4-page Case Study - Posted 10/19/2010
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Stavanger Kommune

Municipality Improves IT Control, Boosts Productivity with Operating System Upgrade

The government of Stavanger Kommune, a large municipality in Norway, needed to address network security concerns while helping employees complete daily business activities with greater ease. In targeting an upgrade of the Windows XP operating system, executives also evaluated standardizing more of the organization’s IT infrastructure on a single technology platform. In May of 2010, the organization initiated deployment of Windows 7 Enterprise to 3,000 employees, and it plans to complete its rollout to 3,800 employees by the end of the year. Stavanger Kommune also adopted Windows Server 2008 R2, along with Active Directory Domain Services, to replace both its former network operating system and directory service solutions. Now, Stavanger Kommune has tightened network security, simplified IT management tasks, and provided employees with powerful tools for increasing productivity.

Situation
Stavanger Kommune is Norway’s third-largest municipality with a population of approximately 122,000 residents. Located on Norway’s southwestern coast, it has functioned for centuries as one of the country’s major centers of commerce, particularly in the fishing industry. More recently, Stavanger Kommune, which is home to Norway’s largest energy company, has served as a hub for offshore petroleum exploration and production.

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* Windows 7 Enterprise has been a catalyst for increased productivity, and it gives our IT team and our whole organization the ability to adapt more quickly to changing needs. *

Stein Ivar Rødland
IT Manager, Stavanger Kommune

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The municipal government consists of approximately 9,000 employees spanning finance, operations, education, urban planning, and numerous public works organizations. Although the executive team and several of the municipality’s larger departments are collocated, the government has 400 additional offices located throughout the city and surrounding area. The IT team manages a total of 7,500 computers across these different locations.

With such a large, distributed workforce, the Stavanger IT team faced the challenge of securely managing PCs while providing employees with access to the tools and information they need. For nearly a decade, the organization relied on Netware network operating system software from Novell, together with the Windows XP operating system on its PCs.

“One of the major difficulties we faced in our environment was that employees had default administrator rights on their local machines,” says Stein Ivar Rødland, IT Manager for Stavanger Kommune. “This frequently caused user-initiated problems, which became time-consuming to troubleshoot and resolve across such a large workforce.” Employees often downloaded software programs and add-ons that did not conform to corporate compliance policies and conflicted with the applications they relied on each day. “With our existing infrastructure, it was difficult to standardize user account and network settings to ensure compliance,” says Rødland. “We were constantly providing reactive deskside support to fix problems on individual PCs, which meant we didn’t have the time we needed to focus on larger, strategic issues.”

The organization used Novell eDirectory to track user profile data and manage access to corporate resources. IT leaders found that, although this technology had proven generally reliable, it did not offer an intuitive interface or easy-to-use tools. Nor did it provide interoperability with common network management consoles, which hampered efforts to gain visibility into possible threats or quickly adapt the directory service to changing business requirements. Moreover, it did not synchronize with the organization’s mobile computing devices, creating a security gap that Rødland and others were highly motivated to close.

Beyond the need to reduce help-desk dependency, promote greater IT efficiency, and minimize network security threats, executives wanted to provide staff with tools for simplifying everyday tasks and maximizing productivity from more locations. One approach involved the possibility of migrating from IBM Lotus Notes. “Our people wanted a system for email and document sharing that was more familiar and flexible,” says Rødland. “In particular, our mobile workers wanted a more robust browser-based and offline experience, so they could stay productive while traveling.” The IT team also explored ways to help employees who work offsite to more easily connect to corporate file shares and applications.

Rødland and his team searched for a solution to help strengthen compliance and security, reduce complexity, and support greater productivity. Throughout the evaluation period, executives emphasized the importance of standardizing the municipality’s technology infrastructure to lower long-term costs.

Solution
As part of a larger initiative to base its IT environment on Microsoft technologies, Stavanger Kommune chose to upgrade from Windows XP to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. “When we looked at our requirements, including the need for better control of our PCs, easier administration, and opportunities for improving productivity, we saw Windows 7 Enterprise as the foundation for achieving those goals,” says Rødland.

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* In deploying Windows 7 Enterprise, we found it was much simpler to create and manage PC images so we can achieve more uniformity across our network. *

Stein Ivar Rødland
IT Manager, Stavanger Kommune

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With assistance from Microsoft partner Atea, the organization began its rollout of Windows 7 Enterprise in May of 2010 to 3,000 employees. The team plans to complete the deployment of Windows 7 Enterprise to approximately 3,800 employees by the end of 2010 and an additional 4,000 employees by the end of 2011.

In addition, the Stavanger Kommune IT team is deploying the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system with Active Directory Domain Services to replace its installation of Novell Netware and Novell eDirectory. It has also opted to move from IBM Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 email messaging and collaboration software. Stavanger Kommune has standardized on Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 for deploying all software to computers in its network.

Centralized PC Management
The IT team takes advantage of the enhanced ability in Windows 7 Enterprise to standardize PC configurations for tighter control of its desktop environment. “In deploying Windows 7 Enterprise, we found it was much simpler to create and manage PC images, so we can achieve more uniformity across our network,” says Rødland.

In addition, the team employs the User Account Control feature in Windows 7 Enterprise to manage distribution of access rights to various groups throughout the organization. “Now, we don’t have a situation where every employee, by default, has local administrator privileges and can add software or change whatever settings they want.” The team can also use capabilities in Windows 7 Enterprise to apply additional Group Policy settings for improved auditing and control. This helps Rødland and his team identify and address compliance concerns in a more proactive way.

