Founded in 1959 in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, Liaoning TV is one of the five oldest TV stations in China. The station broadcasts six analogue channels, 18 video-on-demand digital channels, 10 digital radio channels and a satellite channel serving a potential total audience of 476 million people. Liaoning TV has more than 1,500 employees across 13 departments.
As the number of desktop computers at Liaoning TV grew, the administrative workload for the IT department increased correspondingly. With no centralised management tools, the IT team had to physically visit every machine in a 30-storey building to carry out routine maintenance or install software patches. Offices were often locked, so the team often made several attempts to successfully complete planned work " representing a large amount of wasted time and effort.
There was no systematic PC management, and as a result Liaoning TV"s employees often had problems with software crashes and viruses. It would then take a long time for the IT team to identify and fix problems, particularly when they needed to carry out large-scale re-installs of software.
Liaoning TV needed to improve the working efficiency in all departments by providing stable, secure, well-managed desktop computers. Broadcasters work according to strict schedules and delays are unacceptable " with the existing network environment, there was a risk that downtime would begin to have a negative impact on broadcasting activity.
Liaoning TV selected Novell ZENworks Desktop Management to solve its reliability and security issues, installing the software on two IBM* xSeries* servers running Windows. The station worked with a local Novell partner, Liaoning Rong Xing Hua Technology Co., Ltd., both to implement the solution and for ongoing technical support.
"We chose Novell ZENworks Desktop Management partly for Novell"s strong reputation in the industry and partly because it offered all the functionality we needed at an attractive price," said Kefeng Chen, Manager of Technical Management Department, Liaoning TV. "It was clear that Novell had achieved global success with its remote management tools and could offer good service in China."
Novell ZENworks gives Liaoning TV full remote control over every desktop computer on the network, and automatically detects new machines when they are connected. It also provides a clear top-down view of the status of all computers and their installed software, and enables the IT staff to roll out new and updated software packages automatically across the network.
"Novell ZENworks immediately made it much easier to communicate with staff, and significantly reduced our routine administrative workload," said Chen. "Rather than needing to visit every machine in the building, we can handle all routine installation and configuration tasks from our own office."
In the past, patch management was a particular problem for Liaoning TV. The company"s employees tend to be very mobile, and are often out of the office on work assignments. This significantly delayed the rollout of software patches, since IT staff would often be unable to gain access to a particular office at the time scheduled for patching.
"Rolling out patches and security fixes was almost impossible to do quickly," said Chen. "It previously took around six weeks and an enormous amount of manual effort to complete a major patch rollout. We are still getting up to speed with Novell ZENworks Patch Management, but already we have cut down patching time to one or two days."
Novell ZENworks has significantly simplified the management of Liaoning TV"s desktop computers, reducing the administrative workload for the IT team and increasing the speed and efficiency of software installation.
"In the past, we would effectively run out of IT staff, since so many were busy manually implementing software patches or updates," said Chen. "With Novell ZENworks, unless physical components need to be replaced, the IT staff can remain in the computer centre to fix all problems. This has freed up time for development work, and it also means less disruption for users."
The desktop computing environment at Liaoning TV is now far more reliable and better protected against viruses and other security issues. Reduced downtime translates into greater working efficiency across the entire company, and ultimately this means that the station can produce better programming within the existing deadlines.
"We estimate that Novell ZENworks Desktop Management has reduced our administrative workload by 80 percent, and that uptime for users has increased by 90 percent," said Chen. "The Novell solution has also really improved the standing of the IT department within the organisation as a whole."