Perkins & Will®

Big Cost Savings

Perkins & Will® is a Chicago-based architecture and design firm with over $100 million in annual revenues. The firm has been ranked the fourth most admired firm among the top ten international design firms by Contract Magazine and Firm of the Year by The American Institute of Architects.

Perkins & Will deployed the TriActive Desktop Management Suite to 800 workstations in 13 locations across the United States in only two days. As the firm consolidates a Canadian firm that it acquired onto its network in 2004, the company will use TriActive to manage 1,000 PCs and servers in 16 locations.

IT Challenge

Perkins & Will needed an asset management tool to replace its discontinued Micropath software so that the company could manage its PC lease churn. The company had been leasing hardware since 2001, and it was critical to identify the status of its leased assets. The firm also needed a help desk solution that could quickly deploy to all of its users. It was looking to replace BMC's Magic Help Desk that it purchased four years ago but never successfully deployed. The firm was also looking for integrated remote control tools to manage remote IT assets while controlling the growth of its support team.

Selecting TriActive

Richard Nitzsche, CIO of Perkins & Will, had a goal of supporting the growing firm while reducing IT support expenses or keeping them flat. With TriActive, the firm was able to reduce its 2004 IT budget by 10% over the previous year from the automation and productivity boost of the TriActive solution.

"With TriActive, it was a low-risk solution with low entry costs and short implementation time, so it wasn't a drain on our resources," said Nitzche. "We were fully deployed in only two days due to TriActive's MicroAgent technology."

TriActive's patented MicroAgent™ technology enables rapid deployment. Initiated from one desktop at the enterprise, the MicroAgent auto-discovers other desktops and servers throughout the network, enabling them to access the services hosted in TriActive's Network Operations Center. It is non-intrusive to PC user activities and can collect data even when devices are offline, automatically updating once back online.

Nitzsche describes implementing TriActive's Help Desk service as a "no-brainer." TriActive's Asset Inventory automatically scans the enterprise to identify hardware and software then plugs it into integrated applications - IT inventory, help desk, remote tools. "We didn't spend months manually collecting data as we would have for BMC Magic," says Nitzsche. "Our data would be outdated as soon as we collected it manually. TriActive's MicroAgent technology makes the process efficient."

Keeping PCs and servers up-to-date on software is critical to Perkins & Will's overall security and business continuity strategy. Using TriActive's automated software distribution and patch management, coupled with Microsoft Active Directory group policies, Perkins & Will was able to meet its IT standards without adding new employees.

TriActive's Remote Tools solution also enabled the company to base its IT team in large offices - Atlanta, Chicago - and support the other offices by effectively managing assets and solving problems remotely.

Perkins & Will recently began using TriActive's Software Utilization solution to track its usage of software. The firm expects to re-deploy unused licenses and aggressively manage its enterprise license with Microsoft.

The Payback

By eliminating or avoiding direct costs and from the automation and productivity boost TriActive provides, Perkins & Will saved $254,400 directly and expects an annual savings of $500,000 as the deployment of TriActive's Patch Management solution helps prevent security breaches and possible lost revenues of $40,000 per day of network downtime at each of its four 100-person offices.

With TriActive, the IT department has supported a growing firm while reducing the total cost of IT operations by 10%. TriActive automated manual processes that previously took hundreds of man-hours, including IT inventory, server monitoring, and software upgrades. By eliminating the need to hire three additional IT personnel, the firm saved $180,000 and even freed up existing IT resources to focus on core projects like software development and systems integration.

Because the TriActive service deployed within days, the company avoided spending eight weeks and $14,400, plus travel expenses, to manually collect IT asset data to develop the database that would have been necessary to use with BMC Magic Help Desk. That cost would be incurred annually if the firm continued to update its IT asset data manually.

Now that it uses TriActive to automatically keep track of its IT assets, Perkins & Will has kept its software license inventory and expenses flat while supporting a growing firm.

Nitzsche summed up the success of the TriActive implementation at Perkins & Will: "This broad-functioned Web-hosted software has become the centerpiece of our strategy to control IT infrastructure support team growth, instead of a simple replacement for the discontinued asset management tool."