Rigorous Data and IT Asset Protection
The IT team plans to capitalize on such built-in security features in Windows 7 Enterprise as BitLocker drive encryption technology to strengthen protection of corporate data and technology assets. BitLocker provides full drive encryption to help safeguard passwords, documents, and other sources of sensitive corporate information. Rødland’s team can extend these data protection capabilities by tapping into the rigorous authentication and access control capabilities offered through the Active Directory service. With the ability to apply multiple types of security mechanisms to PCs and mobile computing devices, and gain a consolidated view of network activities, IT staff can more effectively manage the organization’s large, distributed environment.

Stavanger Kommune is also in the process of deploying the DirectAccess remote connectivity solution to its workforce. With DirectAccess in Windows 7 Enterprise, remote employees can easily and quickly connect to the organization’s intranet, without having to worry about using a different set of credentials to connect through a traditional virtual private network (VPN) client.

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* In saving time each week on administrative and support tasks, our team will focus on providing faster service to employees and moving ahead with other initiatives, including expanding our deployment of other Microsoft technologies. *

Stein Ivar Rødland
IT Manager, Stavanger Kommune

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In the coming months, Stavanger Kommune plans to link DirectAccess with Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway, which will enable resources designed to support the IPv4 security protocol to function in a network environment that supports the IPv6 standard.

Easy-to-Use Tools
Employees across all departments are taking advantage of the enhanced user interface design in Windows 7 Enterprise, including the Windows Taskbar, to switch between applications more quickly and complete daily tasks with greater ease. Employees can also find information faster through the use of the advanced search capabilities in Windows 7 Enterprise. And, by replacing IBM Lotus Notes with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and the Microsoft Outlook 2010 messaging and collaboration client, employees can now access an easy-to-use set of tools for managing email messages and schedules and sharing documents.

Benefits
Through its adoption of Windows 7 Enterprise, Stavanger Kommune has gained capabilities for more securely managing its desktop environment and tools that help employees improve productivity. Moreover, by deploying Windows 7 Enterprise alongside Windows Server 2008 R2, Active Directory Domain Services, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, the organization has increased the interoperability and flexibility of its IT infrastructure.

Enhanced Network Security
By taking advantage of built-in tools in Windows 7 Enterprise to standardize PC configurations, better manage the distribution of administrator privileges, and more rigorously secure data on local machines, Stavanger Kommune has enhanced the security of its entire network. Through the use of advanced technologies, such as BitLocker and new Group Policy options in Windows 7 Enterprise, together with Windows management tools in Active Directory, the organization is now better equipped to guard against an array of security threats. In addition, it is now better equipped to monitor software compliance. “With System Center Configuration Manager 2007, we have a better view of how many PCs we have at different locations and can better track software compliance across all of those machines,” says Rødland.

Reduced IT Help-Desk Dependency
Because the IT team has more fine-tuned control over access privileges, employees are less prone to download software that may conflict with critical business applications, which can slow performance and create system instability. As a result, Rødland and his team have seen a dramatic decrease in help-desk requests. Rødland anticipates that his team will save time by responding to fewer employee support requests. “In saving time each week on administrative and support tasks, our team will focus on providing faster service to employees and moving ahead with other initiatives, including expanding our deployment of other Microsoft technologies,” he says.

Increased Productivity and Greater Flexibility
Fewer incidences of application conflicts on local machines have resulted in better system performance and improved collaboration among employees. By capitalizing on enhancements in Windows 7 Enterprise, such as the powerful search capabilities, and expanding its use of technologies that work well together, executives at Stavanger Kommune expect to see continued gains in workforce productivity. “Windows 7 has been a catalyst for increased productivity, and it gives our IT team and our whole organization the ability to adapt more quickly to changing needs,” Rødland concludes.

Windows 7
Works the way you want: Windows 7 will help your organization use information technology to gain a competitive advantage in today’s new world of work. Your people will be able to be more productive anywhere. You will be able to support your mobile workforce with better access to shared data and collaboration tools. And your IT staff will have better tools and technologies for enhanced corporate IT security and data protection, and more efficient deployment and management.

For more information about Windows 7, go to:
www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Atea products and services, call (47) 22 09 50 00 or visit the website at:
www.atea.com/en

For more information about Stavanger Kommune products and services, call (47) 51 50 70 90 or visit the website at:
www.stavanger.kommune.no

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 9000 employees

Organization Profile

Stavanger Kommune is the third-largest municipality in Norway. The municipal government organization, which provides services to the city’s 122,000 residents, consists of 9,000 employees.


Business Situation

To improve security, simplify IT management tasks, and promote greater overall productivity, executives evaluated upgrading the Windows XP operating system.


Solution

The organization deployed Windows 7 Enterprise alongside Windows Server 2008 R2, Active Directory Domain Services, and other Microsoft technologies.


Benefits

  • Tighter network security
  • Reduced help-desk dependency
  • Greater productivity


Software and Services
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services
  • BitLocker To Go

Vertical Industries
State and Regional Government Agencies

Country/Region
Norway

Business Need
  • Cloud & Server Platform
  • Business Productivity
  • Mobility

IT Issue
  • Identity, Security and Access Management
  • Interoperability
  • Personal Productivity

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Atea

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