Elly Yates-Roberts |
Pharmaceutical multinational GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has used Microsoft Endpoint Manager to accelerate its cloud journey, following a widespread move to working from home in early 2020.
The solution is enabling GSK to embrace a more resilient workplace, and enable device provisioning from anywhere without IT intervention, according to a customer story published on the Microsoft website.
“Our employees need a system that’s highly secure and will delight them wherever possible and really perform,” said Michael Freedberg, director of modern workplace engineering at GSK. “Their access to services and data and their ability to collaborate with others in highly regulated environments all flow through the devices they use.”
Previously, GSK’s application installations and system management were only accessible through its internal network, which limited employees who wanted to continue work that they had started in the office at home. Web-based device management services such as Intune and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager have been deployed to allow employees to access data easily and safely.
“We’ve seen that if you want people to work in an easy, successful way and feel productive at home or wherever they are, we have to make it seamless and give them the same set of services that they’re used to when working in the office,” said Freedberg.
“We focused on installing, configuring, and managing cloud management gateways for our internet-facing Configuration Manager clients,” said Freedberg. “Previously, a person couldn’t install software from our existing on-demand tool from the internet and instead had to open a VPN connection. With Endpoint Manager, we make every application available through Software Center, so there’s no distinction whether you’re inside or outside the core organization. We can then deploy applications, update policies, and perform internet device configuration directly from Endpoint Manager.”
GSK uses Endpoint Manager as a command centre for enabling a productive and secure workforce and to unify Microsoft 365 apps and services with traditional and modern endpoint management to optimize IT productivity and reduce costs.
Already, the firm has benefited by deploying policy configurations and gathering diagnostic logs from devices while minimising or entirely removing downtime: “If a client is having problems, rather than making them connect with the VPN and trying to get some subset of log files, we just use Intune to gather diagnostic logs from the device and get a .zip file with 50 event logs and all kinds of data that we can look at offline,” said Freedberg. “We’re getting everything we need, and our client doesn’t have to do anything.”
GSK will continue to test and deploy cloud devices into 2022. Alongside this, GSK is testing Windows Autopilot to accelerate the setup and configuration of new devices for all its users and AzureAD to support a pure cloud environment.
“I don’t see the cloud as a pressure point, and we have only benefited from our migration to Endpoint Manager,” said Freedberg. “It has helped us create really tremendous opportunities to build a better, more resilient workplace for our employees. In the end, that will be a lot better for our customers too.”