Summary

If you’ve ever bought or sold a vehicle, there’s a good chance you’ve engaged with a Cox Automotive product or service. With 25 brands across five continents dedicated to the exchange of vehicles, Cox Automotive is the company behind major automotive platforms such as Autotrader.com, Dealer.com, KBB.com, and Manheim.com.

Each of Cox Automotive’s brands shares a common goal—to make the sale, purchase, ownership, and use of vehicles easier. But with each brand team using its own tools, collaborating across the business was tough. By migrating to Microsoft OneDrive and deploying Microsoft Teams, the company put everyone on the same digital page, helping employees seamlessly collaborate and do the best job possible, on any device.

Challenge

Without the right support, buying, or selling a vehicle can be stressful and complicated. Cox Automotive is dedicated to making the process as simple, streamlined, and painless as possible—for consumers and dealers alike.

All of Cox Automotive’s brands strive to provide world-class products and services that simplify vehicle transactions and maximize value for clients. But as the company grew through acquisitions, each new logo continued to use its existing platforms for communication and file sharing. This made aligning operations and collaborating across brands and geographies a major challenge.

“We had several different file sharing and chat platforms, and nobody knew which took precedent. Conversations would start in one and end in another. It was incredibly disjointed,” explains Jason Remaley, Director of Product Planning at Cox Automotive.

With licenses for some of its file sharing and collaboration tools expiring, Cox Automotive saw an opportunity to get the entire company on the same digital and operational page—a transformation Cox Automotive refers to as its “Connected Revolution.” One of the company’s first initiatives was to migrate its file sharing from Box online storage to Microsoft OneDrive and adopt Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork in Office 365.

Strategy

For Cox Automotive, the goal was simple—unite data and people through intuitive, integrated collaboration tools. But with 120 terabytes of data and more than 16,000 users to migrate from Box, the company wanted expert assistance making the switch. In addition to getting support from the Microsoft FastTrack Team, Cox Automotive engaged SkySync, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, which helped plan and execute the seamless migration of data to OneDrive.

“We migrated 99.9 percent of the data from Box to OneDrive within the first day,” says Robert Earich, Associate Vice President of Team Member Services for Cox Automotive. “Plus, we were able to do it without our employees having to do anything, so almost nobody even noticed.”

Cox Automotive quickly leveraged Known Folder Move within OneDrive on more than 15,000 devices to further protect files that were previously only stored locally on computers. “With Known Folder Move, we don’t have to change our team members’ behavior,” says Brian Scott, Director of Workspace Engineering. “They can keep working on their documents in the ways they’re used to, while we seamlessly move their data to OneDrive, where it’s safer and accessible from any device.”

While the migration was primarily planned to foster easier collaboration, OneDrive has also had a major impact on Cox Automotive’s core IT and data management teams. Storing files in only one place simplifies governance. Now, the company can easily view and control data through a single platform, which makes it easier to comply with data retention regulations.

By bringing everything together in one place, Cox Automotive has made it easier for its IT and security teams to safeguard data privacy and maintain compliance across geographies. “From the IT and the governance side, having everything in OneDrive has hugely simplified how we govern access and build policies for data retention,” says Scott. “As we begin international integration, we’ll use the Multi Geo capabilities in OneDrive to stay in compliance with privacy laws and regulations across the globe”.

For mobile workers and teams in particular, the shift to OneDrive has been hugely transformational. By using OneDrive and Teams together, mobile workers have the freedom to share files, discuss information, and access the same collaboration capabilities available to desktop users—capabilities that help them work far more effectively, from anywhere, on any device. With all relevant content digitized in OneDrive, there’s virtually no limit to what the Cox Automotive teams can achieve on the move.

Moreover, thanks to the deep integration between OneDrive and Teams, employees can access and analyze files stored in OneDrive through the Teams interface they use for collaboration and communication, which helps everyone stay more organized and get tasks done faster. “Having all our files and conversations in one place—along with important contextual information—is highly valuable, especially for our high-level executives, who like the ability to do a quick search and find the content they need without having to leave the app they’re in,” says Remaley.

Results

These days, work looks very different for employees at Cox Automotive. Equipped with digital capabilities supported by OneDrive and Teams, everyone can work together seamlessly, with a renewed focus on collaboration and information sharing. And, using the coauthoring capabilities of OneDrive, workers across the business can collaborate on documents and share insights in real time, directly through the desktop and mobile Office applications they’re used to.

Teams and OneDrive have become a core part of Cox Automotive’s operations. “We think OneDrive is great. It’s kind of like an offensive lineman. You just know it’s doing its job. We don’t really need to think about it, it’s always there, reliably supporting everything we do,” says Remaley.

Even users who previously loved competitors like Slack have been migrating to Teams due to the advantages of being able to consolidate all conversations and files to one place, segment content by topic, and target communications more effectively using channels within Teams. “Having one efficient solution with all the capabilities like presence, chat, audio, video, and document collaboration has really been a game changer for us based on where we were,” adds Earich.

As Cox Automotive continues its Connected Revolution—supported by OneDrive, Teams, and other Microsoft technologies—it looks forward to bridging gaps between people and platforms and functioning as a unified, hyper-connected enterprise, with every single person working toward the same business goals.

Having all our files and conversations in one place … is highly valuable, especially for our high-level executives, who like the ability to do a quick search and find the content they need without having to leave the app they’re in. "

- Jason Remaley

Director, Product Planning
Cox Automotive