Ghost spin-off pays off for Vector ICT

Imaging solution saves an hour for every PC the support team builds, says CIO

Managing its fleet of PCs was absorbing far too much of the Vector ICT team’s time, until the developers of Ghost stepped up to offer a solution.

Vector has over 800 staff and more than 10 desktop models to create images for, says the company’s CIO, Hanno Schupp. Typically, the IT support team would be spending up to 20 hours a week using Vector’s legacy systems management tools, and the team would be rebuilding up to 20 PCs every week, for new users or due to repairs, says Schupp.

The company had been looking for ways to reduce time spent on system maintenance for some time when it came across the Universal Imaging Utility (UIU) from US company Binary Research International, a spin-off of Auckland-based Binary Research, which was acquired by Symantec in 1998 for $US27.5 million.

Binary Research developed one of New Zealand’s software triumphs — backup and PC-cloning utility Ghost, which is now known as Norton Ghost.

Vector has been using UIU for 18 months now, says Schupp.

“Because Vector has a lot of desktop and laptop models, it was difficult to keep spares of each model aside for image updates — this created issues whenever an image needed to be updated for software upgrades and new patches,” says Schupp.

The UIU solution enabled Vector to reduce time spent on maintaining the existing infrastructure, he says. “With UIU, we are saving an hour for every PC we build,” he says.

That time can now be allocated to other, more critical projects.

“Prior to UIU, Vector’s engineers would have to download old images for each desktop model and then update the new PC with various patches and upgrades of Windows, Office and other applications, change settings, and so on. It was very time-consuming and frustrating for the team,” says Schupp.

UIU works with existing disk-imaging software to create a single master image that can be easily restored onto any Windows Vista, XP or 2000 desktop or laptop in the organisation, he says.

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