4-page Case Study
Posted: 10/12/2011
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Korean Airlines Airline Optimizes PC Environment by Upgrading Its Operating System

Korean Air is committed to innovation within its IT infrastructure, working to establish a foundation for the optimization of its network and desktop environments. The company wanted to modernize its PC environment while delivering the flexibility to support the diversity of IT tools that its employees depend on to do their jobs. In 2009, the Information Systems Department at Korean Air participated in a Microsoft rapid deployment program (RDP) to evaluate the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system and determine its compatibility with the company’s business applications. After successfully completing the RDP, Korean Air adopted Windows 7 Enterprise as the company’s standard operating system. As a result, Korean Air has optimized its PC infrastructure, struck a balance between standardization and diversity, and delivered multiple benefits for its PC users and administrators.

Situation
Korean Air is a leader in international air travel. With a fleet of 138 aircraft, the airline flies passengers to 115 cities in 39 countries. Committed to innovation in the airline industry, Korean Air was one of the first airlines to fly the Airbus A380 airplane.

The Information Systems Department at Korean Air is equally committed to growth and innovation within the company’s IT infrastructure. For almost a decade, Korean Air has been establishing a foundation to automate its systems operations, including an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with modules for finance, procurement, human resources, revenue accounting, and aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul.

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* By adopting Windows 7 Enterprise, we have helped transform our PC environment into the front end of an advanced Korean Air management system. *

Chung Pilmoon
General Manager, Information Systems Department, Korean Air

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The company wants to optimize its IT infrastructure across all of the line-of-business, network, and desktop environments at Korean Air. The Information Systems Department continually evaluates and deploys IT tools to help it improve control, flexibility, business insight, security, and management capacity in an effort to strike a balance between standardization and diversification in its PC and application environments.

“Employees use their PCs to access various business systems and information,” says Chung Pilmoon, General Manager of the Information Systems Department at Korean Air. “Standardization is important in an enterprise environment, but diversity must be considered as well. For research staff engaged in a national defense project or for management and planning departments that handle confidential corporate documents, data security is important. In maintenance or field work environments where employees may share a single PC, tailored convenience must be provided.”

For nearly a decade, Korean Air has standardized its almost 13,300 PCs on the Windows XP operating system. Several years ago, the company evaluated the Windows Vista operating system to determine whether to update its PC environment, but it found that upgrading to Windows Vista would have required it to replace a significant number of PCs with updated equipment, so it decided to wait and reexamine an operating system upgrade at a later date.

Unfortunately, as its Windows XP environment continued to age, Korean Air was left without the enhanced security, performance, and flexibility of a modernized operating system. With the outdated operating system, employee PCs were more vulnerable to security threats, such as computer hackers or malicious software. “We were starting to spend extra time and money having to respond to service requests associated with the old operating system,” says Chung.

By 2009, Korean Air was prepared to begin a measured approach to upgrading its PC environment; it also began to explore virtualization and network computing. The company wanted to standardize and modernize its PC environment, but it needed an operating system that would be flexible enough to support the diversity of IT tools that its employees use.

“Executives at Korean Air have laid out a path for growth that will keep us in a position of leadership throughout the Asia Pacific region and points beyond,” says Chung. “But meeting our objectives required an overhaul of our IT systems.”

Solution
In 2009, to help develop an advanced PC environment throughout the company, the Information Systems Department at Korean Air participated in a Microsoft rapid deployment program (RDP) for the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. Over the course of the two-month RDP, Korean Air tested Windows 7 for compatibility with the company’s business applications.

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* Of all the applications we tested [with Windows 7 Enterprise], 90 percent had no compatibility issues at all. *

Chung Pilmoon
General Manager, Information Systems Department, Korean Air

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“Before adopting Windows 7, we wanted to verify that our applications would operate normally with this cutting-edge operating system,” says Chung. “We heard a lot about the strengths of Windows 7, and we had a chance to see them. We decided to focus on application compatibility by selecting mangers and developers for the RDP. We counted on them to evaluate whether the business systems they manage were compatible with Windows 7.”

Korean Air worked Neo Plus, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to evaluate 120 applications—mostly in-house programs that the company had developed to manage flights, reservations, and ticketing. “We believed that compatibility between Windows 7 and off-the-shelf applications would be secured by those vendors, so we focused on systems that we had to personally verify,” says Chung. “We resolved errors from initial compatibility tests with guidance from Neo Plus, but of all the applications we tested, 90 percent had no compatibility issues at all.”

Most of the compatibility issues that were still unresolved after the RDP were minor. For example, the Information Systems Department found difficulties associated with two outdated applications that had both been scheduled to be upgraded, so those issues were not considered an obstacle to adopting Windows 7.

