Law firm Kennedys is using RES Automation Manager to migrate users from Windows XP to Windows 7. The company has over 900 people across the UK and provides specialist legal services for insurance, healthcare, construction, employment, rail, maritime and international trade.
The company previously used the RES tool to migrate 400 staff from three London sites to a new central office. The tool is designed to help IT manage changes and tasks required on a daily basis. Common actions can be configured as predefined tasks, which are stored in a central data store and can be scheduled to run at predetermined times.
James Elmer, Emea IT Manager at Kennedys, used RES for the migration to a single London office to improve how desktop PCs are managed. "In 2008 we took everything we had and checked what would work in a new build to ensure we create a clean deployment."
Unlike larger organisations, Kennedys runs a relatively small set of core applications, comprising Microsoft Office, Silverlight-based Elite 3 practice management software, Interwoven for document management and the BigHand dictation system. The company also uses IE8.0 on Windows XP, which avoids issues of Windows 7 incompatibility with IE6.0.
"The overall goal was to create a new image for our desktop machines, which could then be used to support automated deployment of software and settings to users. It would also make it easier to deal with the legacy applications that were still required," he explained.
The firm rolled out 400 machines using RES Automation Manager. Thanks to the experience with the move to the new London office, Elmer is confident the migration from XP to Windows 7 will run smoothly. He said: "We have a small set of applications and have not experienced application compatibility issues." The company will be using RES Workplace Manager to capture the end-user environment such as Favourites and desktop shortcuts on Windows.
Workspace Manager allows Kennedys to provide the user settings, configurations and personalisation from the desktop, so users can get the same experience and access to IT resources at whatever desktop they use.
RES has also developed a migration aid called Baseline Desktop Analyser. This is a free service built on Windows Azure, which generates a report, telling IT what a user is actually running. Elmer expects to use the new tool to help plan the migration.
A team from the business will be used to pilot the Windows 7 migration. The core business application will be migrated first, followed by secondary applications like Adobe Reader.
"By virtualising the user state and splitting this out from the operating system, we can provide users with greater flexibility around how they access IT resources. This is part of our wider plan to migrate over to Windows 7 later this year, and RES Workspace Manager will help us to keep the existing look and feel for our desktops in place with whatever PC hardware or operating system version is underneath," explained Elmer.