The business challenge
Today, the distinctive Baumit logo can be seen on construction sites all
throughout Europe. The Baumit Group supplies its customers with a wide
range of high-quality building materials, from exterior plaster to wall paint
for interior finishing, in 25 countries. Sustainability and environmental
protection are top priorities for Baumit. When developing new products,
Baumit always pursues the goal of creating healthy and energy-efficient
living spaces. To this end, the group operates its own research park, where
the impact of building materials on indoor climate and living quality are
studied from a scientific perspective.
“The building materials industry is actually a rather conservative sector.
But in recent years, the pace of innovation has accelerated enormously,
especially due to digitization,” said Thomas Wöhrer, CIO of the Baumit
Group. “Even though it was common to order building materials by phone
or fax until just recently, the trend is now clearly moving toward digital
procurement through business to business (B2B) platforms and mobile apps.
As Baumit’s IT organization, we are creating the right conditions for this.”
Previously, IT at Baumit was largely organized on a decentralized basis. Their
individual subsidiaries and national companies operated core applications
like ERP software on their own. Only certain services like Microsoft
Exchange were centrally available. As part of their new digitization strategy,
Baumit is now introducing a central ERP system for their entire corporation
and setting up EDI interfaces for data exchange with customers and
suppliers. In addition, Baumit’s IT organization is supplying all sites with
predefined solutions for their online stores, mobile applications and digital
Microsoft Office 365 is now used as the digital workplace solution for the
Baumit Group’s 2,800 IT users.
“We had already started the changeover at the end of 2019 and implemented
it faster than planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wöhrer. “However,
we also needed a secure backup solution for this. We use Microsoft Office 365
services to manage business documents, some of which are very sensitive.
So, from the very beginning we had to make sure that these documents were
backed up reliably and were protected against data loss.”
The Veeam solution
Baumit evaluated three different backup solutions for Microsoft Office 365
and ultimately decided on Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.
“The Veeam solution was able to meet our requirements best; we were
particularly convinced by its ease-of-use and granular recovery options,”
said Wöhrer. “What’s more, we had known and appreciated the manufacturer
for many years. We use Veeam Backup & Replication to back up our entire
virtual server infrastructure, which consists of a total of over 350 VMs based
on VMware vSphere.”
Baumit implemented Veeam together with their Microsoft Office 365
services. In the first step, Baumit made Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for
Business available to their users. All data that was stored in the Microsoft
cloud is now also automatically backed up in Baumit’s data center and
is stored there for the long term.
“The free choice of storage location was very important to us,” said Wöhrer.
“We wanted to be able to decide for ourselves whether we wanted to back
up our data to Azure, AWS or our on-premises infrastructure. Unlike other
manufacturers, Veeam gives us this option. “
With Veeam, Baumit has full control over the security of their Office
365 data. The value of this technology can be seen, for example, in the
company’s use of OneDrive for Business. Baumit replaced its existing filesharing
solution with OneDrive and now uses the Microsoft solution for the
secure exchange of documents with internal and external contacts. Time and
again, users would accidentally delete documents in OneDrive for Business.
Microsoft only keeps these files in the OneDrive recycle bin for a few days
before they are permanently deleted. On the other hand, with Veeam, IT can
find and recover even older deleted files within minutes.
The new solution proved its worth particularly under the conditions of the
“When around 1,000 of our employees had to work from home on short notice,
we could be sure that their data was secure, no matter where they were working
from,” said Wöhrer. “It was one less thing we had to worry about.”
Meanwhile, securing Microsoft Teams data also plays an increasingly
important role for Baumit. The company is currently using Microsoft Power
Apps to set up several workflows that are directly integrated into Microsoft
Teams. Among other things, the entire process of creating new products
is now mapped digitally. From the initial request by a sales representative,
through the various development and release stages, to the publication
of the article number, all work steps are included. The Veeam solution
backs up all chats and documents in these workflows, helping to bring new
products to market faster.
From the CIO’s point of view, the digital transformation at Baumit
is currently picking up speed.
“Our employees are discovering what is possible with Microsoft Office 365.
We are now rolling out SharePoint Online as a central information and
knowledge platform as well as preparing the switch to Exchange Online,” said
Wöhrer. “Thanks to Veeam, we can approach these projects in a relaxed manner;
after all, the backup concept for protecting our data is already in place.”
- Efficient Office 365 backup for 2,800 users
Baumit automatically backs up all data from the Microsoft cloud into its
own data center with Veeam backup. There is virtually no operational
effort for the IT organization. Administrators can restore accidentally
deleted files within minutes when necessary.
- Securing cloud-based business workflows
Baumit uses Microsoft’s cloud services to further optimize and digitize
their internal processes. All content in these workflows is comprehensively
protected by Veeam.
- Reliable adherence to compliance requirements
Baumit can rely on the fact that all their Office 365 data is backed
up seamlessly and can be retrieved at a later date without any issues.
Legal retention periods for individual countries can also be mapped very
easily. In addition, with Veeam, Baumit always has an exit option open
in case a change of cloud provider is due.