28 Dec UL—product safety leader maintaining security and moving at the speed of innovation with Office 365
For more than a century, UL has been a leader in safety. Now the company relies on Microsoft to help it innovate, iterate and become a fast-moving digital enterprise for its next hundred years.
“It has involved a complete overhaul of our entire technology footprint, from the wire and cabling that goes through the walls, all the way to the state-of-the-art products that we have on the desktop,” said Mike Nuteson, director of Sourcing and Architecture at UL.
The tools behind this transformation include Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Azure and the Windows operating system. With these solutions, UL evolved from a legacy company to one that has revolutionized the way it works, including how employees collaborate with each other and how UL communicates with clients.
The experts at UL use Microsoft products to work with customers at every stage of a product’s life cycle, prototype to launch. “As innovation accelerates in the marketplace, it’s paramount that we stay ahead of the curve in helping ensure that safe products continue to make their way to the market at the speed of innovation,” Nuteson says. “Office 365 has enabled us to very quickly create an external collaboration platform that allows not only our customer, but their supply chain to all securely get up and running, sharing information across the world. And we did so in a matter of days.”
UL’s technological renaissance has also changed the way the company stores, shares and secures information—its bread and butter. The company wants to remain a steward of more than a century’s worth of product information, even in the cloud.
“This is very important. Because losing customers’ intellectual property could cause them to lose their business,” says Robert Jamieson, information security director at UL. “Our job is to make sure that our company can keep its data and our customers’ data safe.”
Security must balance with access, and UL also needs data to be accessible to the right employees and customers.
“We were able to engage with Microsoft and start thinking about our identity and access management, our encryption capabilities. And we can monitor it throughout that entire stack,” Jamieson said. “This has been one of the most exciting things that’s happened inside of our organization for quite some time.”
UL puts its mark on 22 billion products, systems and materials each year; the average American home contains at least 125 of those objects, from drywall to mattresses to environmental systems.
“UL has an incredible archive of product information,” said Jamieson. “Customers have come to trust that products with the UL mark are safe and reliable. Companies worldwide have trusted UL with their product information. And now, UL trusts Microsoft to help create a future that is safe and to help us innovate at the speed of our customers.”