The clothing retailer Giordano wanted to centralize, standardize, and simplify its computer environment. The company used the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack to help deploy Windows 7 Enterprise in stores and offices throughout China and several other countries. As a result, Giordano has enhanced its control over the company’s PC environment and significantly reduced IT costs.Business Needs
Giordano has developed a leading position among clothing retailers in the Asia-Pacific region, offering its own brands of apparel and accessories at more than 1,900 stores. Giordano administers the wholesale distribution and retail sales of its various apparel brands, and it manages the company to meet its goal of becoming the world’s biggest retail clothing brand.
More than 80 percent of Giordano’s 8,000 employees use PCs, so the company places a high priority on the operation and management of its IT environment. But with thousands of stores and offices in dozens of regions, IT management at Giordano had become complex. Because Giordano managed a mix of operating systems in its offices and retail outlets, it had become difficult and costly to manage the company’s PC environment. For example, IT staff had to perform time-consuming tests before they could change network policies.
To effectively manage its information security, the company needed to ensure better control of its desktop and portable PCs. For example, employees sometimes downloaded their own software onto company computers, which increased the risk of exposure to malicious software. However, Giordano’s limited number of IT staff already spent too much time on routine computer maintenance.
The company wanted to simplify IT management and lower IT costs while continuing to satisfy the demands of the business. To achieve this goal, Giordano needed to standardize its PC environment across its stores and offices. It planned to manage the entire environment centrally from the company’s IT headquarters in Guangzhou, China.Solution
After evaluating early versions of the Windows 7 operating system, Giordano believed that the management, security, and user-interface enhancements in Windows 7 would help improve company productivity. In 2009, the company launched a pilot project to deploy Windows 7 Enterprise to 25 computers in the IT department.
||We used Windows 7 Enterprise and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack to formulate a global IT strategy for the entire company and ensure that every PC complies with our security standard.
Chief Information Officer, Giordano International Limited
Throughout the pilot project, IT staff used deployment tools in Windows 7 and the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager to assess the compatibility of the company’s hardware and application suite with Windows 7, and, in November 2009, the company began installing Windows 7 Enterprise on 682 computers in retail stores throughout China. In February of 2010, Giordano began deploying Windows 7 Enterprise on more than 1,500 computers in stores in several other countries.
To get the most out of it PCs and help centralize IT management for its more than 1,900 locations, Giordano uses Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) and Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management, components of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance.
Instead of installing software on individual computers, the company uses App-V to deliver some applications as network services, which prevents system conflicts between applications and the operating system. Network administrators can update applications from a single point without interfering with employee workflow, and the company can manage access to applications so that employees can use their applications from any computer with an Internet connection.
Giordano also uses App-V to control which users can have access to specific applications, and the company uses Advanced Group Policy Management to make IT management more systematic so that every computer complies with standards determined by the IT department.
By the end of 2010, Giordano deployed Windows 7 Enterprise to more than one-third of its retail stores, and the company intends to deploy Windows 7 throughout the entire organization.Benefits
By deploying Windows 7 and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, Giordano enhanced its control over the company’s PC environment and reduced costs by centralizing and simplifying IT management.
Enhanced IT Control
Giordano uses App-V and Advanced Group Policy Management to increase control over its computers and the applications that employees use. With App-V, mobile employees can work in different places—even with different computers—and still access the applications they need. With more control over its PC environment, Giordano can help to improve security on its computers and reduce the risk of failure over large areas.
“We used Windows 7 Enterprise and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack to formulate a global IT strategy for the entire company and ensure that every PC complies with our security standard,” says Hou Tong, Chief Information Officer at Giordano International Limited.Reduced IT Costs
The IT team at Giordano takes advantage of the enhanced Group Policy management capabilities in Windows 7 and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack to support and manage the company’s entire PC environment across more than 30 countries. IT technicians have seen an increase in work efficiency, which has resulted in significant savings and increased flexibility.
For example, the IT department can use Advanced Group Policy Management to perform a simple, automated test when it modifies network policies, which greatly reduces mistakes and the costs associated with them. “When we made our PC environment more centralized and standardized, we harmonized the user experience for our employees and made PC maintenance more efficient,” says Li Junwei, Director of IT at Giordano.
Giordano conserves more IT resources by using App-V to virtualize applications and deliver them as services. “If we’d deployed Microsoft Office 2010 on every computer the way we used to do it, we would have wasted a lot of resources,” says Li Junwei. “With App-V, we only need to configure it on the server and then send it as a package to end users.”
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