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 IT System House supplies all clients for Wienerberger’s IT infrastructure and keeps them up-to-date. As well as managing a global server and network infrastructure, the IT operations team in Vienna is responsible for 8,000 PC seats worldwide. However, rather than a central organization 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. Wienerberger’s IT Operations department opted for clients from Dell, and put together a validated software image. In order to relieve central IT staff, the company was looking for a partner to perform initial device setup and supply them to Wienerberger’s 30 global business units.
Wienerberger chose to partner with Bechtle’s Austrian IT System House because it doesn’t just come with the advantages of an extensive, local team of certified system consultants, but also offers 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. Bechtle implemented their IT2Go principle with a managed workplace that ‘just works’ and allows users to fully concentrate on their tasks and processes
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. The project teams hold weekly meetings to discuss current requirements. The entire procurement and implementation process is now 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 authorized 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 fulfill 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.
The success of the project has encouraged Wienerberger to task Bechtle with managing clients and updates using Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). Software images and updates are deployed to over 8,000 clients worldwide via 60 “pre-loading bays”. 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. To ensure the level of quality, 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. Projects like these therefore have to be implemented quickly—and during operation that is a challenge. Thanks to Bechtle’s flexibility, Wienerberger can is now able to readily adapt and scale capacities to current requirements. In addition, IT operation tasks are increasingly outsourced. Today, Wienerberger can once again 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.