System Upgrade and Software Install for Car Rental Agency

Industry: Business & Consumer Services
Technology: Computer Systems
Time Frame: 6 Days
Locations: 165
Business Challenge: In order to support new software mandated by one of their manufacturers, a complete system upgrade needed to be completed within a matter of days at 165 of its locations.
Comm-Works Solution: With limited time, Comm-Works project management team identified specific requirements for a rapid install and configuration.
Business Result: Comm-Works’ ability to take on this project efficiently and effectively not only provided the client with the necessary system upgrade, but also allowed them to carry out business as usual throughout the entire deployment.

Customer Profile

Logistical, technical and management challenges make it difficult for many multi-site organizations to undergo IT deployment initiatives on their own. The case was no different for one of the world’s largest car rental providers. When the company discovered it needed to complete system upgrades at 165 of its locations within a matter of days, it knew additional resources were required.

Having worked with Comm-Works since 2006 on various projects, including wireless LAN and structured cabling installations, the customer had full knowledge of their ability to deliver the scalable, consistent and high quality services and resources necessary for the task. For that reason, it took the customer little time to conclude that Comm-Works was the right partner for the deployment.

Business Drivers

The primary motivation for the system upgrade was a mandate from one of the rental company’s vehicle manufacturers for a software update. In order to support the new software, the rental company required a system update to Windows 7. Because the individual service centers are revenue generating, it was critical that the installations were conducted as quickly and seamlessly as possible to avoid potential dollars lost.

LimITless Possibilities

To begin the operation, Comm-Works held an internal kick-off meeting and conducted a call with the customer to define the specific requirements of the project. The task included upgrading anywhere from three to 20 PCs per location to Windows 7 before installing the mandated software package. This would need to be completed at 165 of the company’s car rental locations across the nation—all within a matter of days.

Circumstances for this project were less than ideal. An outdated list of the site contacts and addresses created a time-lag that only added to the already tight timeframe for the project. Further challenges included missing or erroneous materials needed for the upgrade, such as the software disk and the installation manual. In these instances, return trips were required pending the arrival of the proper materials. Had Comm-Works been responsible for managing the delivery of these materials, this undesirable situation would have been avoided.

If logistical setbacks did not present enough of a challenge, the installations offered multiple technical issues. Upon the first attempts to complete the upgrade, it became readily apparent that the car rental company was operating on a slow, bogged down network. This issue not only prolonged the time it took to download the software (from a few hours to many hours), but it also slowed down the system of the entire site. Often, Comm-Works could only upgrade one computer at a time so the location could continue necessary daily operations.

With the presented challenges, Comm-Works quickly realized that the project could not be finished within the two-day timeframe and worked with the client for an extension in order to complete the deployment successfully. Because Comm-Works made significant progress despite the many challenges—upgrading nearly 90 sites within the first two days—it reflected positively on the client’s IT team, and as a result their corporate team allotted the project two additional days for completion.

In total, Comm-Works completed 660 PC upgrades. To ensure that each installation and update was a success, Comm-Works also ran multiple tests with the client’s IT team.

Results & Value

Despite the short notice, little preparation and tight schedule, Comm-Works successfully navigated the many setbacks throughout the deployment. Comm-Works’ ability to take on this project efficiently and effectively not only provided the client with the necessary system upgrade, but also allowed them to carry out business as usual throughout the entire deployment.

“Given the unreasonable expectations that were placed around this project, it is even more remarkable that the Comm-Works team was able to respond as quickly as they did,” explained the client. “Comm-Works was truly a partner in this project. Their professionalism and commitment made this happen despite numerous setbacks and frustrations along the way.”

As a result of the successful upgrade and installation, the client has tapped Comm-Works to help solve the network issues that surfaced during the deployment. In addition, Comm-Works continues to work with the client, acting as its sole vendor for new branch design and installations.
“We accomplished a significant feat under tremendous conditions,” stated the Comm-Works project manager. “The client fully recognizes the capacity of work that Comm-Works can deliver.”

About Comm-Works

Leveraging its broad industry knowledge and global reach, Comm-Works acts as an extension of its clients to deliver scalable, consistent and high-quality technology solutions. Founded in 1995, Minneapolisbased Comm-Works provides LimITless PossibilitiesSM to organizations with an extensive array of technology needs, no matter what, when or where it’s needed. Learn more at www.comm-works.com