From Perth to Athens, this software can travel

IT support per user drastically reduced

Rapid expansion driven by mergers and acquisitions placed a huge strain on the 140-member IT team at Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM).

The engineering firm, known for such signature projects as the Athens Olympic Stadium, last year experienced 30 percent growth and increased international offices to 60.

Each office requires IT infrastructure and set-up to maintain its 5,500 employees across the globe.

To overcome the challenge of globalisation, SKM reviewed how it managed its investment in software assets to meet further diversification.

As part of that review, SKM implemented the ManageSoft software solution to enable the firm to set up IT operations remotely.

"The time it takes to implement a new office is now greatly reduced because it can be done remotely; this allows our IT team to concentrate on internal IT support," according to SKM information systems group manager, Peter Nevin.

As a result of security and licensing issues, Nevin said the installation of software has become inherently more complex.

"The deployment of a new operating system or complex application such as Microsoft Office or Autodesk's AutoCAD software, can pose significant problems, especially when it involves in excess of 5,000 PCs globally," Nevin said.

"We were able to implement the entire Microsoft Office Professional suite in overnight deployments to more than 60 offices with minimal human intervention.

"This is a complex process that normally would have needed a physical visit to each of our 60 offices."

Nevin said the global deployment of Microsoft's Instant Messaging solution, Office Communicator, was completed just as quickly.

He said SKM's IT department now has a centralised library of software that can be used to deploy thousands of applications and systems whenever they are required.

The firm can also account for software assets being used across the organization and analyse the cost of operation.

"A shared services model has generated cost savings and is a good fit because not all offices have dedicated IT staff," Nevin said.

"The ManageSoft solution enabled the company to improve IT support staff to PC ratios from 1:80 to 1:120."

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