DTEK, a group of 20 diverse energy companies in Eastern Ukraine, strives for leadership in the European energy market by implementing advanced technologies to improve production and management processes. In 2009, the company launched an information technology development initiative to upgrade the IT infrastructure and standardize employee workstations. DTEK deployed the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system along with Microsoft Office Professional 2007, Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007. As a result, DTEK can deploy workstations in half the time, IT service requests have decreased by 20 percent, and the company has gained 2,500 hours a year through enhanced productivity.
DTEK is comprised of approximately 20 different enterprises, including coal-mining and processing organizations; electric energy generators and distributors; and trade, scientific, and technology companies. Collectively, the DTEK organizations employ approximately 52,000 individuals across Eastern Ukraine.
More than 4,000 DTEK employees—including executives, managers, corporate employees, and specialists—rely on personal computers to perform their job functions. “Most computers operated on the Windows XP operating system,” explains Vladimir Grebenetsky, Head of the Technical Support Department at DTEK. “However, the equipment life cycle at DTEK is three years, so in order to perform well, the computers required a more up-to-date operating system with enhanced security.”
||We estimate that the standby mode alone in Windows 7 is helping us gain 2,500 hours a year in increased productivity. After the deployment is complete, this figure will reach 6,600 hours a year.
Head of the Technical Support Department, DTEK
DTEK management is committed to supporting and improving all facets of the company’s IT infrastructure—from server equipment and networks to employee workstations. To ensure proactive development of quality services, DTEK management approved an information technology development strategy for 2009 to 2013. This strategy includes implementing a new IT infrastructure through a phased replacement of servers and workstations, consolidation of resources, and development of an up-to-date software environment. Solution
During 2009 and 2010, DTEK management implemented the first phase of its IT development strategy by upgrading the company’s infrastructure. “Because our company infrastructure is decentralized, we needed to correctly organize all workstations across the enterprise during the integration of the new IT environment,” says Sergey Detyuk, Chief Information Officer for DTEK. “In order to increase the speed and accuracy of the migration, and to simplify interaction between employees, we decided to unify the employee workstations and upgrade the operating system from Windows XP.”
With the help of S&T Ukraine, one of the country’s largest system integrators, DTEK migrated its server environment to the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system and implemented Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 to simplify IT management and application control. The company also chose Microsoft SQL Server 2008 data management software, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 email messaging and collaboration software, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for collaboration and workflow management. DTEK also developed unified workstations using the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system, including the BitLocker drive encryption technology.
The IT department proposed to standardize employee workstations with Microsoft Office Professional 2007, Windows Internet Explorer 8 Internet browser, and Microsoft Forefront client security, along with a set of codecs, image and portable document format file (PDF) viewing programs, and an archiving tool. The IT department could further customize employee desktops with additional applications, depending on the employee’s job requirements. “The unified approach to the workstation building has significantly simplified the administration and the detection of problems,” says Grebenetsky. “Before Windows 7, the service department used several days sometimes to spend much more time on detection and resolution of incidents.”
In October 2009, the IT department launched a pilot program to test Windows 7 on 50 computers. “We decided to test the efficiency of Windows 7 on the workstations of corporate center business employees, who rely heavily on their computers,” explains Detyuk. “Through discussions with them, we discovered to what extent Windows 7 was ready for use and convenient for work—and we were happy with the results. The new user interface, the improved search capabilities, quick transition to standby mode and back to operation was appreciated by all pilot users.”
During the pilot project, DTEK and technology partner BMS Consulting created a virtual laboratory for testing system deployment tools. “Concurrent operation of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance showed excellent results,” says Maksim Tishchenko, Technical Director of BMS Consulting. DTEK used components of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack to streamline the deployment and recovery of desktop operating systems—including Microsoft Asset Inventory Service, to gain a comprehensive view of its desktop software environment; Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management technology, to substantially increase the efficiency of Group Policy objects management and simultaneous setup of multiple systems; and the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, to restore non-starting workstations or free them from undesirable software without using additional applications.
||Thanks to the intuitive user interface and new capabilities, such as enhanced search, convenience of work on wireless networks, and improved remote access to corporate networks, adoption of the new system has been very smooth.
Chief Information Officer, DTEK
In February 2010, following the success of the testing phase, the company completed a progressive transition of 1,500 workstations to Windows 7. To speed migration, DTEK used the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit to analyze computers and other devices in the network for compatibility with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and other products.
“In the past, employees almost always felt a certain discomfort at the implementation of a new system,” Detyuk says. “However, with Windows 7, we haven’t noticed any opposition to these changes. Thanks to the intuitive user interface and new capabilities, such as enhanced search, convenience of work on wireless networks, and improved remote access to corporate networks, adoption of the new system has been very smooth.” Benefits
By transitioning to a unified workstation based on Windows 7, DTEK reports improved performance, better remote operation, compatibility with existing equipment, enhanced security, and simplified IT administration.
DTEK found that using Windows 7 helps employees increase productivity and improve performance. “Employees store their information in various locations—in desktop folders, local network repositories, on email servers, and on the Internet,” says Dmitry Osyka, Deputy IT Manager at DTEK. “The search for needed information can become a task that takes many work hours. Thanks to the indexed search used in Windows 7, we can find information much faster, and the Libraries feature allows us to easily locate files regardless of their name or storage location.”
With Windows 7, employees can take advantage of the substantially faster transition to and from standby mode, so they can get back to work more quickly, without waiting for the operating system to load. “This is one of those clear benefits that an employee feels every day,” says Grebenetsky. “For a company with more than 4,000 computerized workstations, this means significant time savings. We estimate that the standby mode alone in Windows 7 is helping us gain 2,500 hours a year in increased productivity. After the deployment is complete, this figure will reach 6,600 hours a year.”
Better Remote Operation
Today, many DTEK employees often work from home or on the road. “With Windows 7, we can provide our remote employees with the ability to access corporate information from any location with improved wireless network settings,” says Igor Panasyuk, Head of the Purchasing Department at DTEK.
Using the BitLocker drive encryption technology in Windows 7, DTEK can help protect data by encrypting the whole disk that stores system files and user data—each file saved to the hard drive is automatically encrypted. “Another safety-enhancing feature, BitLocker To Go, allows us to limit unauthorized use of portable storage devices that can be easily lost, like USB memory storage devices and external hard drives,” notes Yuri Zakharchenko, Information Security Manager of the IT Infrastructure Development Department at DTEK.
During the initial migration, the IT department discovered that using the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit for performing hardware and software inventories saved the company approximately 1,000 hours.
“Using Windows Server 2008 migration tools and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, we have created corporate images of workstations suitable for any hardware configurations adopted at our company,” says Grebenetsky. “This allows us to deploy a workstation twice as fast, both on a desktop and on a portable computer.”
DTEK also substantially simplified the work of the IT service team. With Windows 7, the response to incidents and their resolution became significantly faster, and the IT department expects the number of incidents related to the corporate workstation service to decrease by at least 20 percent.Windows 7
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