Jeans manufacturer Mustang relies on Aagon's ACMP

Mustang has been dealing with automated client management for several years. As more and more requirements for asset and license management became apparent over time, the German jeans manufacturer switched to the ACMP Suite in 2016, where it found all functions perfectly combined.

Mustang's headquarter is still located in Künzelsau today. The company has 680 employees, but only about 100 of them are based at the headquarters; the large remainder work in one of the 84 Europe-wide stores and outlets in Hungary, Poland and Russia, among other places; there are also numerous mobile sales representatives. For this reason, Mustang decided more than 20 years ago to no longer maintain its spread out landscape of PC and notebook workstations manually, but to use a client management system for this purpose.

 

Comprehensive range of functions at the best price-performance ratio

After several vendor changes, Aagon was chosen at the beginning of 2016 as the provider with the widest range of functions to date. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand to deal with asset and licensing management in addition to client management. It is true that most client management systems offer such functions, including the one used so far. "With Aagon, however, these are best combined under one roof and at by far the best price-performance ratio," as Jürgen Schweigert, team leader for system administration at Mustang, points out. His department consists of five people, including trainees, and is part of the 13-person IT department in addition to application development.

So the change to a new system was initially a calculation: the Aagon solution is about 30 per cent cheaper than the products that were compared. However, administrator Schweigert considers the price argument alone to be too simplistic. Also, the way in which system updates can be carried out is often an extensive action with other providers, for which you have to book special consulting days, without which it would not work at all.

"It's different with Aagon, where updates are automatically installed via the server. An IT fellow only has to release them and can then administrate them himself without having to spend days in support dialogues with the software provider."

The distributed computer park, which Mustang has been administrating via the ACMP Suite since July 2016, includes 350 PCs, notebooks and POS systems.

Windows is the main operating system; the IT is hosted in the company's own computing centre in Künzelsau, where the applications run on three virtual VMware servers. The typical workstation which is maintained via Client Management, includes MS Office products, the Lotus Notes e-mail system, various browsers, Adobe products, Skype, etc. Other applications at Mustang are the industry ERP system Fashion XL, special controlling and HR tools, a product lifecycle management system for collection development as well as cash register software for the retail sector, which is used on all computers in the 80 stores across Europe.

The system is up and running within two days

After training by Aagon, the system was up and running within two days and the PCs could be set up.

 

The short changeover time was aided by the fact that Mustang did not start from scratch in terms of client management, but already knew how to apply scripts and prepare software so that it could be deployed.

Aagon has developed a special function for replacing an old client management system with a new one. Each computer receives an agent via ACMP, the old agent is uninstalled at the same time.

In this way, the client management system takes over the computer in its existing state and continues to run it without the need for a complete reinstallation of all software.

Licenses are documented and can be retrieved at any time

The now possible license management is an immense relief of work for Mustang. It is used whenever it is necessary to know how many licences are in use. This is because licensing models change regularly, especially in the corporate sector. Therefore, it is very important to keep track of valid licences for installed software correctly and in a timely manner.

Thanks to the initial inventory with ACMP Inventory, this information is well documented in ACMP license management. The system administrators can get a quick and easy overview of how many Windows and Office licences are installed, which user is working with which version and whether the number corresponds to the purchased ones at any time via reports. "The system provides us with this data at the push of a button," Schweigert explains.

For asset management, Mustang previously used a self-developed Access solution that worked quite well. The advantage with ACMP Asset Management: Everything is centred within one software. The administrators can document when an asset (PC, notebook, switch, server) was lent to who and when it was returned. And they now have this information bundled under one interface.

Besides license and asset management, the already proven advantages of a client management system remain. On the one hand, it automatically keeps software up to date on the connected computers. With Aagon, this works via so-called client commands, an innovative script language developed especially for ACMP, which is also easily accessible for IT administrators with less programming affinity. Mustang has already created 30 commands on its own, and the number is growing.

ACMP Desktop Automation is also intended to relieve the system administrators of dull tasks such as setting up a PC. This saves them hours of repetitive routine work. Otherwise, it can take five to six hours to install all the special software. With Client Management, it is a matter of only one hour or - if there is little software to install - only half an hour. This also makes troubleshooting easier afterwards: If a software does not run smoothly on the computer, the client can be reset without further ado.

"Unpack the computer, connect it to the system and the rest runs by itself. We only have to make marginal user adjustments," is Jürgen Schweigert's experience. He also sees a difference here compared to the previous solution: creating scripts used to be a demanding activity that almost bordered on programming. The administrators now get along much better with the client commands. This simplifies the creation of software solutions to be distributed - down to the smallest systems, which are thus also integrated into the client management.

Conclusion

For Jürgen Schweigert, the ACMP suite is a software solution that unites all important administrative functions. Not only that he finds client, licensing and asset management under one roof.  In addition to its own modules, it is capable of integrating third-party programmes, such as remote software, which administrators can use to connect to the user's computer in case of a problem.

 

In this way, they start their client management in the morning and can use it to do all the work involved in system administration throughout the day. Mustang is already thinking about using the helpdesk features of the ACMP suite in future.

In brief:

Mustang was looking for a system that could handle all client management tasks as well as asset and license management under a single interface. With licensing management, the IT department has an overview at all times of how many licenses of which software are installed and whether the number corresponds to the purchased ones - a great advantage especially in view of the frequently changing licensing models of the manufacturers.

Workstations to be managed:
350

Client commands:
30

Products used:
ACMP Inventory, ACMP Asset Management, ACMP Desktop Automation, ACMP Software Detective, ACMP OS Deployment.

Project start:
July 2016

Cost savings compared to previous client management solution:
30 per cent

About Mustang GmbH
In 1932, Luise Hermann founded the L. Hermann clothing factory in Künzelsau, Hohenlohe, the birthplace of today's Mustang GmbH. The fact that one of the best-known manufacturers of a piece of clothing that contains the spirit of America in its DNA is based in Baden-Württemberg should probably come as a surprise to many. Neither would Luise Hermann have dreamed that her trousers, designed as workwear, would one day be an often expensive designer piece almost 80 years later.

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