Pritsch succeeded Gerd Friedrich as  CIO of Robert Bosch in early 2015 (Photo: Bosch)

Robert Bosch is spending 800 million euros on a company-wide upgrade of its office productivity systems. Answering questions put to him by automotiveIT, Elmar Pritsch, who became CIO of the German automotive supplier in early 2015, recently provided some more details of the project.

automotiveIT: Mr Pritsch, Bosch is putting new office software on 240,000 desktops. What kind of efficiency boosts and productivity increases do you expect from this move?

Pritsch: Our employees have to be able to cooperate easily from every office we have worldwide, from inside and outside the office. That's why we are going for a seamlessly integrated environment with our office software. The goal is to strengthen our agile work organization. In combination with the existing social business platform, which is called Bosch Connect, we expect a further reduction of e-mail and even easier communication through the use of, for example, video telephony or chat software.

automotiveIT: The new IT solutions are supposed to be intuitive and they adapt themselves to employees' personal usage habits. Is training still required for this software, especially to address the proliferation of shadow IT?

Pritsch: We're offering numerous training programs so staff can quickly learn and benefit from the new systems. Use cases provide real-life examples of how the new IT workplace makes jobs easier and creates new ways of doing things. We use a blended-learning concept that offers various training formats for specific applications. Employees can choose the training that works for them. We offer webinars, information sessions, training videos, web-based training and context-sensitive e-guides.

automotiveIT: The so-called "Next Generation Workplace” at Bosch also envisions mobile use of the new software on smartphones or tablets. How do you then safeguard the security of corporate data?

Pritsch: Data security has for years been a permanent task of the greatest importance at Bosch. Our experts monitor threats on a continuing basis and immediately take counter-measures to prevent unauthorized access to Bosch data. This way we can guarantee a high data-security standard at Bosch. All new software solutions that are part of the "Next Generation Workplace" obviously meet this high data security standard.