The Brunschwig Group manages many different large shops throughout Switzerland. Its activity means its IT system must be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in addition to being flexible and responsive, particularly for store sales terminals and its ERP system. In addition, security is crucial. Before realising this project, user workstation and sales terminals deployment and management of all applications was done manually, without any automation.
The objective of the Brunschwig Group’s major project was to set up a system to automate deployment and management of users’ workstations and store sales terminals.
“The impetus for this project was to change all of our workstations and cash registers. We wanted to equip ourselves with a tool that would let us automate deployment of our workstations with standard images. We were aware of the Microsoft SCCM tool and wanted to use it. We had been looking for a partner who understood and listened to our needs and wants for this major project,” explain Vincent Stoupy and Florian Chenevas.
This was a very complex project. Firstly, because we were starting from scratch, and secondly with regard to the technological challenge of the network of various sites, the large number of sales terminals, and the desire for automation in deploying the ERP—not planned for when it was integrated. We therefore needed to analyse and create an automated ERP system deployment process. We therefore had to adapt to the situation and Brunschwig’s needs.
„The solution requires very broad skills and expert knowledge of the SCCM tool. It therefore wasn’t going to be easy to find the right people. Additionally, we were facing several challenges since our situation was quite complex in regard to our business needs, our multi-site and multi-lingual presence, and our ERP. The Bechtle teams guided us well, and the Bechlte expert leading the project demonstrated the listening skills needed to understand our constraints and expectations,“ Florian Chenevas tells us.
Les équipes Bechtle nous ont bien accompagnés et l‘Expert Bechtle en charge du projet a su faire preuve de l‘écoute nécessaire pour comprendre nos contraintes et nos attentes.“ nous confie Florian Chenevas.
It’s in the complicated moments that you really know you can rely on your partner! Bechtle showed that they had what it takes to conduct this project, its teams demonstrated great transparency, taking the time to listen to us and understand us, and most importantly of all, they analysed our project objectively. The Bechtle experts we worked with always came up with the answers, we also saw what the group could achieve in the more complex scenarios. We formed a real bond of trust with the Bechtle Suisse Romande workers.
We proceeded according to our Bechtle best practices and our plan-build-run method. Our expert analysed Brunschwig’s needs and studied several solutions that corresponded to their wishes. He then simulated the benefits and drawbacks of each solution before presenting the solutions along with our recommendations as to the most suitable solution. Microsoft MDT and Microsoft SCCM solutions were chosen in order to allow for more lifecycle management agility for Windows 10 workstations.
Our expert designed, architected, integrated, and configured Microsoft MDT for Brunschwig’s MDT environment. He then automated the Windows 10 deployment process for all workstations before integrating the base and business applications across the whole IT fleet. Automating the migration process from the business application to the new Brunschwig ERP was then performed. Finally, our Bechtle expert composed support documentation for the Brunschwig IT team.
“Our responsiveness has increased like never before. We can now deploy any machine from our Carouge site, meaning that if a machine crashes, we can have it resolved in an hour. Additionally, we have standardised our workstations with a deployment master, so virtually all our workstations are identical, letting us enjoy a homogenous fleet and simple installation of new machines, while managing our linguistic specifications and ensuring maximum security.
The new machines integrated well, letting us gain valuable time. Moreover, this project allowed us to change our habits. From now on, our OS update policy has been revised, we can keep track of new versions by easily deploying them across all our workstations, protecting us from unpleasant surprises originating from outdated versions,“ says the Brunschwig IT team.
“Another big change; before SCCM, for tasks such as migrating our anti-virus, our whole team had to be to be on-site in order not to not put our security at risk. Thanks to our new tool, we can perform these tasks in one day with a single member of staff! The homogeneity of our IT fleet has also opened an avenue of possibilities to us; our partners can now connect wherever and however they want to on reliable and secure machines. It was the same for our sales terminals, we now need only a quarter of the time to restart a terminal. We’ve boosted security for our entire IT system (350 PCs and laptops and 90 sales terminals), we no longer have any nasty surprises, the renewal cycle is now natural and without constraints."