Cardbox Packaging has migrated nearly all of its IT to the cloud. With the new IT infrastructure that was planned and implemented in cooperation with Sycor, the Austrian packaging specialist is well positioned to face current and future market challenges.
Chocolate bananas, ‘Mozartkipferl’, and Hachez chocolate specialties all have one thing in common aside from tasting delicious: packaging from Cardbox Packaging! Cardbox Packaging as a multinational producer of high-quality and sophisticated cardboard packaging focuses on complex, attractive packaging solutions, especially in the confectionery, food, and cosmetic sectors. Thanks to its perfected train of machines and diverse technologies, Cardbox Packaging is able to offer tailor-made solutions through unique finishing of the packaging. "The highest quality standards and customer satisfaction are our top priorities," explains Roland Schöberl, one of the two CEOs of Cardbox Packaging Holding GmbH. "Excellent customer service, flexibility, and innovation ensure our sustained growth." This is also supported by the streamlined organization structures in Wolfsberg (AUT), Pinkafeld (AUT), and Zádveřice (CZ).
However, the modernly managed company identified a weakness last year: its own IT infrastructure. "Our IT grew with the company over the years. A decentralized, very heterogeneous landscape had developed. It was no longer able to provide optimum support for our strategy and plans for further development," is how Roland Schöberl describes the initial situation prior to the IT migration. "Our IT was simply too location based." Every location operated with its own e-mail and file servers as well as local backup. The Active Directory, virus protection, and security systems were set up locally as well. Mobile data access was complicated, workflows across locations and the exchange of data were inadequately implemented. Cardbox CEO Schöberl adds: "Aside from all that, we did of course have to maintain and operate server rooms with corresponding air conditioning systems for the hardware at all locations. From our perspective, this resulted in unnecessary costs and tied up employees." Since the Small Business Server used so far had reached the end of its lifecycle, IT investments were pending anyhow at that time – and Cardbox reviewed the entire IT landscape.
"We wanted the company's streamlined organization structures to be reflected by simplified, efficient, well structured, and therefore more effective IT," emphasizes Andreas Kopp, Project Manager with the IT service provider Sycor. "The main requirement for the IT infrastructure was to design it to provide optimum support and ensure the company's flexibility and innovativeness over the long term."
At the end of an intensive phase of analysis, conceptual design, and preparation by the internal project team together with Sycor employees, Cardbox Packaging took the leap: Access to a whole new IT landscape has been available since April of this year – a nearly 100 percent cloud solution! "We still operate isolated, highly specialized applications locally at our locations with dedicated hardware," Roland Schöberl says. "Overall we have drastically reduced our hardware and the costs for operating it." Additional benefits of the new concept are readily apparent as well: All services and solutions provided through the Microsoft Cloud are stable and available with high performance. The new Cardbox IT is secure, fast, and ready for the future. The Active Directory is now in the cloud and easy to administer. Adding, structuring, and organizing users is now done centrally. The employees are benefiting as well: While they previously had to remember various passwords for different applications within the company, the handy single sign-on concept makes their work easier today. A single login with the username is sufficient for immediate access to all Cardbox systems such as e-mail, SharePoint, CRM, and the self-service business intelligence solution Power BI. This also applies to the ERP solution Microsoft Dynamics AX, which is now operated in the Sycor data center – including managed services and monitoring.
"Overall, we have brought our IT infrastructure into a new era with Sycor. It is stable and easier to control, with high performance. When needed, all applications are scalable as quickly as desired. This means we are perfectly positioned for future growth."
Roland Schöberl, Managing Director, Cardbox Packaging
The Office package and e-mail communication are supplied from the cloud through Office 365. Roland Schöberl is pleased that "the office applications are available to our employees on all devices, even mobile." Billing is per user and according to actual use.
Networked collaboration is possible in an entirely new form since the various locations access shared data and project storage today. While data storage remains local, comprehensive access is assured by central duplication. Andreas Kopp from Sycor adds: "We achieve higher availability this way, establish a basis for the convenient and straightforward exchange of data, and reduce backup costs at the locations to a minimum."
Comprehensive collaboration is raised to a new level, especially with dedicated team websites through Microsoft SharePoint. SharePoint serves as the collaboration platform for data storage and supports digital process workflows across locations. Roland Schöberl also emphasizes: "SharePoint lets us tie our customers to us more closely through customer portals as well. This way they experience precisely the fast, direct, and individual service we promise."
Telephony and chat are now free of telephone costs within the group through the communication solution Skype for Business. This results in significant savings, given the three locations and countless external suppliers. Ad-hoc meetings using audio and video communication result in further cost savings. News can be posted and new projects presented on the newly created social network Yammer that functions as an internal Facebook on the Cardbox company network. The company's own social network ties the employees together more closely.