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Proof Point - Stacking Up Savings
Nov/Dec 2003    by liz tanner

TRW Automotive beefs up security and reaps cost savings by efficiently managing resources

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With Novell solutions, TRW Automotive ties together its homogeneous environment, beefs up security and reaps cost savings by efficiently managing its resources.

With 2002 sales of US $10.6 billion, TRW Automotive is among the world's top ten largest automotive suppliers. The company employs approximately 63,000 people in 22 countries who design, engineer, test and manufacture the industry's broadest array of automotive safety systems. The company's products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine valves, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services.

challenge

When TRW Automotive spun off from Northrop Grumman to form a separate company, the new organization needed a directory service to store and manage user identities for its 25,000 users in 150 sites. Its previous directory system, based on RADIUS servers, had few management controls and inadequate security. Without a central source of user information, the company had a difficult time keeping track of its RADIUS users, increasing its administrative costs and creating security loopholes.

TRW also wanted to increase the security of its remote access for employees logging in from home, on the road or through a wireless network. Creating a single identity for each user would not only increase security, but would also give employees a single ID and password to easily access their applications.

Former divisions of TRW had switched from GroupWise to a competitive e-mail solution and TRW wanted to evaluate doing the same, or move to an outsourced option to reduce administrative costs for messaging and collaboration. The company also wanted to improve overall resource management for its 500 servers and 6,500 workstations.

novell solution

TRW Automotive selected Novell Security and Identity Solution, including Novell eDirectory, Novell DirXML, Novell NetWare, Novell GroupWise and Novell ZENworks, to tie together its environment, improve employee collaboration and effectively manage its resources.

"We are already an experienced Novell shop so we didn't have to spend much money to get a directory solution to support the RADIUS servers that works throughout our entire organization," said Art Rathke, systems engineer at TRW Automotive. "Other solutions would have required significantly more servers, bandwidth and support. We now have six Dell servers managing our global environment with 25,000 employees."

Centralizing User Identities Improves Security
In three months, TRW implemented a Novell Security and Identity Solution by integrating its applications with Novell eDirectory, creating a single repository for user identity information across its Novell, Microsoft Windows and UNIX environment. Novell DirXML automatically updates user information across applications, including Microsoft Active Directory, which eliminates hours of manual data entry. The project to install DirXML at all sites will probably take about a year.

Novell eDirectory is the backbone technology for the company's remote access services, providing secure authentication whether through the Internet, VPN or the company's wireless network.

The TRW IT staff now has a single place to add and remove users, which has significantly reduced administrative time and costs. When an employee leaves the company, TRW can immediately remove the user from all systems at once, rather than from many individual applications.

With a centralized eDirectory, employees have a single ID and password, rather than multiple passwords to access file and print services, e-mail, and employee benefits. TRW has already seen a significant decrease in the amount of password-related helpdesk calls.

"Our employees need to focus on their jobs, not on remembering multiple passwords," said Rathke. "Making it easier for them to access their applications allows them to be more productive and makes TRW a better place to work."

"Our employees need to focus on their jobs, not on remembering multiple passwords. Making it easier for them to access their applications allows them to be more productive and makes TRW a better place to work."

- Art Rathke,
Systems Engineer,
TRW Automotive

Web developers also use eDirectory to provide user authentication for new Web applications. By integrating with eDirectory, developers no longer need to re-create a security solution for each new application, significantly decreasing development time for the security portion of the application.

Managing More With Less
TRW performed an internal study to evaluate a move from Novell GroupWise to a competitive e-mail solution, or to an outsourced option. The final study concluded that it would cost significantly more to move to another application, both in server and administrative costs. A former division of TRW switched to a competitive solution, which ultimately required more servers, bandwidth and budget than they had anticipated.

TRW also considered outsourcing its messaging solution; however, consultants recommended not using full-fledged e-mail clients in remote offices because heavy network traffic would overburden the WAN. Because Novell GroupWise optimizes network traffic, each of TRW's 150 sites can use full clients, giving users better performance and 100 percent e-mail, calendaring and scheduling functionality.

