SAN FRANCISCO: Japanese carmaker Toyota has touted its use of cloud collaboration services throughout its organisation, with use cases ranging from executives to sales teams. as large enterprises continue to move to cloud hosted tools.
Speaking at BoxWorks, David Statham told an audience of IT professionals that cloud collaboration service Box had changed the way he and his teams work, but warned that the price of cloud computing was certainly something to consider.
He said Box was particularly useful for big documents such as sales figures. "We have daily sales reports of all our cars across North America, and we have monthly sales reports. These are now automated and put directly into Box so our executives no longer have to search for the email, it's always there."
Furthermore, Statham explained that using cloud services gave executives more control over operations such as advertising. "A couple of other practical things we've done is looking at things like large media files," he said. "Commercials are important to us, now executives can preview commercials remotely and provide real-time feedback."
While singing the praises of Box, Statham, whose technology decisions affect around 10,000 employees in the US, made clear that the service is by no means cheap, and therefore introduced a system whereby employees and departments who want to make use of Box would be charged to do so.
"We had a great tool with a great product, but the other side of the corporation had to make sure this was a wise financial investment," he said.
"This is not a cheap tool, I was reminded. So we rolled out a chargeback model which allowed us to put the power in end users' hands, which said ‘if you want to use this tool, you'll have to pay for it."
Toyota has not let go of its internal storage, however, keeping traditional file shares for most of its documents, but Statham said this could change soon as departments gradually accept entirely cloud-based operations.
"It's not a file share killer for Toyota – our culture is still to keep a backup in our file share. Some of our groups are doing away with file share but we're not yet rolling it out company wide."
In addition, Toyota sales is not using Box exclusively, with many users still choosing to work with Microsoft's SharePoint platform. "It works for some projects and some workflows," he added. "We allow users to choose, and we're open to multiple tools depending on the scenario."
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