2007 create a new set of spreadsheets baseddocuments—which can environment,‖ says Wynn, ―But they also on a standard format with preconfigured had a series of processes that were information in the template. Eachintroduce errors or highly manual, and highly dispersed in financial schedule has its own version the way that they were organized and history, workflow, and content typeinconsistencies into the managed.‖ (which defines the attributes of aprocess.‖ document) associated with it, which will The department maintains approximately help to improve consistency and speed Jonathan Wynn, Manager, Advanced 50 different financial schedules, monthly reporting and approval Technology, Del Monte Foods managed in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 processes. spreadsheet software, to track corporate accounting information including ―Workflows and content types eliminate balance sheet summaries, general ledger the act of copying and moving information, income statements, foreign documents—which can introduce errors dividend analyses, interest expenses, or inconsistencies into the process,‖ inventory, and more. Each schedule had explains Wynn. ―Now, all a user has to do to be finalized, reviewed, and approved is change the information in a schedule each month to meet governmental and the workflow takes care of the reporting requirements such as the routing.‖ The workflow also monitors the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. due date of the associated financial report. ―Approvers are alerted if a Each month, users created new sets of schedule isn’t approved,‖ explains Wynn. the spreadsheets, often on their local ―Everyone involved in the process is computers, which made it difficult to keenly aware of the date by which the ensure consistency. Some stored the books need to be closed.‖ spreadsheets on network file shares, some in SharePoint Server document With SharePoint Server 2010, Del Monte libraries, and still others relied on printed can also make documents and sites documents in binders. And without available to employees, offline. Through automated workflows, it was time- Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010, consuming for users to properly route users will have access to content the spreadsheets for approval. ―It was regardless of their location. SharePoint even harder to ensure that approvers Workspace will also enable the IT would meet their deadlines,‖ adds Wynn. department to make SharePoint sites and associated workflows accessible Del Monte created a proof-of-concept from users’ portable computers. ―These application called the Finance Schedule capabilities will eliminate business Approval application and continued its slowdowns due to travel,‖ says Wynn. development work on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. The Del Monte Wynn’s team used SharePoint Finance Schedule Approval application Composites, a capability of SharePoint will help the Finance department Server 2010, to rapidly create centrally manage financial schedules, or collaborative solutions for business
    • users—without writing new code. For Visio Services in SharePoint Server 2010―SharePoint Server 2010 instance, Del Monte is using Microsoft to share Web-based documents createdis the place where we SharePoint Designer 2010 to customize in Microsoft Visio 2010 without incurring the Finance Schedule Approval per-user software licensing costs. ―Withcan bring all of this application’s workflow processes. ―We’re Visio Services, we will be able to give learning from this experience of building users access to Visio documents withoutinformation ... together the Finance Schedule Approval purchasing the full client software,‖ saysunder one shell.‖ application how we can use SharePoint Wynn. ―SharePoint Server 2010 is the Server 2010 to deploy similar workflows place where we can bring all of this Jonathan Wynn, Manager, Advanced across the company, with little or no information—whether it’s a mash-up that Technology, Del Monte Foods custom coding. This will allow us to combines information from Office Excel eventually put many of the in Visio Services or information from customization capabilities in the hands of third-party databases in Excel Services— the business users,‖ says Wynn. together under one shell.‖ Michael Bernot, Architectural Analyst at Wynn continues, ―We are very much at Del Monte, who is ensuring a smooth the beginning of exploring and transition for Finance from Office implementing all that SharePoint Server SharePoint Server 2007 to SharePoint 2010 has to offer. But we are committed Server 2010, also uses SharePoint to expanding our use of the product as Designer 2010 to apply the same the basis for our enterprise collaboration customizations that were made to the platform.‖ Del Monte is in a proof-of- Office SharePoint Server 2007 concept phase with its solution; it plans environment to the Finance Schedule to make the Finance Schedule Approval Approval application’s user interface. application available in a production ―SharePoint Designer 2010 is extremely capacity to users in the Finance useful in helping us make this a smooth department, and to other employees transition for users,‖ says Bernot. requiring access to financial information, in summer of 2010. It will continue to The IT department is exploring the use of deploy new sites and applications based a feature of SharePoint Composites, on SharePoint Server 2010 throughout Business Connectivity Services, to enable the year. users to connect to enterprise data, such as information stored in Microsoft SQL Del Monte relies on Microsoft System Server data management software. ―We Center Operations Manager 2007 to are in the process of researching the manage its SharePoint Server concept of connecting to and integrating environment. ―We treat SharePoint data from our SQL Server data stores Server as a first-class enterprise into SharePoint,‖ says Wynn. application,‖ says Wynn. ―It has to be available all of the time.‖ Del Monte uses Del Monte is also investigating the use of the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 SharePoint Insights, features of Management Pack for System Center SharePoint Server 2010 that allow users Operations Manager 2007 to monitor the to find and work with information from a health of its SharePoint Server variety of sources within the SharePoint environment and ensure top Server environment. The Enterprise performance and availability. ―We are Operations group is considering using very excited about the new functionality
