LSB needed to improve support across its globally distributed IT infrastructure. It selected Microsoft Partner Apajove to extend Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager across all sites and devices, as well as implement a multilanguage
Windows 7 Enterprise “zero-touch” installation solution. As a result, the firm has cut licensing and antimalware costs, and enhanced standardisation, support, and performance.
LSB faced a number of challenges incorporating newly acquired businesses and modernising its IT infrastructure. To do this, it required a new approach to support and the provision of services—joining together disparate processes and tools, and standardising
on a single, global service desk.
Softcat is the European large account reseller for LSB, managing its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. And, as the Softcat preferred partner for Microsoft System Center, Apajove was selected to design, plan, and implement the solution.
LSB was already using System Center Configuration Manager to provide inventory and software distribution to some of the business. Apajove worked with LSB operations personnel in Germany to extend System Center Configuration Manager across all sites and devices.
Apajove also implemented a multilanguage Windows 7 Enterprise zero-touch installation solution to accelerate the adoption of the Windows 7 operating system and Forefront Endpoint Protection across the estate.
LSB had a Lotus Notes-based incident-management solution, which was no longer considered fit for purpose, so Apajove implemented Microsoft System Center Service Manager to provide incident and change management.
System Center Service Manager integrates tightly with other elements of the infrastructure. It provides a seamless configuration management database experience for service-desk staff and a significantly improved experience for end users. Previously, all
incidents were raised through email, resulting in compliance and accuracy issues. This approach has been replaced with the System Center Service Manager Portal rendered in Microsoft SharePoint 2010, through which users complete a form to raise an incident.
Apajove deployed Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to provide operational monitoring of the distributed LSB infrastructure. All servers at all LSB sites across the world now submit telemetry and health status to a central console, giving the operations
and support teams insight into the performance and availability of servers, services, and applications.
The integration between System Center Operations Manager and System Center Service Manager allows operations staff to automate the creation of incidents as they appear. This enhances the functionality of the service desk and provides a rich operating environment.
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager provides configuration management database items for hardware and software assets. It improves the change control process with data around software updates, configuration change requirements, and application
management. Apajove also deployed Microsoft System Center Orchestrator to boost interoperability.
With the Microsoft System Center suite of products and Windows 7, LSB has cut the cost of its previous service-desk licensing and antimalware solution. The firm has also created a better support environment and can now deploy PCs more quickly.
Existing service-desk licensing savings. By switching to System Center Configuration Manager—a product included in the company’s Microsoft Enterprise Agreement—LSB
has cut the cost of its previous service-desk solution.
Existing malware solution savings. By deploying Forefront Endpoint Protection, which is included with System Center Configuration Manager, LSB has removed
the cost of its previous antimalware product. In addition, the memory and processor impact of the new solution is much lower than the previous solution.
Deployment time improvements. By using System Center Configuration Manager, delivery of a new or replacement computer to a user and the reimaging of Windows XP machines to Windows 7 are now significantly
faster. And, with zero-touch installation, new machines can be provisioned with all required applications and regional configurations quickly and easily. The time to deliver a new PC has been reduced from two or more days to less than two hours.
Toolset rationalisation. LSB has standardised on Microsoft System Center for all server and desktop management tasks, removing custom scripts and third-party tools from the environment. As a result, LSB
has been able to reduce the number of licensed products in its environment, and also cut the number of tools employed by the operations and support teams—improving standardisation and minimising training needs.
More responsive support. The visibility of the infrastructure provided by the Microsoft System Center suite puts information at the fingertips of the LSB support personnel irrespective of their regional
office locations. A single service-desk entity, spread across two continents, is now able to service all helpdesk requests.
Foundation for future. LSB is currently in the planning stages for migration to Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. This new version will allow LSB to further rationalise its infrastructure, introduce a software catalogue
portal where users can shop for applications, and allow for user-targeted software deployments. Each of these new features will help LSB further reduce costs and improve performance within the IT support function.
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