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Kier upgrades desktops and improves patch management

Antony Savvas

The Kier building group has migrated 4,500 desktops and laptops across 28 offices to Microsoft Office 2003 and strengthened its patching system.

The upgraded productivity suite is now supported by a unified patch management policy to make sure users are given the most up to date security and productivity patches.

Kier also now has a tighter grip on its IT assets with an automatic tracking system to control software licences and hardware deployments.

To help with the technology roll-outs, Kier brought in software management firm Altiris.

Before adopting Altiris’s system management solution, Kier also considered similar solutions from Landesk, Microsoft and Symantec.

Kier chose the Altiris Client Management Suite for its simplicity, ease of use and fast implementation time scales, said Mark Crane, desktop technology team leader at Kier Group.

Crane said, “We needed a system which would help us centrally deploy, manage and troubleshoot systems across our 28 offices, from our headquarters in Bedfordshire. After completing a trial with each vendor we opted for Altiris, who we felt could offer products best suited for our system which are competitively priced.”

He added, “Patch management is one area where we have seen a large improvement. Prior to implementing the Altiris Patch Management Solution, patching was a huge dilemma for us. Not only time consuming, it also wiped our bandwidth which was frustrating for staff who couldn’t be sure if they were installing the correct patches.

“The solution automates the patches and prioritises which ones are vital to our system, making the ongoing management stress free,” he said.

Kier Group is looking to upgrade to Windows XP in the future, and plans to use Altiris’s software to manage the migration to ensure an easier implementation.

Microsoft launched the Windows Vista OS and Office 2007 this week, but Kier’s roll-outs illustrate how most firms don’t immediately jump to the latest solutions offered by the likes of Microsoft.

Symantec to acquire Altiris

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