The construction sector is also more frequently choosing the path of digitization. But of course, this technological evolution should not come at the expense of security.
This is the main reason why the construction company Beddeleem has decided to collaborate with Auxility for its automated patch management service. “We have now not only full control of our patch management, but also more time for other IT tasks”, according to IT-assistant Yves De Visscher.
As a full-service finishing construction company, Beddeleem specializes in the total finishing of office and utility buildings. The company, with its HQ in Nazareth, designs, produces and installs things like movable partition walls, suspended ceilings, door systems and project furniture. To be able to do all this, Beddeleem has about 180 manual workers and about 350 technicians.
Yves De Visscher has been jointly responsible for the IT management at Beddeleem. In all those years, the IT assistant has seen a steady growth towards a company with a turnover of 75 million euros. “Right now, our IT team has Six employees. I am aware that IT in construction companies does not always come first when it comes to investing. Fortunately, that is not the case with us.”
According to Yves De Visscher, the achieved growth is also closely linked to the investments that were made in IT. “If we hadn’t invested so much in technological innovation and automation, our business probably wouldn’t have grown to that extent. Today we control our entire production via IT”
“Our technicians and project leaders are on a daily basis on the road to customers, so they can no longer do without the necessary IT support” Yves De Visscher continues. Besides Citrix, which grants them smooth and secure access to their data and apps from anywhere, they are also using Aeroplan. This application with a focus on project management for construction, runs on their tablet. “Taking into consideration a further in-depth automation, we have already linked this application to our ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics.”
Together with the number of employees, also the number of end-user devices has grown throughout the years. The management of all these devices, fixed and mobile, meant a lot of additional work for the IT department. Especially patch management, updating software to fix vulnerabilities and to assure the security, soon became a complex and time-consuming task to do. “Project leaders for starters are not in the office daily. Also, colleagues working in the HQ are people we see only occasionally”
“Initially we accounted on the users themselves to manually execute those patches. But that also implies that you have little to no control over it. So, it can happen that an update fails for some reason. Or to have somebody installing an update that was not supposed to be installed.
The worst thing that can happen is that an update simply does not want to be installed. For us it is not an option to ignore updates”, emphasizes Yves De Visscher. “Security is too important for that, especially in regards to protecting our customers or their data.”
To ensure that the security patching is done on time and correctly, Beddeleem decided to outsource this critical security task to a specialized partner: Auxility.
Auxility is a subsidiary of Hestia, a company of the Uptime Group. The same managed services partner they previously handed over their patch management of the server estate.
“We were quite satisfied about that patching service. Since several years we did not have to worry about our servers anymore. This is why we were very keen to give their patching service a chance”
Beddeleem could quickly start with the automated patching service of Auxility. “To make this work, they install an agent on your computer. So again, something we don’t have to do ourselves. From then on, the complete patching process just runs on its own. For us there is almost no more work involved with that. Auxility determines which patches will be executed and arranges and controls their execution as well. After such a patch round, our users only have to reboot their workstations. In the meantime, they are so confident with the process that it barely raises questions and just runs well.”
For the time being the new service is mostly limited to the security patching of Windows. But Auxility can also manage the patching for other software. “We are considering maintaining other software in the future with this service. Right now, we are very happy that we don’t have to do different interventions anymore to perform the patching for our end-users.
This gives us time to execute IT tasks with more added value to our business”, clarifies Yves
If that means other questions will come to the surface, Beddeleem has thanks to Auxility and its link to Hestia/uptime Group an easy entry point to a broad spectrum of IT expertise.
“The reporting that comes with the managed service of Auxility is a welcome added value.”, he concludes. “In the past we didn’t have a general overview of the status of our devices. Now we are regularly provided with an automated inventory. This results in us knowing which version of Windows runs on each device, including the patches it has, or has not.”