    • of the management pack, which allows the system,‖ says Wynn. ―Those involved―SharePoint Server 2010 us to monitor the health of our complex in the approval process receive alertswill make it easier for Del SharePoint Server 2010 environment and that they just can’t ignore. It’s very our server farm.‖ Del Monte also uses transparent, very successful.‖Monte to become more Microsoft Forefront Protection for SharePoint to help protect its SharePoint Streamlined Business Processesefficient and Server–based intranet. ―Safeguarding our Del Monte plans to carry its success withstreamlined.‖ digital assets is a priority for us. We have the finance application to all corners of very large Web applications for sales, the enterprise. ―We approached the Jonathan Wynn, Manager, Advanced finance, marketing, research, and quality Finance Schedule Approval application Technology, Del Monte Foods systems.‖ with the mindset of applying excellent technical tools to a process that is unique to finance but based on a Benefits common scenario, and then expanding Del Monte made significant progress and letting that model migrate into other toward achieving widespread enterprise business units,‖ says Wynn. collaboration with Office SharePoint Server 2007. By taking advantage of the The approach is working, as the advancements in SharePoint Server 2010, popularity of the SharePoint Server the company believes it can further collaboration environment at Del Monte improve its collaboration infrastructure, continues to grow. ―Other groups have realize broader efficiency gains, taken notice of what we are streamline development, and rapidly accomplishing in the Finance provide more visible business insights. department. We have gotten so many requests for applications to streamline Higher Efficiency business processes that we have enough With the Finance Schedule Approval workflow and intranet projects to last a application, Del Monte expects to make full-time developer approximately two it easier for employees to produce high years,‖ says Wynn. ―Users are requesting fidelity reports and comply with a marketing portal application, requirements, because workflow marketing research libraries, key processes are automated and connected performance indicators, forms based on to the document libraries in which its the Microsoft Office InfoPath Office Excel 2007–based financial data is information-gathering program—a range stored. ―SharePoint Server 2010 will of tools that ultimately help drive make it easier for Del Monte to become collaboration and deeper business more efficient and streamlined,‖ says insights.‖ Wynn. ―With automated workflow, we’ll know when a schedule was approved Heightened Collaboration and who approved it. This traceable And Del Monte is pleased that knowledge will simplify audits and help SharePoint Server is being accepted by us maintain compliance.‖ The automated users as a foundation for enterprise workflows, which are programmed to collaboration that connects with calculate true business working days and complementary technologies. ―We see launch two days before a schedule is due SharePoint Server as the focal point of to be approved, will streamline the entire collaboration, with other tools extending process. ―It takes the guesswork out of from it, like spokes of a wheel,‖ says
    • ―SharePoint Designer Wynn. For instance, Del Monte uses Microsoft Office Communications Server manageability of the SharePoint Server environment. ―We are getting many calls2010 represents vast 2007 R2 to streamline communication. from our business units—marketing, Users can see, within the SharePoint operations, plant floor managers—whoimprovements over the Server environment, another user’s want to take manual processes andprevious generation of presence and can immediately start an instant messaging session, escalate to a convert them to a workflow that can be accessed and used from a SharePointcustomization tools.‖ phone call, or invite others to an online site,‖ says Wynn. SharePoint Composites meeting without having to open a will allow developers, and even businessMichael Bernot, Architectural Analyst, Del different program. ―The interoperability users, to create self-service solutions and Monte Foods of SharePoint Server 2010 and Office advanced applications with very little Communications Server creates a effort. seamless experience for users, which helps them collaborate and With SharePoint Designer 2010, Del communicate easier and faster to Monte developers and other advanced complete projects,‖ adds Wynn. users can implement reusable workflows, connect to external data, and rapidly Del Monte is so confident about the develop other customizations with no long-term benefits it can achieve manual coding. Bernot says, ―SharePoint through heightened collaboration and Designer 2010 represents vast faster, smoother business processes that improvements over the previous it has increased the size of Wynn’s team generation of customization tools. It’s by 75 percent since 2007. ―We are more intuitive and enables us to investing a significant amount of time manipulate the SharePoint environment and energy into SharePoint Server 2010 much more easily. It’s made my life a lot because we know it will be worth it. easier.‖ SharePoint Server–based collaboration has become a crucial part of our ―We’re excited about SharePoint Server enterprise,‖ says Wynn. ―We will save 2010,‖ says Wynn. ―Adopting the time, boost efficiency, eliminate the platform early on will definitely give us potential for mistakes, reduce duplicated an advantage over the competition. We’ll efforts, reduce paperwork—overall the be able to use the new capabilities of the SharePoint Server 2010 solution will help product to become even more efficient us become an even leaner organization.‖ in all areas of the business, continuing to build on our solid collaboration Rapid, Repeatable Development environment, rolling out more and more SharePoint Server 2010 will help Del tools to make business users more Monte achieve widespread cost savings productive, and enabling the IT because it helps the development team department to support them more create rapid, repeatable processes that efficiently.‖ require little or no custom coding. And it allows the IT department to give business users the tools they need to customize SharePoint Server sites, create workflows, and implement other collaborative solutions—without compromising the integrity or
    • For More Information Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010For more information about Microsoft Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is theproducts and services, call the business collaboration platform for theMicrosoft Sales Information Center at Enterprise and the Internet.(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call theMicrosoft Canada Information Centre For more information about Microsoftat (877) 568-2495. Customers in the SharePoint Server 2010, go to:United States and Canada who are www.microsoft.com/sharepointdeaf or hard-of-hearing can reachMicrosoft text telephone (TTY/TDD)services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the50 United States and Canada, pleasecontact your local Microsoft subsidiary.To access information using the WorldWide Web, go to:www.microsoft.comFor more information about Del MonteFoods products and services, visit theWeb site at:www.delmonte.com Software and Services  Microsoft Office  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft Office Communications − Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Server 2007 R2 − Microsoft SharePoint Designer − Microsoft Office Excel 2007 2010 − Microsoft Office InfoPath − Microsoft SQL Server − Microsoft System Center  Technologies Operations Manager 2007 − Excel Services in Microsoft − Microsoft Forefront Protection for SharePoint Server 2010 SharePoint − Visio Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010This case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published May 2010