Packaging company eases desktop management pain

Packaging company eases desktop management pain

ROI in staff time savings

Needing to upgrade and patch some 350 PCs across eight locations was becoming too much of a manual task for food packaging company Huhtamaki, which deployed a centralized software management system.

Huhtamaki IT infrastructure manager David Cohen procures desktops and notebooks and oversees asset management, including software licensing.

After a software audit 12 months ago that found the company to be fully compliant, Cohen began investigating better ways to manage the company's desktop software.

"For the protection of our PCs and laptops they need to be patched and we have covered the antivirus software okay," Cohen said, adding Windows upgrades work but Java and .Net upgrades caused some problems.

"We tried using Altiris, but it turned out to be very cumbersome to use and I gave up trying to do any patch management with it."

After spending four to five months looking for an alternative to Altiris, Huhtamaki settled on WinInstall from Attachmate, and then discovered the company's head office in Espoo, Finland was doing the same thing.

"The people at Attachmate were very helpful and anything we wanted they said they would get it fixed and in 24 hours we would get a response," Cohen said, adding the company's entire Australian fleet of clients has now been patched.

The client computers are a mixture of Windows 2000 and XP, and, according to Cohen are not going to be upgraded to Vista.

"We had a trial machine for Windows Vista and it kept on breaking," he said.

"We also use WinInstall for remote deployment of software for small sites in Victoria. Some guys down there use Microsoft Project and in the past we had to manually install it. With WinInstall it's basically drag and drop a package and within 10 minutes the package is installed on the PC. My support time is down and my fleet is better protected."

Cohen's next project is to deploy new PCs, which the company has moved from IBM to HP.

"IBM used to make a really good product and they didn't have problems," he said. "Unfortunately since it was sold to Lenovo that quality has dropped off and the amount of time I was spending supporting hardware and IBM software pre-installed on machines moved us to HP."

WinInstall will be used to develop the SOE for the new machines.

Huhtamaki's old PIII systems are being cleaned up and donated to the Wesley Mission charity.

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