Forthright Uses Liquidware solutions in order to fast-track migrations to Windows 10 after M&A initiative at Large Healthcare Org
With a goal of becoming its region’s leading integrated care network, a large health system went on an acquisition spree that brought new physician practices, hospitals, skilled nursing centers, clinics, and other care facilities into its organization. But for the provider to achieve the patient care and financial benefits of operating a true integrated care network, it had to first integrate and unify the information system supporting delivery of services. The thousands of new employees that were brought into the health system through M&A were accompanied by a mishmash of PCs, laptops, peripherals, operating systems, security protections and user policies, which greatly complicated management, put compliance with enterprise security standards at risk and undermined efficiency.
To achieve the needed consistency, IT architects and leaders realized they needed to migrate all users to a new domain and to standardize on Windows 10, along with implementing a single username standard, which would be required in the new environment. One estimate from an outside consultant calculated that the process would require multiple steps and the efforts of roughly 100 people over the course of 18 months. The health system had neither the time, staff nor budget for that option. Instead, it set a seemingly staggering goal of migrating the first wave of 30,000 desktops during just two weekends while keeping systems and workspaces accessible to clinical staff during the transition.
The health care organization began consolidation efforts in-house by writing more than 6,000 lines of PowerShell scripts, while continuing to get consulting estimates that were cost prohibitive. Finally, the realization dawned that to reach its goal, the organization would require a solution that could automate the efforts and steps in the migration.
ProfileUnity supported migration of thousands of workers in weeks to the Windows 10 Platform with zero disruption
Because this project required experienced and solid guidance, Liquidware brought in its partner Forthright Technology Partners to lay the groundwork and provide on-site support. Forthright was chosen for its engineering skills that complemented ProfileUnity’s advanced capabilities, which it had demonstrated in previous migration projects. Forthright conducted a pilot that identified several new challenges. Health system staff, Forthright and Liquidware already knew that the various desktop environments had inconsistent permissions and policies in place. During the pilot they learned the desktops contained a lot of personal files and non-enterprise applications that normally wouldn’t be brought over in a migration. Such files represented security risks and added to enterprise storage requirements. However, the health system was very concerned about user experience and keeping its employees happy, so it decided to allow (within reason) anything that was on the old desktops to be included with the new ones. The pilot found personal files and folders throughout the desktop environment and needed to ensure they would all be found and brought over to the target environment. ProfileUnity’s harvesting capabilities could find them all without requiring time-consuming manual searches. Printing added another complication.
The changeover was nearly seamless for end users – all they needed to do was log in with their new username and domain name instead of the old ones. As soon as they did, their new Windows 10 desktops launched with all previous personalizations, files and application rights in place. Printing and scanning operations went off without a hitch. Because ProfileUnity is so automated and scalable, the mass migration was accomplished with a relative handful of people over two weekends, not the dozens that would have been needed if it used common tools to manage the domain change and profile migration. The health system’s small team, working with a few representatives from Liquidware and Forthright, got the job done. Liquidware’s flexible licensing terms also played a big role in making the project affordable.