By offering more choice of development platforms and tools, and facilitating the ability to work wherever they wanted or needed to be, Amadeus creates the most highly desirable working environment to attract talented developers.
As a global developer of software for the travel sector, Amadeus depends upon Global Business Services (GBS), their internal Information and Technology Services organization, to support almost 15,000 users including employees, contractors, and partners, 5,000 of whom are software development, research and other development professionals whose requirements are among the most sophisticated and demanding anywhere. With many of these professionals moving from their previous desktop and laptop devices to newer, slimmer, lighter tablet form factors, the Amadeus IT support team determined to provide them with the most modern, robust and consistent user experience possible across multiple Windows versions in a well-supported, secure, and closely managed network environment.
By commencing the creation of their Windows 8.1 standard image and rolling it out prior to the completion of their Windows 7 migration, and by improving their global Active Directory and migrating to Microsoft Exchange for messaging, shared calendars, contacts, and more, they saw an opportunity to reduce the cost of purchasing redundant user devices, while simplifying the equipment complement for their personnel.
Even as they were completing their migration to Windows 7, the internal support organization focused on providing the most modern, robust, consistent user experience possible by offering full Windows 8.1 support to those who would benefit most, their product software developers.
Along with comprehensive re-envisioning of their Active Directory environment and global implementation of Microsoft Exchange messaging, they reduced cost, increased agility, and produced a preferable working platform for their personnel.
By offering more choice of development platforms and tools, and facilitating the ability to work wherever they wanted or needed to be, Amadeus also sought to create the most highly desirable working environment to attract the most talented developers available.
Even though their communications infrastructure included Cisco premises equipment and their customer-facing personnel were using Apple iPads, Amadeus leveraged Microsoft technologies to enable all of their user communities to enjoy the support they required to optimize their performance.
As they neared the completion of their migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, an initiative designed to avoid the potential negative ramifications resulting from the long-scheduled withdrawal of extended support by Microsoft, the GBS team at Amadeus saw many of their users preferring lighter, more portable tablet devices to their existing desktop workstations and laptop computers. Determined to deliver the most current, robust, and consistent user experience they immediately set about seeking a partner to design an automated standard image for a Windows 8.1 environment that could be deployed to any client device a user selected.
Amadeus GBS architects worked jointly with a dedicated team from Microsoft Gold Competent Partner Sogeti who specializes in Infrastructure services to build and integrate the Window 8.1 platform into the Amadeus IT infrastructure. The aim of the overall project was to give the Operations teams the ability to provision and manage Windows 8.1-based tablets in all the sites covered by their global deployment platform. Sogeti also helped them to implement some of the new features added recently by Microsoft including UEFI, Secure Boot, BitLocker, and Work Folders.
“The Windows 8 and Intel ecosystem is vast, including many different device types and form factors. The security and remote manageability capabilities that come with Windows 8 take advantage of the device features the Intel platform provides, and can further help improve efficiencies and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) when managing large fleets of devices. Sogeti will continue to work with Amadeus to develop a tailored solution to fully address their business needs, now and the future,” says Darren Baker, Global Business Development Director at Sogeti.
Customer-facing Amadeus employees were already using Apple iPad tablets for the consumption and sharing of product and other market information. Robert Breedstraet, Associate Director of Information & Technology Services for Amadeus realized that the iPad, while excellent for information consumption, would not be a viable device for researchers, developers and other professional staff. To maintain consistency of user interface, and to enable his team to manage, secure and support the developer’s tablets using the same system management and security tools they used for their already deployed desktops and laptops, Breedstraet and his team identified Windows tablet devices built on Intel processors and architecture that could run full versions of the Windows 8.1 operating system.
Consistent with their goal of providing the most current platforms, Breedstraet’s team has also started a migration from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange to support email messaging, shared calendars and contacts, and other information sharing capabilities. To assure that the entire environment was efficiently managed, carefully monitored, and properly secured he simultaneous initiated a comprehensive set of improvements to the Amadeus Global Active Directory.
“We don’t want to hear our research & development people claiming they have better technology at home than they do here,” explains Robert Breedstraet. “It is important that we be credible partners to the entire Amadeus community. Remember that every time we say no to something, they tell us they’ll do it themselves, and of course they can!” Breedstraet acknowledges that his department owns responsibility for supporting everyone in their company, and that the R&D people need access to any and every operating system, every potential platform in the market.“ To best enable them, Amadeus now delivers several important benefits to them.