For a little bit of background, I’ve been with this organization for almost 15 years. I’m currently the lead engineer on the deployment and configuration services team and we’re responsible for all things SCCM (and all things 1E). I develop and design solutions leveraging the 1E Solutions.
The bank is an established US bank with more than 500 branches and 10,000 workstations. Over time, it merged with other banks to become what it is today.
Our footprint has continued to grow throughout as we’ve acquired other smaller banks. The main challenge of that has historically been maintaining the circuit speeds to our branch offices. But with the advancement of technology, particularly with VoIP, we’ve had to invest in a stronger infrastructure.
Being able to distribute content faster with 1E’s Nomad has made a huge difference to us.
We currently have a distribution point server in every branch, but we’re in the process of rolling out Nomad to eventually decommission those distribution points, giving us the ability to reduce the hierarchy to a single site.
Before we engaged with 1E, our Windows journey was based off lessons learned from things we’ve experienced in the past. When we updated from Windows XP to Windows 7, we were under the impression it was going extremely well. From a purely technical standpoint, it did go well—however, when we started to wrap up the project, it became very clear that our users weren’t particularly thrilled. There were often problems with scheduling and a lot of people ended up having their computers upgraded when they weren’t prepared for it. It was a very manual process getting applications back to users. We did a wipe and load, so the effort to reinstall applications was a massive one involving multiple engineers analyzing previously installed software and dropping a computer into collections so that software could be re-deployed after the fact. In many cases software had to be manually reinstalled, adding even more time and complexity to the overall effort.
When we discovered the Windows Servicing Suite, our jaws hit the floor. We had found exactly what we needed. We very quickly revamped budgets and engaged with 1E to learn how they had built upon previous existing software to make these updates as smooth and seamless as possible. The specific issues we anticipated were covered with 1E’s solutions. We knew then we weren’t alone with our concerns because 1E had addressed them with their products.
For the user experience, the self-service Shopping is a big win. But for me personally, Application Migration is the star of the show. It is not only saving so much time, it’s saving incredible amounts of money.
One of our main concerns was being able to operate at a pace that gets us to where we need to be before Windows 7 support ends. We were looking at about 10,000 endpoints to migrate and we were looking at multiple different types of endpoints. Adapting to the Windows as a Service model was challenging. The hardware vendors weren’t clear about support, so certain models of our computers and laptops weren’t offered the same support. It was a constant moving target which is still difficult to work with. But the pace at which we are able to do our upgrades because of Windows Servicing Suite helps us keep up with those changes. For any of our users that have older hardware, we’ve been able to leverage AppMigration and the peer backup features of Nomad to help with a hardware refresh. The user will get the apps they need, along with their personal data and settings on the new device so they can get straight back to work.
We’re still at the very beginning stages of our Windows 10 journey – we’re still working through internal environmental and cultural changes. We expect it to get better as we upgrade our IT infrastructure, and the predictable upgrades each day will increase.
1E is helping to facilitate our upgrades at a faster pace than we ever thought possible.
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