To improve PC performance, boost productivity, and ease the burden on its IT team, the Arab Media Corporation chose to upgrade to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. In early 2010, the company deployed Windows 7 Enterprise to its largest subsidiary, the Arab Radio and Television (ART) network. Now, ART employees use the enhanced interface design in Windows 7 Enterprise to complete tasks more quickly while the company’s IT team spends less time on PC management tasks.
With 25 branches located in six countries, the Arab Media Corporation (AMC) is one of the largest and most recognizable media holding companies in the region. AMC has television production facilities in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, and it manages the world’s foremost collection of movies in the Arabic language.
AMC, which has approximately 1,300 employees, oversees such properties as the Arab Radio and Television (ART) network, a major producer of Arabic-language family programming distributed worldwide. For six years, ART relied on the Windows XP operating system. The company’s IT team appreciated the stability of the operating environment, but the team wanted to improve system performance based on such measures as system startup and resume times.
IT leaders also sought to reduce the amount of time needed to configure new PCs. In particular, they wanted to simplify the process of creating, deploying, and managing PC images. Finally, executives placed priority on saving costs by decreasing the number of help-desk calls that IT staff manage each day.Solution
In January 2010, AMC turned to Egabi Solutions, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner based in Egypt, to move forward with a pilot deployment of Windows 7 Enterprise.
||Before, it took up to three hours to create a new PC image. Now, with Windows 7 Enterprise, it takes us an average of 20 to 30 minutes.
IT Site Manager, Arab Radio and Television
Egabi Solutions helped AMC take advantage of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit. The MAP Toolkit is an inventory and reporting solution that helps organizations quickly catalog the various systems and applications that make up their IT environment. This, in turn, provides organizations with a baseline for optimizing software upgrade and virtualization initiatives.
Egabi Solutions also used the Windows Application Compatibility Factory (ACF), a component of the MAP Toolkit, to test hardware and software compatibility with Windows 7 Enterprise. By using Windows ACF to perform a comprehensive assessment, the Egabi team was able to pinpoint which applications needed further testing and remediation to ensure compatibility with Windows 7 Enterprise. For example, the team found that some of the company’s Citrix-based applications were incompatible with the Windows Internet Explorer 8 Internet browser. However, after completing the necessary updates, the team was able to achieve near 100 percent compatibility across the company’s entire application pool.
Following compatibility testing, Egabi Solutions used Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to deploy Windows 7 Enterprise to 158 PCs distributed across several ART sites.
In addition to the ability to cost-effectively migrate its existing business applications to Windows 7 Enterprise, company leaders were impressed by the way the software performed on aging hardware—even on PCs configured with 512 megabytes of random access memory. In conjunction with faster startup and shutdown times, employees across the company take advantage of the enhanced user interface and features in Windows 7 Enterprise, including the Windows Taskbar and Jump Lists, to increase personal productivity.
Following a successful two-month pilot deployment of Windows 7 Enterprise, executives decided to expand the deployment of the software. AMC leaders are evaluating upgrading to Windows 7 Enterprise across the company’s entire operations, which consists of approximately 900 computers. Benefits
By moving more than 150 employees in one of its largest subsidiaries to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system, AMC has experienced dramatic gains in efficiency, which it hopes to replicate through a broader deployment in the coming months. Based on the rollout of Windows 7 Enterprise to 200 employees, the IT team at ART now spends consider-ably less time on PC management tasks. In addition, because Windows 7 Enterprise is easy to use and learn, the company’s workforce is less dependent on IT for support, resulting in greater productivity.
Improved PC Performance
IT leaders have noticed a marked improvement in the performance of computers running Windows 7 Enterprise, including faster startup and resume times. “Before deploying Windows 7 Enterprise, we received a lot of complaints from employees that their PCs were running slowly. But after installing Windows 7 Enterprise, the performance of those same machines got much better,” says Ahmed El Sayed, IT Manager for Arab Radio and Television. The company even noted improved performance on older machines. Consequently, ART can minimize capital costs by gradually replacing older hardware without delaying its upgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise.
Through the use of the MAP Toolkit to evaluate and remediate application compatibility concerns, ART successfully migrated nearly all of its applications, including those applications not based on Microsoft technologies, to Windows 7 Enterprise. This straightforward migration path helped maintain business continuity by enabling employees to continue using familiar programs to work on daily tasks and projects.
Now, by taking advantage of improved PC performance, together with the enhanced interface design of Windows 7 Enterprise, employees across the company are able to complete daily tasks with greater efficiency. They use the powerful search capabilities in Windows 7 Enterprise to quickly find archived email messages, documents, and presentations, and they use the Windows Taskbar to switch between frequently used applications more quickly. Reduced Burden on IT Team
The IT team at ART now spends less time responding to employee requests to troubleshoot difficulties related to slow PC performance. “I used to receive an average of 50 calls a day. Now I receive an average of 10 calls a day,” says El Sayed. In addition, the team can more efficiently manage critical IT tasks, such as configuring and deploying PC images. “Before, it took up to three hours to create a new PC image. Now, with Windows 7 Enterprise, it takes us an average of 20 to 30 minutes,” says Osaman Mekey, IT Site Manager for Arab Radio and Television.
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