Statoil, currently on Windows XP, has trialed 64-bit Windows 7 on desktops under Microsoft’s early adopter program. The company also implemented a pre-release version of Windows Server 2008 R2. The trial has demonstrated the usefulness of Windows 7 BranchCache and DirectAccess functions which improve replication to remote sites and communication with a mobile workforce—especially in areas with poor connectivity. Statoil’s IT advisor Petter Wersland said, ‘We wanted all of our employees, regardless of location, to be able to seamlessly use their collaboration tools, whether they were sending or receiving e-mail, or accessing documents on the SharePoint site, we wanted them to be able to use all of these services without a VPN*.’
With the expansion of the number of portable computers, Statoil was concerned about data security and is leveraging the enhanced access control and ‘BitLocker’ encryption to protect data on USB drives. This alone has led to a $330,000 annual saving on third-party encryption software currently in use. Statoil is to extend its enterprise-search capability that leverages Microsoft FAST ESP–with Windows 7’s native search capability and improved offline file cache.
Windows 7 company-wide deployment is scheduled for 2010 and will leverage Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to automate deployment on some 12,000 existing desktops. A further 28,000 new machines will come with Windows 7 preloaded. More from microsoft.com/oilandgas.
* Virtual private network.