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Large Hospital Network Reduces Management Costs of its Windows Environment with Novell ZENworks

  • Novell ZENworks automates Windows XP migration and delivery of 500,000 applications and regular virus updates for 14,000 workstations
  • Remote control greatly reduces travel costs, provides faster response time and cuts help desk calls in half

WALTHAM, Mass. | February 2, 2005

As a non-profit network of 11 hospitals and 42 clinics, Allina Hospitals & Clinics focuses on providing quality care for its patients throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. In order to reduce its IT costs and ensure its 22,000 employees are protected with the latest patches and virus definitions, Allina looked to Novell® ZENworks® to efficiently manage its complex and disparate environment.

Allina's technicians were spending much of their time traveling to individual sites to install new applications, and inconsistent workstations also contributed to an increasing number of help desk calls. After evaluating desktop management solutions from a number of vendors to manage its mostly Microsoft Windows* environment, Allina selected Novell ZENworks Desktop Management to automate application delivery across its entire enterprise and standardize its environment so users would have the same look and feel regardless of their location.

“We are a huge Microsoft shop, but found that Novell ZENworks offered a superior set of management tools,” said Brad Myrvold, manager for Desktop Technology at Allina. “With our number of locations, devices and applications, we simply had to change the traditional method of PC desktop support. ZENworks gives us a centralized, highly managed environment.”

Allina used ZENworks to greatly simplify an enterprise-wide migration of 13,000 workstations across 100 locations to Microsoft Windows XP. The IT staff created a “one button upgrade” icon, which is distributed to each desktop, allowing users to schedule the upgrade at their own convenience. With ZENworks, Allina performs nearly 500,000 automated updates and installations a year, and users who request new applications can have them delivered to their desktops within 15 minutes of approval. To combat virus attacks, the IT team can distribute anti-virus updates in a matter of hours to ensure its operation is always running.

“Hands-free application delivery is one of the biggest benefits of ZENworks,” Myrvold said. “We get the consistency we want with every installation, and that’s extremely important. Now when we have a problem, we only need to solve it once.”

The remote control features of ZENworks have significantly reduced the amount of time technicians spend visiting workstations. Allina’s support staff can troubleshoot user problems without leaving their desks, providing users a much faster response. Users also experience the same look and feel on their desktops, regardless of location, which significantly reduces the amount of help desk calls.

Allina recognizes significant savings by using ZENworks to image workstations exactly the way they want in about 30 minutes, rather than paying hardware manufacturers to do it. ZENworks also eliminates the manual work associated with tracking and inventory. Information that used to require several months of site visits and $200,000 in time and travel costs is now available in real time to improve budgeting and forecasting.

David Lind, Allina director of business systems, said, “I’ve been in this business more than 20 years and have never experienced a partnership like the one we have with Novell. This project is a testament to Novell and Allina for developing the best desktop management solution bar none. I would put these people, processes and technology up against anything else.”

With Novell ZENworks, Allina has standardized its workstations and can deliver new applications and patches across its enterprise in hours, rather than days or weeks. Centralized IT management with ZENworks has significantly reduced IT travel time to other locations and allowed the help desk staff to remotely fix more than 40 percent of workstation-related calls. ZENworks has also helped Allina reduce its overall help desk calls by 50 percent.

“ZENworks saves us significant costs every year that we can put toward providing better patient services,” Lind said. “The fact that we can support 14,000 workstations across 100 locations with only 21 traveling members of our IT staff is phenomenal.”

For more information about Novell ZENworks, please visit http://www.novell.com/products/zenworks.

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) is a leading provider of infrastructure software and services to over 50,000 customers in 43 countries. With more than 20 years of experience in data center, workgroup and desktop solutions, Novell's 6,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world are meeting customer requirements for identity-driven computing and Linux solutions. By providing enterprise-class software and support for commercial and open source software, Novell delivers increased operating flexibility and choice at a lower total cost of ownership. More information about Novell can be found at http://www.novell.com.

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