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Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Customer Solution Case Study

Global Cleaning Products Manufacturer Cuts Domains With New Operating System

Country or Region: United Kingdom Industry: Manufacturing Customer Profile Reckitt Benckiser is a global manufacturer of leading household cleaning products such as Dettol, Vanish, Harpic, Lysol, and Finish. It has operations in 60 countries and sales in 180 countries. Business Situation The company had 96 network domains and 720 servers. When problems occurred, it was difficult to pinpoint the source, which, in turn, slowed down business operations. Solution Reckitt Benckiser simplified its IT infrastructure and enhanced performance by implementing Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition with Active Directory. Benefits Domain reduction from 96 to three Server consolidation Reduced downtime and improved profits Centralised management

The reduction of domains from 96 to three, together with the speed of the deployment in just a few months, have made a major contribution to greater efficiency throughout our business.
Tony Gallagher, Senior Vice President, Information Services, Reckitt Benckiser

Reckitt Benckiser is a leading global manufacturer of household cleaning products. It has operations in 60 countries and sells products in 180 territories. Its many operations were linked by a global network that consisted of 96 domains, each with its own administrator and management procedures, and 720 servers. But when a network problem was detected, it was often difficult to find the cause, which, in turn, slowed down business operations. Following the advice of Microsoft Services, Reckitt Benckiser implemented Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, part of Microsoft Windows Server System integrated server software, and Active Directory. It reduced the number of domains to three, consolidated its servers down to 627, and introduced central network management, leading to a greater centralised approach to administration.

Reckitt Benckiser is a global manufacturer of leading household cleaning products such as Dettol, Vanish, Harpic, Lysol, and Finish. It has operations in 60 countries, sales in 180 countries and annual net revenues in excess of 3 billion (U.S. $5.8 billion). In 2003, it began assessing the need for a new server operating system to underpin its global operations. It was using the Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 operating system, operating through 96 domains and 720 servers. Approximately 9,000 clients were spread throughout the domains, and each one was managed with its own unique set of common rules and procedures. Catrin Brain, IS Manager, Service Delivery and Infrastructure, Reckitt Benckiser, says: Because there was no centralised control, it was difficult to locate and resolve any system problems. With all those domains, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. The goal of a new server operating system was to simplify the complex IT infrastructure and introduce a centralised management system, so its networks could be managed from one place, and downtime could be reduced. At the same time, the company also wanted to consolidate its servers, enhance support levels, and cut network administration costs.

Brain says: Our overriding business driver is to increase the speed to market for products and services. This means improving the way we share information among our different global locations. In turn, this means providing a consistent IT support and management environment and secure internal access to our business data.

In mid 2003, Reckitt Benckiser began developing a business case f o r t h r e e
vendor technologiesthe Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Because there was no centralised control, it was difficult to locate and resolve any system problems. With all those domains, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Catrin Brain, IS Manager, Service Delivery and Infrastructure, Reckitt Benckiser

Enterprise Edition operating system, part of Microsoft Windows Server System integrated server software, and Linux operating systems from IBM and Novell. The company had already established a December 2004 deadline for the replacement of Windows NT Server 4.0, so a decision needed to be made quickly. Brain says: We considered taking the Linux route because the licensing is cheap. But the closer we looked at it, the less cost effective it became. For example, we would need to train our staff in Linux, and we would also require Linux consultants. A cost evaluation revealed this was going to be extremely expensive. We also had to consider application compliance. We have stringent corporate global standards for our applications, and we run a lot of bespoke software. Much of this would potentially not run on a Linux operating system. Because the risk and cost of replacing or redeveloping

these applications was too great, we did not consider Linux any further. says Brain. In contrast, the company had a large Microsoft skills base, its applications were all compliant with Microsoft, and Windows Server 2003 provided a range of key features for Reckitt Benckiser to achieve its objectives. Brain says: Windows Server, with a full Active Directory directory service implementation provides a single repository for administrators to keep tight control over the network environment. A group policy feature also lets us introduce a standardised environment to enforce corporate policy such as password control. It is clearly a dependable, enterpriseready server operating system. The operating system incorporates network load balancing and server clusters, and Active Directory is designed to be fast and robust over unreliable wide area network (WAN) connections. Following the decision to use Windows Server 2003, the company began talks with Microsoft Services about network architecture and reducing the large number of domains. Because of its expertise in systems design, Microsoft Services engaged with Reckitt Benckiser. In January 2004, both Microsoft Services and Reckitt Benckiser created a joint project team, and in

March a global pilot was launched that continued until May 2004.

