The Ore-Mining Division of Metinvest Group (GRD), wanted to streamline PC management and support tasks. It upgraded to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and deployed the beta version of Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2010. By using these automated tools, GRD has been able to trim IT work by 30 percent, enhance desktop security, and provide better service to employees by reducing problem resolution time.
Metinvest Group Ore-Mining Division (GRD) is a leading regional producer of iron ore, coal, and coke in Ukraine and a significant player in the global steel industry. To gain better control over its decentralized IT infrastructure and improve availability and security, Metinvest used the Microsoft Core Infrastructure Optimization model in early 2007 to create a strategic plan for optimizing its infrastructure. As part of that effort, it centralized IT services, deployed Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to automate many PC configuration and management tasks, and deployed Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 to monitor servers. However, even with these monitoring and infrastructure management tools, the IT staff at GRD still lacked a holistic service management solution with which it could link alerts and tasks from its various infrastructure management programs. It also wanted to manage its complex infrastructure with less manual work and more automation.
Resolving help-desk issues was also a lengthy and inconsistent process, with users submitting problem tickets over the phone, in email messages, and in person. GRD had no central way to track service incidents and no consistent means of solving them. The lack
||[Using System Center programs,] we have reduced our PC management staff from 10 to 4 people and reduced PC management workload by approximately 30 percent.
Chief Information Officer, Metinvest Group Ore-Mining Division
of a centralized, standardized, and automated help-desk solution consumed a great deal of IT staff time. It also affected the productivity of employees, who were often without their computers for hours.
In late 2009, GRD upgraded to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, to take advantage of improved PC management efficiencies. With the newer program, the IT staff has been able to standardize configuration of all 4,500 PCs, standardize software images and deployment methodologies, and manage all PC assets from one console. The company also can now centrally install both Microsoft and non-Microsoft software.
Working with Microsoft Services, in late 2008 the company created an incident management portal using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and following the guidance of the Microsoft Operations Framework methodology. In late 2009, GRD deployed the beta version of Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2010, a software tool that provides automated workflows for incident and problem resolution and change control, and connected it to its incident-management portal.
Today, employees submit PC problems to the portal instead of making phone calls to the help desk, and a service technician pulls their PC configuration information from System Center Configuration Manager and documents all system changes in System Center Service Manager. Users can track the progress of an issue through the portal and receive an email message notifying them when it is fixed.
GRD has also used System Center Service Manager to create a configuration management database, with which it can better document and manage configuration item attributes and relationships. GRD uses this information to assess the impact of proposed infrastructure changes and to identify root causes of incidents.
By deploying System Center solutions, GRD has been able to reduce its IT staffing and workload, enhance PC security and business continuity, and provide better service to users.
IT Work Reduced 30 Percent
With the efficiencies gained in PC configuration, application and security-update deployment, and asset management, GRD has been able to reduce its IT workload by more than 30 percent. “We had 500 people three years ago, and today, through attrition, we have around 200 people,” says Vitaliy Volosetskiy, Chief Information Officer of the Metinvest Group Ore-Mining Division. “We have reduced our PC management staff from 10 to 4 people and reduced PC management workload by approximately 30 percent.” As an example, deploying a PC now takes 40 minutes instead of six hours. Rather than deploying operating system updates manually and selectively, GRD now automatically distributes them to all PCs.
Enhanced Security and Continuity
The IT staff also has better control over software that users deploy and can eliminate rogue applications that could present vulnerabilities to individual PCs or the network, thereby enhancing the security of the infrastructure. Thanks to System Center Service Manager, IT staff is also able to better meet internal service-level agreements, which reduces system downtime and optimizes business continuity.
Better User Service
By using System Center Service Manager, GRD has been able to speed PC problem resolution and minimize downtime for employees. “Although we didn’t gather statistics before, we are certain that our service desk works faster, because information is accessible and visible,” Volosetskiy says. “Our employees have one place to submit service issues, and our support staff has one place to find everything needed to resolve those issues.” Also, the IT staff can proactively notify users about the scope and duration of problems and routine maintenance chores, minimizing downtime and user frustration.
The IT staff also is better able to discern trends in service issues and which users are experiencing issues. If users repeatedly submit problems that are caused by user error, the IT staff suggests training to educate them. If executives are experiencing PC problems, the IT staff moves them to the top of the service queue. With standardized software images and better control over user-downloaded software, GRD has been able to eliminate problems caused by inconsistent or unauthorized software.
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