AXA Sigorta, an insurance company in Turkey, embraces technology as a way to improve efficiency. Seeking to improve how it distributed applications, the company implemented Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. It also upgraded to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007. With these tools, AXA Sigorta simplified IT management, reduced costs, and improved employee satisfaction.
AXA Sigorta offers a wide range of insurance products for its customers and was awarded the “Best Insurance Company in Turkey” designation by Euromoney magazine. The company has 600 employees located throughout nine regions in Turkey.
The IT department at AXA Sigorta maintains approximately 600 client computers running the Windows XP Professional operating system and core line-of-business and business productivity software, such as Microsoft Office Professional 2003. Its server environment is composed primarily of servers running the Windows Server 2003 operating system. IT staff used Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 to manage its IT infrastructure.
AXA Sigorta is always looking for ways to improve operational efficiency and embraces technology to help in that pursuit. “We are a company that strives to use all the technologies that we can in order to increase the efficiency of our company,” explains Fatma Sarp, Manager of the Systems Operation Department at AXA Sigorta.
In 2008, AXA Sigorta decided to replenish its aging client computing hardware, hoping to gain new efficiencies. At the same time, AXA Sigorta wanted to streamline IT management. In particular, the company wanted to simplify how it manages desktop environments, including alleviating difficulties with installing and distributing several of its line-of-business applications, which often required intervention from multiple IT staff members, in part due to compatibility issues.Solution
When AXA Sigorta upgraded its client computing hardware, it chose to implement desktop and portable computers equipped with Intel vPro technology, which includes built-in hardware-based management features. With its new hardware in place by the end of 2008, AXA Sigorta decided to implement Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance, which transforms applications into network-available services that are available on-demand, minimizing application conflicts and enabling users to work from virtually any location.
||The efficiencies we have gained directly translate to a decrease in system management costs and lower total cost of ownership.
Manager, Systems Operation, AXA Sigorta
“With App-V, we can distribute applications virtually, without the problems we had previously when we installed software directly onto client hardware,” says Ercüment Akbalik, Assistant Manager, Systems Operations at AXA Sigorta. The company is distributing mission-critical line-of-business applications, including one from SAS and a human resource management (HRM) application through virtualization. In addition, AXA Sigorta upgraded to Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, which it delivered to the desktops through virtualization.
AXA Sigorta also implemented the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset from the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. Now, if a client computer fails, IT personnel can use the toolset’s Crash Analyzer, Disk Commander, File Restore, Registry Editor, and Hotfix Uninstall tools to troubleshoot and recover computers.
Wanting to enhance its IT management solution, the company worked with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Data Market to upgrade from Systems Management Server 2003 to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007. AXA Sigorta uses System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to manage both its client and server infrastructure.
AXA Sigorta is taking advantage of the Desired Configuration Management feature in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to help ensure that its systems comply with desired configuration states. “We have a terminal server farm with 30 servers, and we want to configure all of the servers the same,” Akbalik explains. “With System Center Configuration Manager, we can configure them for easy management and enforce the same configuration across the entire farm.”Benefits
As a result of implementing the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and System Center Configuration Manager 2007, AXA Sigorta simplified IT maintenance, reduced costs, and improved employee satisfaction.
Simplified IT Maintenance
With Microsoft App-V, the IT department can quickly deploy applications with little manual intervention or worry about their compatibility because applications are distributed virtually and not installed directly on the client computers. For instance, to install Office 2007 took approximately two minutes per computer, as opposed to the 20 minutes it took prior to App-V. IT staff also save valuable time by taking advantage of the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset. “We can easily monitor specific errors, see which updates are applied, and view other logged events,” says Akbalik. “The Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset really reduces the time spent on maintenance.”
AXA Sigorta has reduced its IT costs thanks to improved efficiency. With the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and System Center Configuration Manager 2007, the IT department can efficiently distribute and update applications, as well as manage client and server configurations. “The efficiencies we have gained directly translate to a decrease in system management costs and lower total cost of ownership,” says Sarp.
In addition, the company can turn on its remote computers with Intel vPro technology, helping to save power costs. Instead of requiring that employees leave on computers to receive updates, the IT department can turn on remote computers, install updates through System Center Configuration Manager, and then turn off the computers again.Improved Employee Satisfaction
AXA Sigorta has alleviated application compatibility issues by virtualizing some of its applications. “With App-V, we can virtualize applications that might otherwise conflict with each other on the computer,” says Sarp. “By doing so, we’re isolating them, reducing compatibility problems, and improving employee satisfaction.” Similarly, the company found that some employees wanted to continue using Office 2003 programs. By virtualizing Office 2007, AXA Sigorta enabled those employees to keep a local installation of Office 2003 on their desktop while still using Office 2007 in a virtual environment.
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