TRW uses Novell GroupWise to lower its cost of ownership for managing 25,000 users and providing full e-mail functionality throughout its global enterprise. In 12 years with GroupWise, the company has never been infected with a virus via e-mail or experienced any significant downtime.

"The best thing about Novell GroupWise is that it just runs—you don't have to fiddle with it," said Rathke. "We perform an occasional upgrade or backup and the product runs relatively maintenance-free."

Nearly 10 percent of TRW employees travel regularly and require remote access. Using GroupWise Web access, employees can access their e-mail from any standard Web browser, so they can be productive from any location. Novell GroupWise also supports a wide variety of mobile devices, such as PDAs and Pocket PCs, for real-time access to e-mail.

"One of our executives recently took his Palm Pilot to Europe and was able to stay up to date on e-mail with real-time access throughout his trip," said Rathke.

Better Resource Management Creates New Savings
TRW has 6,500 workstations and 500 servers in its mixed Novell and Microsoft Windows environment throughout 30 locations in North America. The company is using ZENworks to manage many of these sites, with plans to expand to all locations within the year. ZENworks integrates with eDirectory, allowing TRW to assign and track assets according to user identity, rather than a serial number.

"Software license management and hardware tracking can be a full-time job unless you keep up with it, especially in a leased environment," said Bob McInerney, manager of North America Infrastructure at TRW Automotive. "Using ZENworks to efficiently track our assets and recycle software licenses will give us a significant hard-dollar savings."


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With applications tied to identity, employees can move offices and their software moves with them, eliminating costly administrative time as well as employee disruption. TRW estimates a reduction in helpdesk calls because employees can access the same desktop from any PC, in any office location.

TRW has reduced its installation time for new applications and upgrades from days or weeks to a matter of hours. The IT staff can test the application once and be assured of efficient delivery throughout the organization. On one occasion, the company received a bad update to its anti-virus software, but within a day was able to fix its entire environment without having to touch a single machine.

"It scares me to think about having a serious problem and having to fix it by going from machine to machine," said McInerney. "We are a service department inside a service-oriented company. Anything we can do to minimize the time we spend installing and updating software frees us up to provide better service to our users."

results

In just three months, TRW implemented a Novell Security and Identity Solution to eliminate the problems with multiple IDs and passwords, improve employee productivity and significantly reduce administrative time and costs. Developers have decreased development time for the security portion of new applications by 50 percent by tapping into eDirectory for authentication.

"Everyone is excited about our Novell solution because it uncomplicates the lives of our employees, developers and administrative staff," said Rathke. "How can you put a dollar value on that?"

"Everyone is excited about our Novell solution because it uncomplicates the lives of our employees, developers and administrative staff," said Rathke. "How can you put a dollar value on that?"

TRW relies on GroupWise to lower its cost of ownership for managing 25,000 users while providing full e-mail capabilities to its global enterprise. Using GroupWise, TRW has never experienced any significant downtime or been infected by an email virus attack. GroupWise keeps its data secure and helps the company avoid administrative headaches.

With ZENworks, TRW manages its resources according to user identity, making it easy to move employees to new locations without disruption. The company has increased the speed of application delivery by 50 percent or more. And with efficient inventory tracking and software license management, TRW can achieve significant savings by making the most of its assets.

"We have a great relationship with Novell," said Rathke. "With terrific software and good people, we know we are getting our money's worth."


  • Business Needs
  • Consolidate and manage user information for 25,000 users in 150 locations
  • Increase security for remote access
  • Reduce administrative costs for messaging
  • Manage assets efficiently across the enterprise
  • Solution
  • Novell eDirectory, Novell DirXML
  • Novell NetWare, Novell GroupWise, Novell ZENworks
  • Benefits
  • Decreased administration costs with a single, global directory
  • Replaced multiple passwords with a single ID and password to increase security and improve employee productivity
  • Lowered cost of ownership while providing full e-mail capabilities to global enterprise
  • Increased speed of application delivery by 50 percent
  • Achieved significant cost savings with efficient inventory tracking and software license management


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