How did Windows 10 Migration proceed in a large financial institution?

April 23, 2021

Author: Tomasz Kwiczor

Security in IT is the topic number one in the digital world today. One of the aspects of securing your IT environment is up-to-date software with manufacturer's support regarding security updates. This is not a problem in the case of a single station, obviously, but if we are talking about an institution that has several or several thousand workstations such a process becomes complicated. Multi-site organizations try to maintain a uniform standard in the IT environment, which allows efficient management of the whole. In such a case, migration to a different or newer version of software becomes a real test for the company implementing such a project.

One of the largest banks in Poland - Santander Bank Polska, faced such a challenge; it had to perform a software upgrade of the operating system to Windows 10 on workstations as part of a global action in all organizational units of the bank.

The client entrusted this operation to Talex specialists, additionally ordering the retrofitting of selected computers with hardware components that will enable the correct operation of the new system platform. It was not an easy task due to:

  • the relatively short implementation period - less than 4 months,
  • the number of stations included in the project - over 5000,
  • sanitary restrictions related to COVID-19.

The answer was our long-term experience in implementing this type of projects, the commitment of the teams responsible for individual works and, above all, a perfectly prepared organization of the exchange process, which ultimately brought the expected success. A well thought-out and properly organized infrastructure background in the form of a net of branches, warehouses, rollout factories, vehicle fleet, and ITSM tools also helped us in a smooth implementation.

In the project for Santander Bank Polska, two models of the migration process were applied in order to minimize the contact with the Bank’s users at each stage of the project.

At the Bank’s headquarters, a remote migration was performed in accordance with the procedures developed during the transition period. The contact between the employees of the Bank and Talex was arranged only in case of necessity to replace a disk or add additional RAM chips. Due to a carefully prepared schedule it was possible to arrange visits at the Bank’s location at a time which guaranteed avoidance of excessive gathering of people in one place. All installations were carried out in a safe manner and under a sanitary regime.

The branches of the Bank, which were also subject to migration, had to undergo a completely different process. For those stations, Talex launched two the so-called rollout factories, i.e. places where our employees prepared workstations according to a uniform image determined by the customer - in Poznan and Wroclaw. In the rollout factories it was also possible to safely add a RAM chip, replace discs or eventually test the installation. The task involved several hundred workstations, which were successively replaced on a rotating basis in each branch of the Bank; this allowed for a smooth installation in the rollout factory and preparation of hardware sets addressed to a specific location of the Bank and TALEX branches. A visit of our engineers to the Bank branch was limited only to quick replacement of equipment, which minimized contact with the Client’s employees. During sanitary restrictions it was especially important.

The successfully completed project allowed to maintain a high level of security of the entire IT environment of the Client. Thoroughly thought-out processes and operating procedures ensured that all the work was completed in a short period of time while maintaining the required restrictions. Special thanks to people from Help Desk Team, which was responsible for the migration, and Service Department, which carried out the work in the branches.

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