Microsoft has revealed that Accenture is in the midst of a massive migration to switch the PCs of more than 400,000 workers globally to Windows 10.
It is understood that the wholesale upgrade also captures the company's 4000-plus staff in Australia.
Microsoft’s Windows Commercial director of product marketing, Jason Campbell, revealed the mass migration on 28 June, saying that the global systems integrator and consulting firm began its transition to the new operating system in late 2015.
“A global Windows 10 project team began the upgrade project in September 2015, which first tested all business applications and validated compatibility with Windows 10,” Campbell said in a blog post. “Then, the team proceeded with Windows 10 deployment to employees.”
According to Campbell, by April 2016, initial upgrades began under a “two-lane” deployment approach. First, the team upgraded all new PCs with Windows 10, providing a manual upgrade option for early adopters.
The second deployment began in August 2016, according to Campbell, which focused on the existing PCs within the company that were still running Windows 7. This saw employees use an in-place upgrade tool and process that relying Microsoft’s OneDrive for file distribution to perform the Windows 10 upgrade.
According to Campbell, the in-place upgrade tool – which presumably allowed for the installation of the new operating system without the need to first remove the older system – played a key part in supporting deployments at pace and scale.
“The best part is the tool eliminated the need to come into an Accenture office to have an IT person perform the upgrade. Employees could make the upgrade wherever and whenever,” he said.
The far-reaching upgrade was all part of a plan by Accenture’s IT department, together with its leadership team, to capitalise on the perceived benefits offered by Windows 10, Microsoft Office 2016 and Microsoft OneDrive for Business.
According to Accenture, this combination offered “significant business value” in new capabilities, enhanced security and as-a-service model. It also supported Accenture’s broader cloud-first strategy.
According to the company, migrating from Office 2013 to Office 2016 is providing a refreshed set of features for employees and is also set to provide a foundation for supporting new ways in which Accenture’s employees will work going forward.
From a business standpoint, Accenture expects to benefit from the two-year migration in a number of ways, including through simplified imaging, an as-a-service model, the use of the cloud for Windows 10, and enhanced security with Secure Boot and Device Guard.
“It’s incredible seeing Accenture accomplish the upgrade to Windows 10 in just a span of two years,” Campbell said.
The upgrade update comes after Accenture managing director of infrastructure services A/NZ, Andre Conti, alluded to the migration, telling ARN that the company was more than halfway to the cloud as it works to transform itself into a digital-first enterprise.
"Internally we are moving more and more applications to the cloud," Conti said earlier this year. "It is horses for courses because some of the applications we had to move to the cloud went straight to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution."
Conti said at the time that the integrator had 60 per cent of all applications in the cloud, with a goal of reaching 90 per cent within the next 18 months.