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The announcement of the global manufacturer, Kohler, as the winner of this year’s HSO Technology Innovator award was the climax of a highly-successful HSO Advance customer day recently held at the Microsoft Campus, Reading, UK. Fighting off stiff competition from across the HSO UK customer base, Kohler was named HSO Innovator of the Year for its inspiring work. This includes not just its recent implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Office 365 over SAP to improve its communications systems, but also for its leadership in product development and its innovative approach to staff culture.

Adrian McNay, Customer Service Director of HSO presents the Innovator Award to Marcus Judge, IT Director of IT Services, EMEA and Krys Zaki, Finance Director, EMEA Corporate Services.  

The day was a special opportunity for HSO customers to speak to key partners including Microsoft, consultants and others in the industry about how the commercial world is currently going through the most disruptive set of changes ever experienced – now known as the fourth industrial revolution. Microsoft experts were on-hand to explain how the transition to the cloud and other Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform options can be achieved.

“According to Yale Professor, Richard Forster, by 2020 more than 75% of FTSE 500 companies we have not yet heard of. Only the most adaptable and intelligent companies using the very latest technologies will be the market leaders…. Consider Uber, Tesla, Netflix and Airbnb – and who would have believed Amazon with its web services proposition, would be the global leader in the provision of cloud computing?” asked Adrian McNay, managing director, HSO Customer Service.

A further major highlight of the day was a talk on the “Business of Winning” by Humphrey Walters. Billed as the “most famous person you’ve never heard of”, Walters has been inspiring and motivating individuals, corporations and teams such as the England world cup-winning rugby team for the past 30 years. Innovator award winner ‘impressive and inspiring’

Innovator award winner “impressive and inspiring”

As McNay explained, Kohler was chosen to win this year’s innovator award “as a long-established, highly-respected business which is, nonetheless, prepared to think outside the box, eager to explore new markets and drive future growth.”

Before this latest project with HSO, Kohler was receiving large numbers of generic emails from Italy, Spain, France, Morocco and the UK which it then routed manually by country. Typically, these emails were passed through different sub-teams within the overarching shared services team – and overly complex, time-consuming and error prone process. HSO installed a new Microsoft cloud-based solution to bridge the gap by routing communications from Office 365 to the correct shared services sub-team.

“Kohler is an all-round impressive company and an inspiration to work with,” said McNay. “They are known to have extremely high standards and we are proud that HSO have been chosen as one of their selected suppliers.”

Said Marcus Judge, Kohler IT director: “I would like to thank HSO for partnering with us to produce an outstanding solution in such a short space of time. Their engaging and unique approach helped bring out the best in our team and promoted rich creativity during the design process we now have huge interest from areas of the business to roll out the Dynamics-based email management system …. Our positive and timely interaction with our internal customers and vendors has gone from strength to strength.”