"We were very impressed by the highly efficient and targeted support we received from Consulting Services. Not only did the specialists know their own products very well, they also were very competent in helping out with issues outside of their immediate responsibility."
SCHÜCO INTERNATIONAL KG
Schüco International KG delivers products for constructing and modernising buildings via its lines of business for metal construction, plastics and new energies. Its targeted products are designed to meet the requirements of individual users in all climate zones. Headquartered in Bielefeld, Germany, the company employs approximately 5,000 people and works with 12,000 partners in more than 75 countries around the world. In 2011, Schüco achieved sales revenues of €2.23 billion.
Working with a worldwide network of partners, architects, planners and investors, Schüco provides sustainable building envelopes that put people’s needs first and work in harmony with nature and technology. Its products must meet the highest standards in design, comfort and safety, while reducing CO2 emissions through energy efficiency and thus protecting natural resources. Employee satisfaction is also a prime concern, with the company seeking to provide a highly accommodating work environment.
In line with these objectives, the company recently launched an initiative called “Workplace 2015”. The goal of this program is to support modern working arrangements, which will enable Schüco’s employees to work much more flexibly and independently. In doing so, Schüco hopes to maintain its market-leading position while increasing its attractiveness as an employer.
To reduce travel requirements and enable more dynamic collaboration, both within the company and with its many partners, Schüco required innovative information and communications technology. “We wanted to create a reliable foundation for our change initiative and ensure that business users were provided with all the tools and systems they needed,” said Mark Glowienka, IT Manager at Schüco.
As one of the first steps towards “Workplace 2015”, Schüco decided to modernise its entire desktop and asset management system. To support the latest applications and take advantage of improved security features, the company used ZENworks Configuration Management to roll out Microsoft Windows 7 to its desktop systems. This enables Schüco to benefit from many languages integrated in the operating system as well as improved performance for the CAD workstations.
Standardising desktops with ZENworks Configuration Management and Microsoft Windows 7, the company based user and application management on the group policy framework.
“For new installations, we rely on the imaging feature of ZENworks Configuration Management,” said Steffen Stelter, Team Leader IT Service & Support at Schüco. “Working with Consulting Services, we developed a sophisticated scripting solution based on Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) technologies to fully automate the installation of new desktops.”
Once a desktop or notebook is deployed, Schüco manages software distribution with ZENworks Configuration Management, independent of its physical location. This enables the company to deploy and manage all business applications centrally.
Schüco also integrates applications developed in-house into the software distribution system. Software distribution is complemented by ZENworks Patch Management for easy patching of all desktop computers. Remote management features allow help desk staff to engage with users at any location, providing rapid resolution of support issues.
Recognising that comprehensive inventory data is crucial to the efficient management of decentralised end-user devices, Schüco implemented ZENworks Asset Management to provide an accurate overview of all hardware and software deployed across the company. Advanced reporting capabilities allow Schüco to gain detailed insights into its desktop infrastructure, helping to optimise software licensing costs.
To support its 3,500 desktop systems, Schüco operates its ZENworks solutions in a virtualized environment with VMware technology on Open Enterprise Server to ensure optimised resource utilisation. For high availability, the servers are spread across two data centres.
By implementing the latest ZENworks software, Schüco has built on existing product knowledge and positive experience. “From a management perspective, our licensing is much more straight-forward and customer friendly than what competitors have to offer,” said Mark Glowienka. “We were also very impressed by the highly efficient and targeted support we received from Consulting Services,” said Mark Glowienka. “Not only did the specialists know their own products very well, they also were very competent in helping out with issues outside of their immediate responsibility. They were focused on us and our requirements and not just on their own solutions.”
Standardisation of desktops has increased the efficiency and productivity of the IT team. “With ZENworks Configuration Management, we have automated most processes, enabling our IT staff to spend less time on administration and focus on more demanding projects instead,” said Steffen Stelter. “By doing so, we can better support our users regardless of their location, and deliver more innovative services.”
The new system architecture enables Schüco to benefit from central desktop management. By placing ZENworks Configuration Management satellite servers at larger office locations, the company has also reduced network traffic between the central management servers and the desktop systems, speeding up software and patch provisioning.
Mark Glowienka said: “As a result of this upgrade project, we observed increased user satisfaction. We now have a modern and very reliable desktop management solution based on Novell technology, which will provide the solid foundation needed to deploy innovative collaboration tools and implement our vision of the ‘Workplace 2015’.”