Bombardier Aerospace is a leading manufacturer in the aerospace industry with locations in more than 10 countries around the world. Because the company’s operating system—Windows 2000—was to reach the end of its support life cycle in July 2010, Bombardier decided to upgrade to the Windows 7 operating system instead of deploying Windows XP. The upgrade will help enhance security, reduce costs, and improve information access and productivity.
Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier is a global transportation company. The company is a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art transportation vehicles with two separate business entities: aerospace and rail transportation. The company has 66,900 employees in 60 countries.
The Aerospace group (Bombardier Aerospace) has 29,000 employees. It maintains 16,000 computers—60 percent desktop computers and 40 percent portable computers—and uses the Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems. Its heterogeneous server environment comprises UNIX servers and 400 virtual and physical servers running a mix of the Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 operating systems.
Because a significant portion of its computers ran Windows 2000, the company wanted to upgrade. “With the end of Windows 2000 support, it was imperative that we upgrade our operating system,” says Alain Paquette, Technology Integrator at Bombardier Aerospace.
In addition, the company sought to implement new IT security solutions. For instance, Bombardier Aerospace used a third-party firewall. It wanted to find a firewall solution that it could better manage. Also, the company started a proof of concept for a disk encryption solution in 2008. While proving the solution, the Windows 7 Beta operating system was released, presenting the opportunity to use built-in security enhancement in the operating system, rather than a third-party solution. The release of the Windows 7 operating system presented the perfect opportunity for the company to upgrade.
Bombardier Aerospace started its deployment with a pilot program for employees in the IT department. With the help of Microsoft Services, including expert resources and technical guidance, the company upgraded 40 laptops to Windows 7 Release Candidate 1, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, and Windows Internet Explorer 8 Internet browser.
||[With Windows 7 security enhancements], we will save more than $10 for each of our 16,000 PCs. That equals more than $160,000 in savings.
The company’s primary goal is to upgrade all of its Windows 2000–based computers by July 2010—in time for discontinued support for the older operating system. With the release of Windows 7, the company will begin rolling out the operating system across the company on its scheduled hardware-refresh cycle.
For its pilot deployment, Bombardier Aerospace ran informal application compatibility testing, but it will run formal testing before the end of 2009. Application compatibility is less of a priority for the company because it relies on virtualization technologies that are part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). For instance, it uses Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), to stream 15 virtual applications to the desktop, including its Enterprise Resource Planning application, Microsoft Office 2003, and Adobe Acrobat Reader, removing the need to install those applications on endpoints and reducing conflicts between applications. Bombardier Aerospace is also evaluating Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) to run instances of older Windows operating systems and applications that are not yet compatible with Windows 7.
Bombardier Aerospace is using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 to facilitate an offline deployment process with a USB key for its pilot. It is currently testing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 in a lab environment for use in its widespread deployment. The company is also implementing Windows Server 2008 R2.
Bombardier Aerospace is implementing Windows BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. The built-in features will replace a previously-planned deployment of a third-party solution. The company is taking advantage of Windows Firewall, also to replace a third-party solution. Finally, Bombardier Aerospace is evaluating BranchCache to enable faster access to corporate resources from branch offices.
By implementing Windows 7, Bombardier Aerospace can help safeguard data, while at the same time reducing third-party licensing costs. The company also looks forward to improved information access and productivity.
By using BitLocker, Bombardier Aerospace can implement full-volume drive encryption in the event of misplaced laptops—helping to safeguard critical data. It can also extend data security to removable storage devices, such as USB thumb drives, with BitLocker To Go.
As a result of implementing security enhancements in Windows 7, Bombardier Aerospace will be able to decommission third-party solutions and reduce its third-party licensing costs. Specifically, the company can eliminate its firewall and disk encryption solutions by using Windows Firewall, BitLocker, and BitLocker To Go. “Including all three solutions, we will save more than $10 for each of our 16,000 PCs,” explains Paquette. “That equals to more than $160,000 in savings.”
Improved Information Access
With BranchCache, Bombardier Aerospace can cache content stored on remote file and Web servers at branch offices. This helps reduce download times and provides easier access to corporate resources for dispersed employees while reducing the utilization of the wide area network (WAN) link between the headquarters and branch offices.
Feedback from employees at Bombardier Aerospace has been positive, and users in the pilot group benefit from increased productivity thanks to user interface enhancements. Specifically, simple features like the ability to “pin” applications or documents to the Windows Taskbar saves valuable seconds. “Every time a user can access a document that they’ve pinned, rather than searching through files, it saves up to 45 seconds—those seconds add up to considerable productivity gains,” says Paquette.
For more information about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit: