About Watts Water Technologies
Watts Water Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: WTS) is a world leader in the manufacture of innovative products to control the efficiency, safety and quality of water within residential, commercial and institutional applications.
Watts Water Technologies (Watts) sought to create a more efficient approach to IT operations, both for desktop support and for more strategic compliance-related initiatives. "As we've moved toward a more outsourced IT model to reduce costs and headcount, we needed to put technology in place so we could continue to provide the best value to our end users," said Ty Muscat, director of Global IT Shared Services at Watts Water Technologies.
With approximately 3,000 workstations across North America, Europe and China, endpoint management and standardization has become a top priority. "We were maintaining desktops for an average of 5-6 years and there was a lot of manual work required to keep those systems running," said Muscat. "Moreover, we were running many different versions of each application which is simply not supportable—especially when you're leverage an outsourced IT model."
The company also needed to ensure compliance with the Massachusetts Data Privacy Regulation. "To meet the state's data privacy regulations, we needed to encrypt our laptops," said Muscat. "We knew that moving to Windows 7 would solve this challenge, but the migration would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees. That was never going to happen."
Watts evaluated Microsoft solutions but ultimately selected Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management. "The other solutions we looked at weren't as feature rich as Novell ZENworks Configuration Management," said Muscat. "We've also had a good experience with other Novell products in the past."
The company brought in Computer Integrated Services (CIS), a Novell Platinum Partner, to implement the solution. "CIS played an integral role in the success of the project," said Muscat. "They have the expertise to lead a large-scale project like this."
Watts' IT organization, including the outsourced support team, now uses Novell ZENworks Configuration Management to centrally manage more than 1,500 Windows-based workstations at more than 25 facilities across North America. The company regularly uses the application distribution, imaging and remote control functionality, as well as patch distribution through Novell ZENworks Patch Management.
Watts also relies on Novell ZENworks Configuration Management for its migration to Windows 7. "Using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management enables us to automate the entire migration process-from gathering existing user data to applying and activating the Windows 7 image," said Adam Janosek, director of the Resource Management Practice at Computer Integrated Services. "We created and applied one consistent Windows 7 image across the entire organization. Then once the image is deployed, we use personality migration in Novell ZENworks Configuration Management to gather up each user's data and personal settings and apply these."
The process is so automated that Watts employs interns to handle the migration tasks. "We've been able to create a very scripted process to reimage machines from Windows XP to Windows 7," said Muscat. "It's so intuitive I could have anybody off the street walk in and handle it."
Watts also uses Novell ZENworks Asset Management to track software usage across the organization. "With Novell ZENworks Asset Management, we can easily create reports of software metering, monitoring and usage," said Janosek. "When Watts begins negotiating with vendors for new software licenses, they now have insight into what's installed and actually being used."
Leveraging Novell ZENworks Configuration Management will make it possible for Watts to achieve its goal of migrating to Windows 7. "Using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management was the only way we could migrate to Windows 7," said Muscat. "The skill level required for a complicated migration like this is quite high. With Novell ZENworks Configuration Management and CIS' assistance, I can have an intern do the same work I would have otherwise had to pay a high-ticket consultant to do. We are able to deploy Windows 7, encrypt our desktops to meet the Massachusetts data encryption requirements-and stay within budget."
In addition, the standardization gained from using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management not only made it possible for Watts to move forward with its outsourcing model, but vastly drove down the cost of doing so. By using the solution, the outsourced support team significantly accelerated application and patch distribution as well as problem resolution, resulting in cost savings of $300,000-500,000.
"The usage history data in Novell ZENworks Asset Management is pretty unique and very helpful when negotiating new software licenses," said Muscat. "In fact, it recently helped us reduce our Microsoft Office licensing costs by 25-30 percent."
Based on the project's success, Watts is now extending its use of Novell ZENworks Configuration Management to its offices in China and Europe.