Ferro Reduces IT Costs by 30% with Infrastructure Optimization

Business Situation

The Ferro Corporation wanted a secure, standardized, reliable infrastructure that enhanced and simplified the end-user experience. When Ferro moved to select a new ERP system, technical infrastructure issues surfaced. Due to light governance during mergers and acquisitions; lack of global technology and implementation standards; and out-of-warranty systems, the technical infrastructure of the organization was fragmented.

Essential IT systems were not up to standard and day-to-day business was interrupted. Employees across the globe were working from multiple enterprise-level systems. Tasks as simple as printing at multiple office sites became tedious because environments weren’t integrated. Ferro lacked simple, but critical, infrastructure capabilities like wireless networks, single authentication structure, centralized software distribution and network management. What Ferro needed was one, integrated infrastructure platform that would allow them to scale rapidly during future mergers. Not to mention, a solution that would streamline responsibilities for IT, drive down ownership costs, and allow employees to work anytime from anywhere.

Our Solution

Ferro had an idea of what the ideal state looked like but was not sure how to get there. Enter Core BTS. Core BTS worked with Ferro to assess the maturity of the infrastructure workloads in their environment. From LAN configuration and operating systems to messaging and directory services, a detailed roadmap to an ideal state was mapped. And with key workloads and associated projects identified, the technology on which to build the solution was selected. In addition to servers and processors, Microsoft technologies like Active Directory, Forefront Identity Manager, System Center, Exchange and Office 365 were chosen. Leveraging Microsoft technologies and extensive experience, Core BTS helped Ferro establish global platform standards, streamline workloads, migrate and merge email environments and automate system processes.

Backups were managed centrally with data replication across the site globally.

More than 550 on premise servers were reduced by about 200 servers.

A standard set of multi-purpose printers were deployed and managed via a distributed printer server structure.

A workstation deployment process was created to allow automated workstation imaging remotely via the network and SCCM.

A complete, centrally managed wireless infrastructure was put in place and included a PKI where certificates were deployed and managed by the single domains workstation enrollment process.

Software distribution by Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) was implemented, allowing software to be distributed by the service desk by use of Active Directory groups.

The implementation of Microsoft Forefront Identity Management (FIM) allowed Ferro to connect their HR system into the AD infrastructure for automatic user provisioning and de-provisioning of accounts globally.

A new, standard image, O365 email, SharePoint components, file servers, print servers, domain structure and identity management systems were rolled out over 3,000 new workstations across 50 global sites.

The Results

After 36 months, Ferro reached their ideal state and had one, integrated infrastructure platform. And, ultimately, a stable infrastructure and standardized platform allowed Ferro to prepare for their journey to the cloud and reduce their total IT cost of ownership.

Ferro could provide seamless, anytime, anywhere access to IT resources.

Employees had single sign-on capabilities, and could easily authenticate at different facilities in different regions.

Ferro could rapidly integrate companies acquired, setting themselves apart from their competition.

Ferro could successfully bring on a new ERP system.

Ferro Corporation

Ferro Corporation is an American producer of technology-based performance materials for manufacturers, focusing on four core segments: performance colors and glass; pigments, powders, and oxides; porcelain enamel; and tile coatings systems.

Technologies Used

Active Directory

Forefront Identity Manager

System Center

Microsoft Exchange

Office 365