Publiceret: 5/31/2013
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Aston Martin Luxury Sports Car Manufacturer Uses Online PC Management to Boost Staff Productivity

Remote sales and engineering staff keep the Aston Martin luxury sports car brand aligned with corporate directives, so it’s important that their laptops, mobile devices, and smartphones are reliable and secure. The IT team uses the Windows Intune cloud-based desktop management solution to monitor these devices, safeguard corporate data stored on them, and support remote staff so they stay productive on the road, working with global dealerships.

Business Needs
Aston Martin sports cars are synonymous with luxury, heritage, and authentic craftsmanship. Alongside these core values comes passion about the cars the company produces: all models are hand crafted using advanced production techniques and technology within a modern environment. Aston Martin currently has 145 dealerships in 41 countries around the world and four global offices. Remote sales, after-sales, and engineering staff associated with these offices work to implement corporate directives and reinforce the Aston Martin brand. “We didn’t have the tools to manage the laptops, mobile devices, and phones used by our remote staff,” says Daniel Roach-Rooke, IT Infrastructure Manager at Aston Martin. “Consequently, it was difficult to enable a BYOD [bring your own device] environment, which was one of our goals. Remote employees found it challenging to connect to the network through the VPN [virtual private network] so we rarely had the opportunity to deploy security updates and enforce security policies. Tracking software and hardware in the field was impossible. And we couldn’t remotely wipe a device if it was stolen.”

Using computers running outdated virus signatures and software that were not in the corporate standards affected remote employees’ ability to support the dealerships and provide training and engineering expertise in line with
Aston Martin corporate directives. It also incurred extra work for IT staff. With no remote assistance tools, employees faced downtime if their laptops required servicing. In the United States, employees had to fly to the regional office in California, so the IT team could provision a new machine. “It could take days before a person was up and running,” says Roach-Rooke. “We needed a better way to keep remote staff productive, no matter where they worked or what device they used.”

To solve these issues, in February 2013, Aston Martin deployed cloud-based Windows Intune management software and services from Microsoft. The IT team can use the web-based Administration console to run management tasks on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones remotely, including software distribution and self-serve application delivery. All that is required is a standard Internet connection, and the Windows Intune client software installed on the managed devices.

* To represent the company in a manner befitting our luxury brand, remote employees need their laptops, mobile devices, and smartphones to work 100 percent of the time. That’s why we use Windows Intune. *

Daniel Roach-Rooke
IT Infrastructure Manager,
Aston Martin

Aston Martin had just deployed Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Pack 1, setting the stage for an integrated management solution to manage devices through the cloud or on-premises. Windows Intune connects with System Center Configuration Manager, a component of System Center, thus providing a single console for both tools. “We heard about Windows Intune working with Configuration Manager 2012 and we set up a test environment, which was easy to configure and deploy, and had all the features we needed. So we decided to move into production,” says Roach-Rooke. Windows Intune also integrates with Active Directory Domain Services.

Aston Martin deployed Microsoft Office 365, cloud-based communication and collaboration tools that remote employees use to access their email. “Windows Intune and Office 365 work together to deliver a mobile productivity solution that empowers our employees and helps keep our data secure,” says Roach-Rooke.

Aston Martin IT staff intends to use Windows Intune to track and manage almost 700 devices used by remote employees. These include 180 Windows Phone 8 devices, which IT staff can manage using Configuration Manager, and the rest are employee-provided BYODs, including iOS and Android devices. As remote employees bring their laptops into an office, IT staff will add them to the Windows Intune managed inventory.

Using Windows Intune, Aston Martin ensures that its remote employees have reliable computing and communication tools to stay productive while supporting the company’s interests abroad. Using Windows Intune, Aston Martin is also reducing infrastructure complexity, providing proactive remote device management, and enhancing security.

Proactive Management
The Aston Martin IT team used to operate in a reactive remote support mode. Today, with a central view into the health of all remote laptops, Windows RT tablets, and Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android devices, the IT team can solve remote computer issues quickly. “To represent the company in a manner befitting our luxury brand, remote employees need their laptops, mobile devices, and smartphones to work 100 percent of the time,” says Roach-Rooke. “That’s why we use Windows Intune. Now the IT team can step in and help employees before their productivity is affected.”

Simplified Toolset Saves Time
Using Windows Intune and Configuration Manager, the IT team has a single console to manage devices whether they are connected to the network or not. “The beauty of Windows Intune is that you can monitor everything through one console,” says Roach-Rooke. “It’s one more example of how the interoperability of Microsoft products makes our lives easier.”

Enhanced Security Protects Data
The IT team can apply IT governance policies and best practices to enhance the security of corporate data on remote devices and maintain device compliance and security throughout the organization. “Because of the interoperability with Active Directory, we can align remote users’ devices with existing security groups,” says Roach-Rooke. “We can wipe a phone remotely if it’s lost or stolen, protecting corporate data.”

IT Staff Supports Prestigious Brand
Employees want to use more of their own devices at work. By using Windows Intune to monitor those devices,
Aston Martin can accommodate them while ensuring corporate policies are in place. Employees also want self-serve access to applications. With Windows Intune, IT staff can offer a self-service portal for deploying applications via the Internet. “Employees expect a reliable computing experience,” concludes Roach-Rooke. “They use a variety of devices to access data, wherever they are. With Windows Intune, we’re providing a flexible and more secure work environment so remote staff can maintain our brand’s prestige abroad.”

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Aston Martin is a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars. Founded in 1913, Aston Martin has evolved into an automotive icon synonymous with luxury, performance, and craftsmanship.

  • Tablet: HP ElitePad
  • Mobile Phone: Windows Phone 8

Software & Services
  • Windows Intune
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft System Center 2012
  • Windows 7 Enterprise

Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace

United Kingdom

Cloud & Server Platform