The history of the Zeppelin Group traces back to 1908 when Ferdinand Count Zeppelin established the Zeppelin Foundation. Today, the Zeppelin Group is present at 190 locations in 35 countries worldwide and offers solutions for construction equipment and mining machinery, agricultural machinery, rental, site logistics and management, drive and energy systems, engineering and construction. Another focus is the creation of new digital business models for the construction industry. With more than 8,000 employees worldwide, the group generated a revenue of 2.75 billion Euros in 2017.
Prior to the implementation of ownCloud as a strategic group-wide file sharing solution, files had been exchanged via traditional methods such as e-mail or FTP servers. An initial file sharing system had been introduced, but had to be replaced again because the open source project was cancelled.
Due to the size of the company, its geographically distributed locations and an increasingly mobile workforce Zeppelin needed a scalable, secure and easy-to-use enterprise file sharing solution. The aim was to provide both internal and external employees as well as business partners with an easy, secure and auditable way of exchanging files of any format and any size. The company also looked beyond simple file sharing to offering employees the ability to work together on Office documents (collaborative editing). To reduce the effort for its IT department, ease of administration was a top priority for Zeppelin. With the implementation of an enterprise solution led and controlled by IT, the company wanted to prevent employees from resorting to their own, private file sharing applications (shadow IT).
With ownCloud we can fully comply with all privacy policies, security regulations and compliance requirements and effectively prevent the creation of a shadow IT. Dierk Uhr, IT Lead at Zeppelin Systems GmbH
Zeppelin decided that ownCloud would be the best solution for these requirements. Initially, 300 employees were given access to the free version of ownCloud Server and the number of users rapidly increased to 1,000. The enterprise solution ownCloud Enterprise Edition was introduced in order to leverage the enterprise-grade feature set, benefit from support with access to ownCloud‘s support, deployment experts and fast response times. After evaluating several solutions, Zeppelin chose ownCloud over competitors such as Nextcloud due to its superior overall offering and its experience from more than 1,000 successful customer projects.
The deployment and rollout were realized with close cooperation of Zeppelin and ownCloud. The ownCloud solution was implemented in Zeppelin‘s internal, highly available data center. Apart from maximum data security this 100% on-premises solution provides Zeppelin with complete, unlimited control of its data. Before storing, company data are encrypted, which enables risk-free sharing of data not only internally, but also externally with customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
To be able to make optimal use of the solution‘s user experience and adaptability for employees Zeppelin opted for a complete branding of ownCloud. By using the wizard-based app “ownBrander” not only the web interface, but also the desktop and mobile clients were customized with Zeppelin‘s corporate identity. In this way, the Zeppelin’s brand message will be shared with all internal and external users, while a strong identification of users with the solution ensures high acceptance and popularity. All users now benefit from easy and secure access to and sharing of files no matter where they are and which devices they use.
By introducing ownCloud both productivity and data security have been improved. Employees can quickly and effectively exchange files of any format internally and externally without being limited by size restrictions – even complete virtual machines can easily be shared with ownCloud. In particular, ownCloud accelerates the onboarding of new business units, significantly reducing costs. By enabling employees to create external users with limited permissions via self-service, the workload of the IT department has been reduced without compromising security. Features such as file drop and public links as well as security measures such as link expiration and link passwords significantly simplify and accelerate the collaboration with customers, agencies, service providers and other stakeholders.
Dierk Uhr, IT Lead at Zeppelin Systems GmbH, comments: “With ownCloud we can fully comply with all privacy policies, security regulations and compliance requirements and effectively prevent the creation of a shadow IT.”
For the future, Zeppelin has planned a further rollout of ownCloud as an enterprise-wide solution for the secure and effective sharing of files. By integrating Collabora and Microsoft Office Online Server, the company aims to make digital collaboration on the ownCloud platform even more seamless and productive.
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