Imperial Tobacco has begun a six-month project to merge its Windows Active Directory across two separate business units, as it gears up for further expansion.
The company has been running two Active Directories since it acquired German cigarette maker Reemtsma in 2002. But Imperial's imminent acquisition of Spanish and French tobacco firm Altadis has made directory consolidation a priority for the IT department.
"It would be very tricky to manage a third directory in the company," said Greg Rocke, design and planning manager at Imperial Tobacco.
The company, which owns the brands Davidoff, West, Drum, Golden Virginia and Rizla, plans to migrate more than 3,000 users to a combined directory.
Active Directory, a key component of Microsoft Windows server operating systems, allows companies to control employee access to data and applications based on their job role. It also offers an address book that provides a single database of users on the company's network.
Imperial Tobacco plans to use Quest's Reporter and Migration Manager tools to manage the migration, and Quest's Recovery Manager to provide near real-time back-up and recovery of Active Directory during the project.
The directory consolidation will make it easier for users to collaborate using shared folders. It will also simplify IT management across the company. Rocke said, "By consolidating our Active Directory infrastructure we are able to simplify our IT environment. This makes it easier to install new software."
Active Directory consolidation also removes the complexity of synchronising the company's global address book, making it easier for staff to e-mail other users on the company network.