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SharePoint Customer

Solution Case Study

Case Study

Toyota Redesigns Web Portal Using Scalable

Cloud and Content Management Solutions

Company: Toyota
Company Website:
Company Size: 325,905
Country or Region: Japan
Industry: Discrete manufacturing
Company Profile
Global automotive company Toyota
was founded in 1937 and has its
headquarters in Toyota City, Japan.
It sold 9.75 million vehicles in 2012,
making Toyota the worlds largest
automaker by sales volume.
Software and Services
Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
Microsoft SharePoint 2013
Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Windows Azure
Microsoft Services

Windows Azure lets us maintain around-the-clock uptime,

which is crucial for a global business. It gives us a
flexibility that was unthinkable in the era of on-premises
Hidehiko Sasaki, General Manager, Internet Planning Department,
e-TOYOTA Division, Toyota

Toyota Motor Corporation has 16 websites that deliver

more than 100 million page views per month. The
companys site offers car ownersas well
as Toyota employees and dealersvehicle information,
social networking, news, and entertainment. To enhance
site content, increase scalability, and reduce the cost of
ownership, Toyota is rebuilding the site using the
Windows Azure cloud development environment and
Microsoft SharePoint 2013.


Hidehiko Sasaki
General Manager,
Internet Planning
e-TOYOTA Division,

Toyota Motor Corporation, based in

Toyota City, Japan, sold 9.75 million
vehicles worldwide in 2012 and had
revenue of US$181.3 billion. Toyota is
the top-selling automaker in its home
country. As part of its efforts to reach
younger consumers, car enthusiasts,
and even people who dont own a car,
Toyota offers the web
portal. The portal provides news,
blogs, shopping, vehicle information,
and even a three-dimensional virtual
city, GAZOO Metapolis, where users
can drive virtual cars and chat with
fellow passengers. The number of
registered users on has
more than tripled from 2008 to 2013
and is now 1.7 million.
The site is based on a
site Toyota created in 1994 to help
Toyota dealers research used
vehicles. In 1998, the site was
renamed, and the
company added consumer features,
along with functionality used by
Toyota employees for publishing and
analyzing corporate content and sales
campaigns. was
originally built on an ASP-based web
architecture, and over the years there
were many expansions and
modifications that significantly
increased the IT management burden
and total cost of running the site.
In January 2012, Toyota began
working on a redesigned architecture
for to help the company
reduce site maintenance and costs,
make information on the site more
dynamic, and enhance social
networking, community building, and
mobile access opportunities. We felt
that a cloud-based solution made the

most sense, because it would

dramatically reduce hardware and
management costs and increase
scalability, says Hidehiko Sasaki,
General Manager for the Internet
Planning Department in the e-TOYOTA
division at Toyota. And it was
important that the new site have a
content management system that can
quickly and accurately deliver
customized information to meet
users specific needs.

Toyota evaluated cloud and content
solutions from several companies,
including Microsoft,,
and Sitecore. In the end, Toyota chose
Windows Azure from Microsoft as its
cloud development environment, and
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 for content
management and blogs. With
Windows Azure, we can provision
server resources dynamically to meet
fluctuating demand, says Mr. Sasaki.
And SharePoint 2013 contains highly
customizable functionality combined
with very efficient features, which
made it the best solution for us.
Development of the new site started
in January 2013, and Toyota worked
with Microsoft Services on the project.
Having the support of experienced
Microsoft personnel working with both
the Windows Azure and SharePoint
2013 teams was key to our success,
and they helped us keep to a tight
schedule, says Mr. Sasaki. We
worked in the Microsoft Visual Studio
2012 development system, and that
sped up development because its a
familiar tool and it offers a
straightforward, seamless experience
from development to deployment.


Toyota is taking advantage of the

customizability of SharePoint 2013 to
help improve customers experience
with Toyota has
300,000 pages of content, and the
SharePoint 2013 search capability lets
us quickly retrieve the information
that customers really want and
recommend content that theyll
enjoy, says Mr. Sasaki. We are also
using blogsand, in future releases,
other social features like Yammer
and SharePoint 2013 makes it easy to
customize all of our content and


Figure 1 The redesigned website uses a
SharePoint 2013 front end
connected to a Microsoft SQL
Server 2012 back end.

templates to meet the requirements

of different stakeholders.
The rebuilt website was
launched on May 30, 2013, and
Toyota plans to keep enhancing the
site. In future releases, we intend to
use the mobile capabilities of
SharePoint to optimize content for
smartphones and other mobile
devices, says Mr. Sasaki. And we are
looking at using Yammer for enhanced
social networking in a future release.

With its redesigned web
portal using SharePoint 2013, Toyota
will deliver customized information to
users and provide enhanced
opportunities for social interaction. By
rebuilding with Windows
Azure, Toyota is also making the site
easier to maintain, expand, and
Benefits of the redesigned web portal


Scalability and reliability. Toyota

is one of the first companies to
create an external website with
SharePoint 2013 running on
Windows Azure Virtual Machines,
and the combination will help
Toyota respond to the challenges
of a high-volume global site.
Toyota websites have more than
100 million monthly page views,
and Windows Azure lets us
maintain around-the-clock
uptime, which is crucial for a
global business, says Mr. Sasaki.
Because we dont have to worry
about things like taking a server
offline to install a software
update, it gives us a flexibility
that was unthinkable in the era of
on-premises deployments.

Lower cost of operation. By

running its site in a hosted cloud
environment, Toyota significantly
reduces the cost of maintaining
and expanding the site. With
SharePoint 2013 running in
Windows Azure, we can deliver
infrastructure as a service and
eliminate the need to buy and
maintain on-site hardware, says
Mr. Sasaki. And as site
membership grows, we can easily
add additional computing
resources without needing to
purchase physical servers.

High degree of customizability.

The new will help
Toyota address the needs of the
different departments that
provide content for the site. It
can be hard to get all parts of a
company to agree on the details
of templates, but with SharePoint
2013 we can tailor our content

management system according to

user demand, says Mr. Sasaki.
And we can easily customize site
features to serve the needs of a
diverse, global user base and
spread the joys of car life.


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SharePoint is the new way to work
together. A simplified user experience
helps you organize, sync, and share
all your content. New social
capabilities make it easy to share
ideas, keep track of what your

colleagues are working on, and

discover experts you never knew
For more information go to:

For more information about Toyota

products and services, visit the
website at:

This case study is for informational purposes

Document published June 2013