Dell rolls out managed desktop services for 1,400 DAA users

8 May 2009

Dell’s new managed services business is flying high after deploying a major three-year managed desktop IT services contract with Dublin Airport Authority that covers 1,400 PC users in Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

Managed services is a new business unit at Dell, where corporate PCs and services can be served and supported remotely by Dell experts. The company has signed at least 10 such contracts in Ireland, but the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) deal is the first contract the company has gone public with.

Under the agreement, Dell is providing a best-in-class IT Service Desk, working to support the DAA’s 1,400 PC users in accordance with agreed service levels.

The contract also provided for a major transformation of the DAA’s PC portfolio, with standardised, simplified and modernised desktop software across all company locations. The agreement covers DAA systems in Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports.

Microsoft Office 2007 is now standard throughout the DAA and its rollout was supported by a staff training programme. Microsoft Office Communication Suite, including instant messaging presence, has also been rolled out to improve inter-site communication.

IT Service Management based on the industry recognised ITIL framework forms the core of the service, and is further enhanced by contractually measured service level improvements that form part of a comprehensive service level agreement (SLA).

These are reported on a monthly basis. Energy-efficient PC policies were also implemented to reduce power consumption on machines and screens through automated intervention when not in use. Customer satisfaction with the Service Desk forms part of the contracted SLA, and top quartile satisfaction levels are already being achieved.

“Dell offered a simplified solution and a single point of responsibility for equipment supply and support, which greatly reduced the complexity of our desktop environment,” said DAA desktop manager, Andy Marshall.

He added that although Dell “set very tight timelines to deliver the transformation project, these were met and the project was completed in a cost-effective manner with minimal disruption and maintenance of services to our users”. 

Speaking with, Dell Ireland general manager Dermot O’Connell said that the ability to provide managed services and remote monitoring are the fruit of the company’s acquisitions of SilverBack and Everdream.

“We effectively moved to transform DAA’s entire PC and notebook estate. The problem it was up against was there was no standardisation and there were many different makes and models of computers, different versions of Microsoft Office.

“What was needed was an overall IT transformation and service desk project that involved rebuilding some 850 PCs and supplying 400 new machines.”

Understanding pretty much how an airport operates was crucial when you consider everything from flight information, security areas, airside systems and logistics. “Everything from serving planes to getting the passenger to the plane came into it,” O’Connell said.

A core aspect, he said, was the implementation of ‘presence’ and unified communications technology using Microsoft Office Communications Suite.

“From a user perspective, the arrival of ‘presence’ was a huge win-win. Once you get into using presence, you could never believe how you functioned without it before,” O’Connell said.

By John Kennedy


Pictured: Dermot O’Connell, general manager, Dell Ireland