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Migrating a large client to Windows 10

The scene

We are currently preparing ourselves for a huge migration onto the windows 10 platform, which is arguably the future but a pain to do for a large company that uses various software which may or may not be compatible with windows 10. Personally we like windows 10 and the new features that it offers, it is very intuitive to use, clean interface, a LOT quicker than the previous versions, and is definitely a step in the right direction when concerning operating systems.

Immediate issues we had with Windows 10

The windows 10 update took a lot of companies by surprise, like ourselves and many software distributors were not prepared for such a significant change in operating systems. Consequently we have had to wait several months for new patches regarding the software our clients use, for example Kaspersky was a prime one. Kaspersky for those of you who don’t know is a holistic defense system for your machine, in other words an anti-virus program. We have this software deployed on over 200 machines for our client and is therefore the first line of protection for our clients – however, it took Kaspersky 5-6 months to finally release a patch that made it compatible with windows 10.
Therefore, we had to wait for software like this and other pieces to be fully compatible before updating to windows 10. While waiting we put in plans regarding how we can roll out windows 10 in the most convenient way for our clients.

The plan

  • Upgrade Windows 10 on a test machine (we standardize our hardware so near all of clients for this company use Dell)
  • Next we did extensive testing on all the software we use and the way our clients use it, some common ones are Teamviewer, Kaspersky, FileZilla, Sage and so on
  • While testing we took notes on what went well, software that didn’t work or might pose an issue and so on
  • Finally we reviewed our notes and the results and consulted with each how we might take this forward
  • When everything was good, we tested on a sample of spare machines including different makes, models and actual hardware types
  • We also wanted to prepare our clients for the change so we offered sessions that educated users about Windows 10 and the benefits, we also highlighted those who didn’t want to change or those who had concerns
  • From all the testing we ran into a few error, thus before the mass deployment of Windows 10 we prepared a document for unexpected eventualities that might happen, so a solution was already ready i.e. if a user wants to go back to the previous verision, the installation didn’t install correctly
  • Start systematically manually updating people’s computers. It would be silly to do everyone’s machine in one go. Likewise it would be silly to upgrade straight away – therefore we downloaded the required files in the background before upgrading straight away
  • After that we went from department to department, starting with a test department and seeing how that went. Next we will roll out the windows 10 updates remotely using teamviewer for the clients other offices
  • Finally we want to make sure our clients are happy with the upgrade and everyone is making the most of it. We offered some more classes on how to be most efficient with Windows 10 as this is very important for our client

Final words

So far, during the deployment we haven’t had any major issues. We are currently on step 9 but by the time this is published we would have been finished. Our experience upgrading to Windows 10 has been a hassle (as we have had to work many hours after our set working times) but a worthwhile one as we are now up to date with the latest operating system. It is definitely something that has to be done in all companies as well, as overtime older versions of windows such as 7 and 8 will be outdated and will then subsequently need replacing, so the sooner the better in this case.

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