BNSF / Port of Vancouver USA windmill shoot.

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BNSF Railway Co., one of the oldest and largest freight railroad networks in North America, has chosen Microsoft Office 365 so that more than 40,000 workers can share ideas and information via computers, kiosks and personal devices.

“We chose Microsoft Office 365 as part of our Railroad 2020 vision for modernizing the productivity portfolio at BNSF,” writes Jo-ann Olsovsky, chief information officer for the railway company, on the Office 365 for business blog. “We looked at other offerings but everyone at BNSF and our customers preferred the familiar Office experience. With Office 365, we can implement our BYOD strategies and employees can share ideas, surface information, and work productively anywhere, on any device.”

She added, “Due to the nature of our business, the majority of our employees are outdoors in the field, so supporting their mobility with access to leading productivity and communications tools is critical to our success. By using tools such as Office 365 and Yammer Enterprise, we will be able to connect our employees to each other and the information they need to be successful.”

For example, “Maintenance employees anywhere on BNSF’s network can access emails they need to help operate the railroad; mechanics in a shop can check their manuals online, and marketing reps can download service presentations while in a customers’ office.”

Olsovsky wrote that within a week of hearing about Yammer, more than 800 people in her organization had signed up for the service on their own.

In October, BNSF began implementing its Office 365 and Exchange Online deployment to 40,000 users. By early November, it expects to have Lync, email and calendaring services fully deployed. Future phases include the deployment of other services, such as SharePoint Online and Yammer Enterprise.

The move to Office 365 fits in well with BNSF’s strategic technology road map, Railroad 2020, which “calls for modernizing the underlying technology infrastructure, improving communications across the organization and externally.”

As Olsovsky puts it, “Office 365 fits perfectly into our vision for cloud computing and allows us to reduce infrastructure costs for core business productivity services so we can focus on developing the in-house applications we need to run a railway. Our goal is to empower employees with the tools they need to work smarter and be successful, out on the rail network, or in the office, and Office 365 is helping us do exactly that.”

Read the press release for more information and the Office 365 for business blog for the rest of Olsovsky’s post.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff