Hershey Relies on Microsoft for Collaboration and Business Intelligence

I’m a huge fan of candy, especially Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups–only the regular ones, or the Big Cups, or the holiday shapes like pumpkins and Easter eggs, though. The chocolate to peanut butter ratio doesn’t work for the mini Reese’s cups. But, I digress. I’m a huge fan of candy so I appreciate anything that helps Hershey streamline operations and get that candy to the store more efficiently where I can buy it. Microsoft Azure is helping Hershey do just that.

Microsoft stock hit an all-time high this week—breaking a record that was initially achieved in 1999 during the dot com era. Investors were responding to Microsoft’s quarterly results, which exceeded expectations and show that Microsoft is on a solid path. Much of Microsoft’s success in the recent quarter—and in recent years—has been driven by its Microsoft Azure cloud business, thanks to customers like Hershey.

Hershey is one of the most ubiquitous and well-known brands in the world. Aside from the iconic Hershey chocolate bars and Hershey Kisses, the company also owns other popular brands like Twizzlers, Jolly Rancher, and Reese’s. There’s a lot of moving parts, logistics, and other effort that has to happen, though, before that Payday bar shows up in the grocery store checkout aisle—and that is where Microsoft and the Azure cloud come in.

I had an opportunity to speak with Carlos Amesquita, CIO of Hershey, about the company’s implementation of Office 365 for collaboration and productivity, and Azure for IoT implementations and intelligence throughout the manufacturing process.

Amesquita has been with Hershey for about two and a half years overseeing its digital transformation. He told me he measures them like dog years, though, so it seems like a lot longer. He was formerly at Proctor & Gamble, and came to Hershey with a mission to modernize the Hershey IT strategy from an organization, technology, and people perspective.

He shared with me why Microsoft is playing such a pivotal role in that effort. Amesquita explained that he learned very early in his time at Hershey that this is a very collaborative company. Hershey has a very strong heritage and strong values. More importantly, the people who work at Hershey are not only friendly, but they work well with each other.

Like most companies, though, Hershey has become more spread out over time, with workers scattered around the world. Thanks to Microsoft Office 365, those users are able to work together no matter where they’re actually sitting. Office 365 enables Hershey employees to collaborate in different ways across a range of geographies.

Read the full story on Forbes: Hershey Trusts Microsoft Cloud To Power Digital Transformation.

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