Published on 13 Sep 2011
"We know we are less vulnerable and our endpoints more secure if our software is up to date and running where and when it needs to. It helps reduce our overall network risk ." - – Mark Hile, IT Manager, Hutchinson Builders
Construction / Architecture / Engineering
Security: Identity and Access Management, Website Security & Compliance, Security: Governance, Risk and Compliance, Systems & Network Management
Established in 1912, Hutchinson Builders is Queensland’s largest privately owned construction company, with more than 1000 staff and 16 offices across Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
Hutchinson Builders could not easily track what software was installed on more than 550 computers across the company’s 16 offices and up to 160 construction sites, or how the software was being used. Nor could the company easily deploy software updates and patches across a number of third party products.
Hutchinson Builders chose IBM® Tivoli® Endpoint Manager to quickly and simply manage its geographically dispersed network of desktop and laptop computers.
Automated device and software inventory; Simple and secure endpoint management; Fast software deployment; Easy patch management; Increased control, lower IT costs
Established in 1912, Hutchinson Builders is Queensland’s largest privately owned construction company, with more than 1000 staff and 16 offices across Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. The Brisbane-based company has grown rapidly in recent years and its turnover now exceeds $1 billion a year.
Hutchinson Builders works on a large number of diverse construction projects – more than 160 at any time – including offices, hospitals, retail outlets, industrial buildings and housing.
Smarter, more timely endpoint management needed
Hutchinson Builders expanded its information technology infrastructure rapidly in the wake of the company’s explosive growth during the mid-2000s. By 2010, the construction firm was managing a sprawling network of servers and more than 550 desktop and laptop computers across offices and construction sites, and with employees in the field. To keep track of these computers, Hutchinson used free management tools, which were proving inadequate.
“It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of our software or provide a reliable audit of what we had running and where, at both physical and virtual network endpoints,” explains Mark Hile, IT Manager, Hutchinson Builders. “Software licensing is a significant cost to the business each year.
“It was time-consuming trying to install and remove software and we couldn’t distribute patches for crucial third-party products, such as Adobe Flash.”
The basic inventory management tools the company used did not provide real-time feedback as to whether software was successfully deployed or what computers were connecting to the network.
As Hile explains: “If endpoint devices were not connected to the corporate network for an extended period, we had no idea what was happening to them. Were they being used? Were they up to date with
patches? We had computers that were invisible until they were either reconnected to the corporate network or were connected remotely using a virtual private network connection.”
This situation was cause for concern over network security. It was impossible to know whether computers, especially laptops in the field, were up to date with important security patches.
“We simply couldn’t take care of PCs across their complete lifecycle,” says Hile.
In mid-2010, Hutchinson Builders decided it was time to look at the options available to manage its PC fleet.
“We needed a product that was simple to use and gave us specific intelligence, in real time, about the software each server and computer was running,” explains Hile.
In addition, the company wanted to be able to deploy third-party software, automate repetitive tasks and control devices remotely, so it could support staff in rural areas or when travelling.
After evaluating half a dozen possibilities, Hutchinson settled on IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager, built on BigFix technology.
“It was a no-brainer once we saw how well Tivoli Endpoint Manager performed on real-world, day-to-day tasks and how easy it was to install and manage,” says Hile. “We didn’t need a senior engineer to run it or pore over an enormous pre-deployment guide just to install it.”
A faster way to manage network endpoints
Hutchinson Builders’ IT team implemented IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager over a few days at the end of 2010. The new technology enabled the company to conduct a robust and detailed analysis of its entire network across all 550-plus endpoint devices, through a single interface, over a 24-hour period.
“For every device configuration, whether located in one of our offices or out in the field, we can run a fast and efficient audit of what software is installed and used,” says Hile. “Importantly, we can now clearly see whether updates and patches are required or if a computer is running corrupted or damaged software.”
As the company grows more familiar with the Tivoli application, Hile hopes to increase Hutchinson’s use of automated tasking, requiring less ongoing maintenance and management by the IT team.
The construction firm also wants to expand its use of the endpoint management technology.
“We see opportunities to provide more customised content for our programs, custom fixes and a lot more automation,” says Hile. “We also see a chance to take greater remote control of devices on construction sites, in the field or in transit.”
As a result, the company also has peace of mind and confidence that its computer network has the most up-to-date security.
“We know we are less vulnerable and our endpoints more secure if our software is up to date and running where and when it needs to,” says Hile. “It helps reduce our overall network risk .”
Quick and timely reporting
Hutchinson has also used the Tivoli application to audit its hardware.
“When we are preparing to roll out Microsoft Windows 7, we can check all our hardware specifications from one location,” says Hile. “As we roll out the new operating system, we can quickly and easily run reports on issues such as compatibility.”
Greater control of costs
Gaining the capability to analyse its computer network through real-time auditing and reporting has enabled Hutchinson to better manage its software licensing costs.
“Through the intelligence provided by the reports, we can see for the first time what software is actually being used by every machine, or not being used,” says Hile.
This knowledge has allowed Hutchinson to manage its software licences far more efficiently by removing unnecessary software, redeploying it and making sure each computer only has installed the software it needs.
“By managing our licences better, we can lower our software costs and make sure we pay only for what we use,” Hile explains.
In addition, IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager’s stability and useability have meant Hutchison Builders hasn’t needed to commit additional time or redirect IT resources to managing its hardware and software inventory.
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This customer story is based on information provided by Hutchinson Builders and illustrates how one organisation uses IBM products. Many factors have contributed to the results and benefits described. IBM does not guarantee comparable results elsewhere.IBM, ibm.com, the IBM logo and Tivoli are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Microsoft, Windows and the Windows logo are trade marks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product and services marks may be trademarks or services marks of others. © Copyright IBM Australia Limited 2010. ABN 79 000 024 733. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 All Rights Reserved. GL_12884