With 195 production sites across 30 countries and some 16,500 employees, Wienerberger is one of the largest global providers of building and infrastructure solutions. The backbone of the company’s global business processes is powerful and flexible IT. Bechtle’s Austria Systems Integrator supplies all clients for the group-wide IT infrastructure and keeps them up to date.
As well as managing a global server and network infrastructure, the IT Operations team at Wienerberger’s head office in Vienna is responsible for 8,000 PC seats worldwide. However, rather than a central organisation of procurement and installation processes, the company relied on mere guidelines regarding manufacturers, preferred hardware models and software applications. IT staff in each country installed their local clients independently, and there was no way to enforce a company standard. The resulting heterogeneous device landscape was making it impossible for the central IT department to roll out applications across the group—a serious disadvantage.
Wienerberger therefore devised a Managed Workplace project to ensure unified sourcing of standard hardware and software across its international sites, and thus uncompromised usability of company applications. The IT Operations department opted for clients from Dell, and put together a validated software image. In order to relieve central IT staff, head of IT Operations, Markus Lachinger was looking for a partner to perform initial device setup and supply them to Wienerberger’s 30 global business units.
In concrete terms for our project, that means we can enforce a standard through a single SLA while still addressing the various requirements the companies in different countries have for configurations and settings.”
“We chose Bechtle because we’d found flexibility we needed that other providers didn’t offer,” explains Markus Lachinger. “In concrete terms for our project, that means we can enforce a standard through a single SLA while still addressing the various requirements the companies in different countries have for applications, configurations and settings.” Bechtle’s Austrian systems integrator doesn’t just come with the advantages of an extensive, local team of certified system consultants, but also access to expertise across the entire Bechtle Group via a single point of contact.
Framework contracts provide for simple, modular procurement of Bechtle’s entire range of managed services. “The IT2Go principle with a managed workplace that ‘just works’ allows users to fully concentrate on their tasks and processes. The project realized with Wienerberger fits right in with the current trend of tailored workplace services,” says Markus Hutter, Head of Managed Services, Bechtle Austria.
Bechtle handles everything from device procurement and configuration to installation of all standard software that Wienerberger requires to delivery and remote maintenance—all from a single source. A specially-created team handles all Wienerberger AG’s needs, following an exact process for each task such as a model change from the manufacturer or software updates. As one of just ten Dell EMC Titanium Black Partners, Bechtle has advanced knowledge of Dell EMC technology and prime access to inside expertise.
“Our close relationship with Dell EMC, reliable product availability, and compliance with agreed delivery times, in addition to the stability of the systems all amounts to the success of the project as a whole,” explains Head of Sales at Bechtle IT Systems Integrator Austria, Maximilian Schertler. The project teams hold weekly meetings to discuss current requirements. “Bechtle’s good communication and perfect understanding of our needs have made it easy for us to implement the Managed Workplace project in our organization,” says Markus Lachinger. Since then, the entire procurement and implementation process have followed a strictly regulated standard with defined software and a compulsory security level. Bechtle delivers pre-loaded and fully-configured clients so that employees merely have to unpack and plug in their device and begin working.
Processing orders internally is remarkably simple for Wienerberger AG: Bechtle has set up a digital portal where authorised employees at the various business units can buy managed services. A binding timeframe has been agreed for the entire delivery process, which enables the clients to be quickly available where they are needed. Wienerberger can rely on Bechtle to reliably fulfil orders ranging from a few items to several hundred devices. As part of the collaboration, the services have been further refined, including an additional technical quality check of the devices before they are shipped. Head of IT Operations, Markus Lachinger summarises: “The success proves that we made the right choice. Previously one of those most sceptical about the new service model, the IT SSC manager at one of our locations has even written a detailed report of how it has made his work much easier while increasing the quality.
“After transforming our Managed Workplace so well together, we’ve now gone a step further and have tasked Bechtle with managing our clients and software updates using Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM),” explains Markus Lachinger. “In collaboration with Bechtle’s experts, we’ve been able to set the course for sustained high quality in all relevant processes, in no time at all.”
According to Microsoft reports, over 98% of our complete workplace infrastructure is as up-to-date as it can be
Software images and updates are deployed to over 8,000 clients worldwide via 60 “pre-loading bays” based at Wienerberger’s branches. Bechtle puts together the appropriate patches in pre-defined update cycles. And to avoid issues during rollouts, the specialists subject new releases to intense scrutiny and make them available to a test group before deploying them group-wide. This kind of foresight pays off: Thanks to strict compliance with the processes, Wienerberger was able to achieve a strikingly high degree of successful rollouts. “According to Microsoft reports, over 98% of our complete workplace infrastructure is as up-to-date as it can be,” says Markus Lachinger enthusiastically. To ensure the level of quality and continue improving it, Wienerberger relies on ongoing internal security audits, reviews and close coordination with its international branches. The processes at its central data center, in addition to the 60 pre-loading bays, are remotely monitored by Bechtle.
Through Wienerberger AG’s high business dynamic against a backdrop of digitalization, IoT technologies and Industry 4.0, their central IT is an in-demand partner for numerous new projects. They require internal standards to be adapted, such as lifting the original single browser strategy. “This has to happen quickly to implement projects with high business value. To realize all of this during operation is a challenge. Bechtle’s flexibility is a highlight of our collaboration. Bechtle independently adapts and scales its capacities to current requirements,” reports Markus Lachinger.
With Bechtle as its partner, Weinberger’s corporate IT can increasingly outsource parts of their IT operation: “The initial setup of the devices monopolized a large part of our resources, not just in Vienna in our holding company, but also in our international branches,” says Markus Lachinger. “Today we can focus on strategic topics.” A fundamental role is also played by transferring tasks to local IT managers. This is made possible by the Bechtle 1st-level support which is linked to the company’s internal ticketing system and provides quick assistance to users.
Wienerberger is the largest global producer of bricks (Porotherm, Terca) and is the market leader in clay roofing shingles (Koramic, Tondach) in Europe and concrete surfacings (Semmelrock) in central and eastern Europe. The company is also among the leading suppliers of pipe systems in Europe, (Steinzeug-Keramo brand ceramic pipes and Pipelife brand plastic pipes). With 195 production sites, the Wienerberger group achieved revenues of 3.1 billion euros in 2017, along with an EBITDA of 415 million euros. wienerberger.com
Published on Feb 19, 2019.