Domain Numbers Reduced From 96 to Three Reckitt Benckiser previously had 96 domains and 720 servers. Using Active Directory to determine network paths and define network relationships, it collapsed its infrastructure into three domains and 627 servers. Tony Gallagher, Senior Vice President, Information Services, Reckitt Benckiser, says: The reduction of domains from 96 to three, together with the speed of the deployment in just a few months, have made a major contribution to greater efficiency throughout our business. It is helping Reckitt Benckiser to remain competitive in the global marketplace as well as contributing to improvements in our IT operations budget. Gallagher adds: Thanks to Active Directory, administrators have embedded best practice methods into supporting the IT infrastructure and defining network relationships. It provides a central repository of network connections so if a user name changes (for instance if an employee gets married), a job changes, or someone is relocated, it can all be tracked. Network administrators are now working together, and it has reduced the need for so many domains.

Entire Server Estate Upgraded in Nine Months Reckitt Benckiser designed the Active Directory structure, ran a pilot, and deployed the new technology across its entire global estate within only nine months. Brain says: I understand this is one of the fastest deployments of this size, and the speed with which the team worked was amazing. Certainly, our trust in the technology is vindicated by the relatively short time from design to rollout, and it underscores the efficiency of the technology. Microsoft Services Helps Establish Architecture In January 2004, with the help of Microsoft Services, Reckitt Benckiser created a project team consisting of approximately 11 network administrators from North America, Australia, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. The key design goal was to keep the architecture as simple as possible. The team identified and resolved design issues, such as administration models, what needed to be evaluated, and how it would be piloted. The project ran until the end of February, and this period also included a one week workshop in which Microsoft transferred Active Directory skills to Reckitt Benckiser staff. Brain says: Microsoft really helped us to determine a new infrastructure and

Microsoft great We place really helped us to emphasis on determine a new ensuring that infrastructure technology is and organizational operational around support model. Its the clock. This is input was critical in critical to the developing a pilot success of Reckitt that reflected the Benckiser. Windows overall Reckitt Server provides us Benckiser with assurance that community, so we our operations run could implement in smoothly. regional head offices, factories,

organisational support model. Its input was critical in developing a pilot that reflected the overall Reckitt Benckiser community, so we could implement in regional head offices, factories, warehouses, and sales offices. The pilot went so well that we asked Microsoft to come back and do an audit before full rollout. This was critical. Very good feedback came out of the audit that we had not considered. For example, the use of group policy objects needed to be controlled and documented. If you have regional areas creating group policy, it undermines the network rules defined by global group policy, Brain adds. Reduced Downtime and Improved Profits Windows Server 2003 provides a robust environment for managing Reckitt Benckiser operations. Many of its applications drive critical processes, such as placing orders and providing real-time response for production and shipment of goods. Brain says: Our infrastructure is complex, and any issues could potentially result in delayed shipping and production processes. For example, trucks laden with goods cannot leave a warehouse until a message is received authorising delivery. Our warehouses are dependent on receiving these messages, and if they dont, the trucks back up. Brain adds: We place great emphasis on ensuring that technology is

operational around the clock. This is critical to the success of Reckitt Benckiser. Windows Server provides us with assurance that our operations run smoothly. Improved Speed to Market for Products and Services Reckitt Benckiser has critical applications supporting forecasting systems, supply chain, research and development, and business intelligence running on Windows Server 2003. Brain says: Windows Server underpins the running of these key applications. We have a lot of initiatives with these tools, which interface with our JD Edwards system. They report on new product launches and sales, and combine historical data, so we can make informed decisions about new markets, product supply, and demand. Ensuring we can use them all of the time is essential to our business. New Messaging Environment and Global Knowledge Sharing The Windows Server 2003 implementation has provided Reckitt Benckiser with an opportunity to upgrade its messaging communications. It was previously using Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 but in January 2005 will begin rolling out Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 communication and collaboration software. Brain says: We are migrating to Exchange Server 2003 because it

provides us with better performance and increased e-mail messaging storage. These technologies will provide us with a leading-edge communications and messaging environment, which we could not have built without Windows Server. Brain adds: It is a reliable and robust operating system, which has become the cornerstone for our business. It is responsive to our needs, driving key applications that are central to the success of our operations. Thanks to Windows Server, we have radically transformed our network architecture, dramatically reducing domains, and consolidating servers. We now have centralised network management and a more robust network.

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 5682495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: For more information about Reckitt Benckiser products and services, call or visit the Web site at:

Windows Server 2003

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family helps organisations do more with less. Now you can: Run your IT infrastructure more efficiently; Build better applications faster; Deliver the best infrastructure for enhancing user productivity. And you can do all this faster, more securely, and at lower cost. For more information about Windows Server 2003, please visit: 03

Software and Services

Microsoft Windows Server System Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0

Technologies Active Directory

2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, Active Directory, the Windows logo, Windows NT, Windows Server, and Windows Server System are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their perspective owners. Document published November 2005