Greystone has been the IT partner for Alliance Disposables in Cheshire for over 12 years and has been instrumental in managing and supporting the rapid expansion of all aspects of their IT systems.

Alliance have several hundred desktop and laptop computers, spread across multiple sites, which have been migrated from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The migration was performed with no disruption to day to day activities and all before

Windows 7 end of life on 14/01/2020.

They are currently running a mixed hardware environment, with varying hardware configurations ranging from low spec basic PCs to high spec CAD workstations with many different processors and memory arrangements. Before the migration, they were also using a mixed architecture environment of both 32bit & 64bit operating systems.

To make sure the deployment happened with zero impact on the customer’s ability to work, careful planning was required.  The following steps were performed:

  • Audited all existing PCs.
  • Checks made on existing hardware for Windows 10 compatibility.
  • Planned staged rollout to minimise disruption and enable quick failback in case of errors.

We conducted a staged deployment with pilot groups being upgraded first to check all Line of Business applications worked appropriately and that customers were able to perform their day to day duties. The next stage was a per department or per site deployment, with each stage undergoing rigorous automatic checks to make sure that new PCs were deployed correctly.

Where PCs were either not able to run Windows 10 or had reached the end of their usable life, we deployed new standardised PC hardware side by side to existing PCs.

Going forward to keep up with the Windows 10 update schedule we have installed infrastructure to do the following tasks:

  • Deploy automatic upgrades to Windows 10
  • Deploy automatic security and operating system updates
  • Setup a continuously updated deployment image for new PCs
  • Use pilot and test groups to test future Windows 10 releases.

Following this project Alliance now have a fully up-to-date and future-proof Windows 10 desktop estate. By standardising the desktop builds and centrally managing ongoing updates and patches we have reduced the management and maintenance overhead that was previously required to keep everything secure and up-to-date.

A word from Paul Bonson, Purchasing Director of Alliance:

“Greystone have provided Alliance exceptional IT development and support for over ten years. The business was originally a single office with about 10 staff when we were introduced to Greystone and is now a 12-site national company with over 300 staff. The support service that Greystone provide is friendly, professional and reliable, and has been flexible to the demands of our business through a period of rapid growth and change

If you would like any help or advice on upgrading from Windows 7 please Get in Touch we will be happy too to assist.