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Bosch says it is building the "next-generation workplace" (Photo: Robert Bosch)

Robert Bosch is investing 800 million euros in new office software as part of its goal of becoming "a globally connected, agile company."

The German automotive supplier, whose business focus is moving away from traditional automotive components to connected-car and internet-of-things technologies, said the software investment is part of its "Next-Generation Workplace" project. This aims to make office productivity tools more user-friendly and in line with the requirements of a new generation of workers.

Bosch is introducing new communication tools such as video telephony and online chat to 240,000 workplaces around the world. By the end of the year, the new software will have been rolled out to 100,000 people.

"IT infrastructure is a major factor in the company’s agility,” Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, management board member in charge of information systems, said in a press release.

One of the defining features of the new software is a standardized easy-to-use graphical user interface that gives staff access to a host of functions from their notebook PCs and smartphones. They will also be able to manage and share documents through a single program.

The new software relies on several off-the-shelf Microsoft products, including Office 2013, the SharePoint collaboration platform and the Skype for Business communications program. Microsoft's OneNote digital note-taking application is also part of the package.