One of the first Italian companies to use Windows 7 Enterprise, Prada uses the features offered by the newer operating system to provide its users with PCs that meet the requirements of people working in a dynamic, competitive market such as fashion. Enhanced data security, quick startup and shutdown, and links with the company’s network optimize the company’s business worldwide.Business Needs
Prada has represented the best of Italian luxury since 1913, and the company is now recognized the world over as synonymous with Italian-made luxury, specializing in the production and distribution of leather goods, footwear, clothing, and accessories.
The Prada Group—including the Prada, Miu Miu, Church's, and Car Shoe brands—is a multinational group that centralizes its IT department in Italy, where it sets the standards applied to 4,000 users (including shops) all over the world, in Europe, the Asia Pacific, North America, and Japan.
After adopting the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, the company decided to join the Windows 7 Technology Adoption Program in advance of the worldwide release of the Windows 7 operating system.
Prada wanted a new operating system that is lightweight, easy to use, and capable of highly flexible regional adaptation and customization. Prada also wanted to give the company’s information systems a Microsoft orientation, and it wanted a system that would help it preserve and protect data and support mobile users’ activities, connections, and rapid links.
At the same time as it implemented Windows 7, Prada chose to update its server operating system to Windows Server 2008 R2.Solution
Prada began a worldwide deployment of Windows 7 Enterprise in March and April of 2009, when a number of laptop users particularly concerned with the performance of their PCs were involved in beta testing of a preliminary version of Windows 7.
||With Windows 7 Enterprise, the Prada Group continues to adopt the best, most innovative technological solutions available on the market. This ensures us an undeniable competitive edge.
Group IT Director, Prada
Deployment began in the months that followed. By the end of 2010, Prada had deployed Windows 7 Enterprise on about 1,400 PCs, and the company expects to complete the rollout by the end of its 2012 fiscal year.
Prada installed Windows 7 Enterprise for users in Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or English. Worldwide implementation was coordinated by an Italian team, which prepared the deployment tool and distributed a single image of the operating system.Benefits
Prada uses Windows 7 Enterprise to help guarantee speed, security, and efficiency in its information systems, while providing employees with computers that offer a practical, enjoyable user interface.
By deploying Windows 7 Enterprise, Prada increased productivity, thanks to faster PC startup and shutdown speed. Prada users were very happy to see that with Windows 7, their PCs started up quickly, were easy to use, and had an attractive look. The same users noted that their laptop batteries lasted longer, and found that the Windows Internet Explorer 8 Internet browser and its built-in tools offered the ideal solution for browsing and using in-house web applications.
Good Hardware and Application Compatibility
There were no serious problems with the compatibility of hardware and applications used in the IT department, thanks to the company’s previous adoption of Windows Vista, which ensured continuity with the newer operating system.
Enhanced Security and Access
With Windows 7 Enterprise, Prada improved security and access for laptops and their data. Prada first assessed and then implemented BitLocker drive encryption, centralized under company policy to help ensure protection of data on laptops, which represent about 30 percent of the pool of machines in use.
Prada particularly appreciated using DirectAccess, a key feature of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, which employs the latest-generation protocols to help guarantee remote users access to the company’s network via an ordinary Internet connection, with no need to set up a virtual private network (VPN) connection. DirectAccess permits creation of an “always managed” infrastructure, which allows the protection and updating of computers even when employees are out of the office.Unified IT
Adoption of Windows 7 represents a major milestone in the company’s construction of information systems that are oriented toward Microsoft technologies: in 2011, Prada will also adopt Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and Office Communications Server 2007 R2.
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