Before participating in the Windows 7 RDP, Korean Air evaluated components of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, such as Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V). The company intends to use App-V to virtualize applications and deliver them as network services instead of installing them on PCs, and it will use MED-V to run applications on a virtualized version of Windows XP.

Because 30 percent of the PCs at Korean Air run slower than 2 gigahertz, it would be difficult to upgrade all the company’s PCs to Windows 7 Enterprise in one step. Korean Air will use App-V and MED-V to provide desktop and application support during a transition when Windows XP and Windows 7 will be used simultaneously.

Since the end of the Windows 7 RDP, Korean Air adopted Windows 7 Enterprise as the company’s standard operating system. Korean Air configured 70 percent of its computers to run Windows 7 Enterprise and will deploy the operating system on the remaining 30 percent of its PCs by the end of 2011, as it replaces its outdated hardware.

Benefits
When Korean Air completed its participation in the Windows 7 RDP and adopted Windows 7 Enterprise as its standard operating system, it helped to optimize its infrastructure, create a flexible environment that supports a balance between standardization and diversity, and delivered benefits that its PC users and administrators could instantly recognize.

Comprehensive PC Optimization
Korean Air has integrated its PC environment with a comprehensive IT infrastructure that uses virtualization, network computing, and a large-scale ERP system, establishing a practical PC-optimization strategy that meets the company’s needs in a flexible manner. By using App-V to support critical business applications, Korean Air will be able to give its employees access to the tools they need directly from the company network. The Information Systems Department will be able to enable the use of other applications in virtual desktop environments through MED-V.

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* By moving to Windows 7 Enterprise, we can deliver consistent IT standards and tools across the company, without compromising our desire for greater efficiency. *

Chung Pilmoon
General Manager, Information Systems Department, Korean Air

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“We have established a comprehensive desktop infrastructure, not just at the level of PCs but also in a manner that includes the network environment and takes into consideration the needs of our management and user communities,” says Chung. “By adopting Windows 7 Enterprise, we have helped transform our PC environment into the front end of an advanced Korean Air management system.”

Controlled Diversity
By adopting Windows 7 Enterprise as its standard operating system, Korean Airlines supports its IT-optimization goals while creating a balance between standardization and diversification, a challenge the company has been attempting to address for several years. Korean Air can now streamline internal processes, enhance PC performance and flexibility, and free up time for employees to focus on the company’s business goals.

“By moving to Windows 7 Enterprise, we can deliver consistent IT standards and tools across the company, without compromising our desire for greater efficiency,” says Chung. “We can diversify our PC environment based on the particular characteristics of a department, project, or work environment.”

Greater User Satisfaction
When the Information Systems Department verified application compatibility with Windows 7 Enterprise and deployed the operating system gradually throughout the company, it effectively optimized the Korean Air PC environment and delivered numerous benefits that employees and managers were able to instantly recognize. In fact, the internal reaction to Windows 7 Enterprise has been overwhelmingly positive throughout Korean Air.

“Participants in the Windows 7 RDP report that the new operating system is much faster, and they all expressed high satisfaction with the Windows 7 Enterprise interface,” says Chung. “Our managers also predict that the volume of help-desk requests will decrease once Windows 7 is distributed throughout the company.”

Windows 7
Works the way you want: Windows 7 will help your organization use information technology to gain a competitive advantage in today’s new world of work. Your people will be able to be more productive anywhere. You will be able to support your mobile workforce with better access to shared data and collaboration tools. And your IT staff will have better tools and technologies for enhanced corporate IT security and data protection, and more efficient deployment and management.

For more information about Windows 7, go to:
www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Neo Plus products and services, visit the website at:
www.neoplus.co.kr

For more information about Korean Air products and services, visit the website at:
www.koreanair.com  

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 19000 employees

Organization Profile

Korean Air, based in Seoul, has 19,000 employees worldwide and operates almost 400 passenger flights a day to 115 cities in 39 countries.


Business Situation

Korean Air wanted to standardize and modernize its PC environment while supporting its IT optimization goals and delivering the flexibility that its employees and IT administrators need.


Solution

After establishing compatibility between its operating environment and critical business applications, Korean Air adopted Windows 7 Enterprise as its standard operating system.


Benefits

  • Comprehensive PC optimization
  • Controlled diversity
  • Greater user satisfaction


Software and Services
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization
  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack
  • Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization

Vertical Industries
Transportation

Country/Region
Korea

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Data Management

IT Issue
Identity, Security and Access Management

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Neo Plus

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