REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BNSF Railway Co., one of the oldest and largest freight railroad networks in North America, has selected Microsoft Office 365 to enable over 40,000 workers to share ideas and information via computers, kiosks and personal devices. BNSF chose Microsoft Office 365 as part of its Railroad 2020 vision for modernizing the user productivity portfolio at BNSF. The company looked at other offerings, but employees at BNSF preferred the familiar Office experience and the company wanted to capitalize on what people know and already use. Office was also chosen because of its interoperability with critical line-of-business applications such as SharePoint, and because of its ability to enable greater collaboration across geographically dispersed workers. Employees had organically started using Yammer as a communication tool, so BNSF plans to roll out Yammer Enterprise, the leading provider of enterprise social networks, to support this collaboration trend throughout the company. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO) "Whether it's in locomotives, detectors along the side of the track, geometry cars or our vast telecommunications infrastructure to support the railroad, we rely on technology to operate our railroad and ensure delivery of our customers' freight," said Jo-ann Olsovsky, vice president and chief information officer, BNSF. "Due to the nature of our business, the majority of our employees are outdoors in the field, so supporting their mobility with access to leading productivity and communications tools is critical to our success. By using tools such as Office 365 and Yammer Enterprise, we will be able to connect our employees to each other and the information they need to be successful." BNSF was seeking ways to improve efficiency in its delivery and support of email, calendaring and collaboration software while leveraging new functionality. BNSF began implementing Phase I of its Office 365 and Exchange Online deployment in October to more than 40,000 users and expects to have Lync, email and calendaring services fully deployed by early November. Subsequent phases will include deployment of other services such as SharePoint Online and Yammer Enterprise.