Given the macroeconomic picture and the accelerating pace of business change, the global market is on the cusp of an era of disruption. Over the next few years, companies will either be the disruptors or the disrupted.
Jabil, the third-largest manufacturer in the world, has positioned itself to roll with the changes and help its customers be the disruptors.
“What sets Jabil apart is our focus on the customer,” says Timmy Shum, group CTO, IT, Jabil. “We work as a trusted partner who helps customers gain competitive advantage in their industry, rather than respond to competitive pressure.”
- What started with a single plant in Michigan back in 1966 has grown to a 180,000-person manufacturing and design services leader with 90 facilities in 24 countries.
- The company’s reputation for stellar execution in a highly competitive global market depends on continuous innovation. Not only for Jabil, but for its entire value chain—from suppliers to partners to customers.
More collaboration, more innovation
“From my perspective, the adoption of technology and the right technology service partners enables us to empower innovation and lead change,” Shum says, “on a global level.”
- To extend innovation beyond company boundaries, Jabil is working to boost collaboration within and throughout its global network of partners and customers.
- In April 2014, the company signed a seven-year contract with BT to create a unified communications “ecosystem” based on BT One Cloud, a Cisco Powered™ hosted collaboration solution that brings together high-definition voice, multi-party video, instant messaging, presence, and mobile technologies.
“If we want to empower innovation, we need to empower collaboration at a different level,” Shum says. “There’s a raft of devices and applications that help people communicate better and deal with our fast-paced, dispersed working lives. We want to transform our organization by fully harnessing this new technology in the cloud so it’s simple and transparent.”
The cloud-based ecosystem is designed to streamline global collaboration among Jabil employees, customers, and suppliers. It will help support business diversification and merger and acquisition activities. And it will allow Jabil to place more emphasis on process and business innovation than technology stewardship.
“Looking at the technology we have via BT and Cisco in the cloud, we’re comfortable that we don’t need to manage the network the old way,” Shum says. “We have an up-to-date, secure IT environment that allows our people, customers, partners, and suppliers to share ideas quickly, make decisions faster, and enjoy a better way of working.”
Focusing on strategy versus tactics
With a fully managed collaboration ecosystem based on BT One Cloud and Cisco, Shum says his team can now work on strategy more than tactics. Instead of maintaining and updating IT systems, they can shift their focus to more urgent business problems and opportunities.
What’s more, by simplifying Jabil’s communications systems with a globally unified cloud solution, the company has laid the foundation to handle the next generation of communications without having to invest in new technology.
Jabil is still focused on transforming its network and transitioning from existing systems to its BT One Cloud solution. Shum says once that phase is complete near the end of 2015, the company will have the infrastructure in place to empower true collaboration and innovation throughout its value chain of partners and customers.