UK-based international law firm Stephenson Harwood used RES Software to retain and manage user desktop settings as well as upgrade desktop software during an office move.
The company moved offices in April 2011, relocating 570 staff and supporting IT equipment to a new location in Finsbury Circus, London. Using RES's Dynamic Desktop Studio (DDS), the company retained individual user applications, personalised PC environments and configuration data, as well as creating a standard image of desktop software.
Automatic software updates
"One of our preferences was that we would re-image our current PCs as part of the move to clear away issues we were having with desktop software and to bring everyone back onto a single image version to incorporate future updates," said Chris Petrie, IT director at Stephenson Harwood.
Petrie said the company was experiencing problems running Microsoft's Windows operating system group policies, which regularly corrupted and caused disruption for users.
"We updated the image to incorporate the software every user used," he said.
The new image was "dropped" onto all PCs the day before the move and included updates to Microsoft Office, document management systems, time recording software, professional services systems and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Maintaining user preferences
Petrie said the unique feature of RES Software's DDS was the ability to install it on an existing network to collect, record and maintain each user's desktop preferences and specific software package settings.
"As each user logged in on the first day following the move, RES DDS was used to apply user personalisation and user-specific software packages, and this process was independent of the desktop platform that the users were utilising," said Petrie.
The move was split into three phases, initially moving 130 business support roles, including IT, account and HR functions. A further 270 lawyers and support teams, followed by the final 170 people were moved in the following weeks.
Petrie says there were limited problems. "There were a few issues where my engineers made mistakes putting people into wrong group and users got odd wrong printer," he said.
Back-end systems were also moved into a new datacentre in the new building, using VMware and Compellent software as well as Xsigo virtual I/O. The datacentre is now over 96% virtualised.