This company, with three million customers, 4,200 employees, 2,200 agents and 10,000 desktops and has a turnover of 2.5 billion Euros have now switched to Ubuntu Linux for all its desktops, notebooks and servers.
LVM has enjoyed cost and reliability benefits from Linux since 2005. But the current system was struggling to support the stable VPN connection required to exchange critical real-time data with a large pool of agents and mobile sales representatives.
The critical and custom-built LAS claims-processing application is ‘always on’ and fundamental to day-to-day contracts, customer relationship management (CRM) and claims. It needs encrypted hard drives, smart card authentication and active protection against malware.
LVM also struggled with hardware constraints that hampered development targets and objectives.
The team believed Ubuntu’s regular upgrade cycle and the Canonical support team could provide the answers to the growing problem.
The project ran through three distinct phases (only moving to the next step once the business case is proved) to ensure a cost-effective, risk-managed and powerful migration:
- Assessment – A short scoping period to determine the best and efficient forward technical direction for the migration.
- Pilot – A test phase to determine the hardware enablement and co-ordination and support of the proposed solution.
- Roll-out – The final installation of the approved and tested solution to employee agent desktops.
- Worked with LVM’s centralised hardware procurement standards to create a fully tested environment.
- Switched over 7,000 Lenovo laptop systems used by LVM’s insurance agents all over Germany to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
- Integrated desktop clients with the company's existing Linux servers.
- Secured reliable switching from office-based Ethernet connections to mobile 3G connections for agents on the road
The LVM view
Werner Schmidt, LVM’s CIO and Heuer’s manager, believes many companies are waking up to the realisation that there is an alternative to an endless cycle of millions of dollars of licence fees.
He said; “We needed a Linux-based desktop client that had a clear and future commitment to the desktop to ensure that we were getting the type of hardware coverage we needed. We believe that the investment that LVM has made in engaging with Canonical and converting to Ubuntu will pay off many times.”