Novartis, a global healthcare company, is piloting Windows 8 to more than 1,200 users to empower associates and contractors in diverse work environments. Windows 8 touch-enabled devices support new use cases—from the lab, to office workers, to mobile sellers—to
Novartis is committed to improving global health, to enable better patient outcomes and expand access to medicines. The company has a vision to discover, develop, and successfully market innovative products to prevent and cure diseases, to ease suffering, and
to enhance the quality of life.
Today, Novartis runs Windows 7 mostly on its PCs and laptops. The company wants its associates to use touch computing to benefit from increased mobility. Office workers and mobile users were burdened with bulky laptops, mobile phones, and pen and paper—so they
wasted time re-entering data.
“Our workforce demands fast, intuitive, touch-enabled devices capable of performing well in different scenarios,” says Michael Binder, Senior IT Architect within Global IT Infrastructure Services at Novartis. “Scientists in the lab, mobile users, and our associates
in the offices—everyone expects the same strong performance from their computers at work as they do from their devices at home.”
Abel Archundia, Global Chief Information Officer at Sandoz division of Novartis, says, “Our mobile users can’t spare time waiting for laptops to start up or to flip through a stack of product sheets. To help our associates to become even more productive and
free up their time, it has become even more of a priority to provide them with fast and easy-to-use touch devices, which can securely connect to our internal business applications.”
“A big challenge for us is finding the right IT solution for every department,” says Sébastien Harnist, Senior IT Architect within Global IT Infrastructure Services at Novartis. “We are always looking for a platform that adapts well to multiple use-case scenarios,
so people have the flexibility to work more productively, no matter where they are.”
Novartis also wanted to reduce the cost of providing its contractors who work for the company with traditional laptops for use during their tenure.
||We had a
great experience working with Microsoft on our Windows 8 pilot. The initial feedback from users has been
We are excited by the prospect of deploying Windows 8.1 more broadly
so that our end users experience major benefits.
| Rob James
Group Chief Information Officer, Novartis
To help meet these challenges, Novartis has run a large scale pilot for the Windows 8 operating system since 2012. First user groups are migrating to Windows 8.1 Enterprise so they can benefit from the operating system’s performance, reliability, and adaptability
to many device form factors. “We are piloting Windows 8.1 to scientists who need a more powerful 64-bit computing environment, and to some of our mobile sales reps in our generics division who benefit from touch interface and the fast startup mode,” says Binder.
“We use a broad variety of devices, from a light tablet, to laptops and ultrabooks from Lenovo, as well as desktop PCs. People can use a touch screen, a stylus, a regular keyboard, and/or a mouse.”
Pilot users have eagerly adopted their Windows 8 devices. “People are engaged with the Surface Pro, passing it around, pinching to zoom in, and swiping the screen to switch between apps—unencumbered by a mouse or keyboard,” says Harnist. “It fosters brainstorming
For approximately 300 contractors, application owners, and developers, Novartis is piloting Windows To Go, an enterprise feature of Windows 8 that enables the creation of a Windows To Go workspace that can be booted from a USB-connected external drive on PCs
and laptops. Novartis can provision access to the Windows 8 operating system and line-of-business applications on the USB drive for contractors to use on their own supplied devices.
The Windows 8 deployment has been seamless because Windows 8 interoperates with the company’s directory service, Active Directory Domain Services. Novartis uses Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013 to configure the Windows 8.1 devices, then connects them
to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 for software distribution, inventory, and security updates.
Microsoft Services Consulting expertise was pivotal to ensure a successful pilot of Windows 8 for Novartis. “Microsoft Services helped us a lot in configuring
and customizing MDT, complemented by the regular calls with the experts at Microsoft headquarters,” says Harnist.
Novartis is in the process of finalizing its large-scale pilot of Windows 8.1 Enterprise to provide the latest in desktop computing to associates in diverse work environments. With this pilot, Novartis has an operating system that delivers an equally reliable
and fluid computing experience on different devices in different scenarios. “Looking forward with Windows 8.1, associates can be working more productively with the same computing experience that they are used to at home—fast, touch-enabled, and mobile,” says
Binder. “Windows 8.1 supports the old world and the new world.”
If Novartis decides to deploy Windows To Go to all its contractors, the company would expect to reduce capital expenditures. “Instead of investing in a higher cost laptop for each contractor, we can provide them with a USB stick,” says Binder.
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