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Halfords revamps IT environment

By Retail Technology | Thursday May 30 2013

IT service management investment helps motoring accessory and bicycle retailer provide robust user experience and on-demand access to information

Halfords recently announced it is using products from a PC lifecycle management, endpoint protection and IT service management software supplier to manage its IT Support Centre environment, which includes over 720 devices across two offices.

As the UK’s largest retailer of car maintenance, cycling and touring products, Halfords needs to ensure it can have full control over its IT environment to keep all systems updated and running at all times.

Prior to taking on LANDesk Management Suite 9.5 and LANDesk Patch Manager from LANDesk Software, Halfords had been using a competitors older management system, which made it difficult to configure new machines or install new software on existing devices. All changes required a complete takeover of the employees device, and programme and bespoke installation packages were extremely time-consuming to implement. In addition its legacy IT service management (ITSM) software was out of support warranty, leaving Halfords on its own to solve such IT management challenges.

Freeing IT to focus on business

Our department was wasting time on software installations and device configurations that we knew could be managed more efficiently,said Phil Bullock, senior technical analyst at Halfords. We needed an intuitive one-console solution that could perform tasks quickly so that we could keep employees productive and focus our efforts on larger IT business needs.

When looking for a new management solution, Halfords wanted one vendor to do it all, but found that many companies offered several products with different functions. With LANDesk, they were able to manage all processes using the one suppliers products, which in turn increased the level of control they enjoyed and eliminated the extra effort required to work across multiple software systems.

Having installed the new ITSM software in August 2012, Halfords has seen a significant improvement in time and cost savings across the business. With the new management software, they can easily install software upgrades and deploy patches as employees work remotely or even if a device is off, avoiding any disruptions to workflow, which is critical in a fast-paced retail environment. The software also allows Halfords to build configurations for new devices on Windows 7, which was not previously possible. LANDesk Compliance Manager gives the retailer’s IT management a better view of inventory, enabling them to produce reports on any device at any time and helping to ensure all of the software is completely up to date.

Anywhere access without compromise

Working with the LANDesk team on this upgrade has been a really seamless process and theyve provided a high level of support and guidance, said Bullock. Weve gone from manual tracking to a virtual database, and weve been able to increase efficiency with LANDesks solutions like remote support through the cloud, which enables our employees to work anywhere without compromising IT service levels.

Halfords is now in the process of starting another project using LANDesk to replace 300 desktops and laptops across the organisation in an effort to refresh PCs that are over five years old.

Nigel Seddon, LANDesk sales director, commented: “It’s critical that IT departments have a complete view of their systems so they can address issues and provide insight and value to the business. Halfords has really taken this concept onboard and we’re confident they’ll continue to see a significant return on investment.”

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