TUCKER, Ga. – IT professionals from throughout the US poultry industry recently gathered at the 2011 Information Systems seminar in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where Ron Wells, chief information officer at Butterball, stressed the importance of synergies between systems.

"As you think about applications systems, synergies between systems are key,” he said. “This is something Butterball is strident about achieving. If you are going to have a vision as IT leaders, this should be at the top of the list.”

Wells shared his experiences in implementing Microsoft Office at Butterball during the event, which was sponsored by US Poultry & Egg Association’s Poultry & Egg Institute. He provided a brief history of Carolina Turkeys, which purchased Butterball in 2006. Wells said with Carolina Turkeys, all functions were previously located under one roof. However, with the acquisition of Butterball, this quickly changed.

After the merger, the number of company IT users doubled. As a result, the company realized its existing server was too difficult for this expanded number of users to continue supporting. So In 2009, Butterball switched to Microsoft Office, which allowed the company to put everyone on the same platform to integrate processes and share information through simple collaboration tools.

Glenn Williams, Regional Vice President for Intellinet, provided a business intelligence overview of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 & PowerPivot as part of the Business Intelligence Tools/Dash Boarding session. He described Microsoft’s Business Intelligence (BI) Vision as "improving organizations by providing business insights to all employees, leading to better, faster, more relevant decisions."

Williams referred to the term, "self-service," when describing Microsoft’s BI Vision. "We are trying to get away from IT delivering everything and the end-users having to go to IT for everything,” he said. “The key is to integrate and be agile.”

Other IT sessions were also featured including, Emerging Technology, A "Quick Fire" Lightning Round - What’s New in the IT industry, Remote Data Collection, and a series of roundtable workshops where IT managers shared solutions to common challenges.