Desktop Upgrades at 60% of the Cost of Previous Migrations

Customer Overview

Client: Royal Bank of Canada

Revenue: $46B

Industry: Financial Services

Employees: 85,000

Use Case: Data Center Move, Windows 10 Upgrade, Hardware Refresh

Business Outcomes
  • 40% savings on labor costs associated with Windows upgrade
  • Centralized view of data and task completion
  • Accelerated IT program delivery
  • Compliance achieved by deadline


This global bank serves over 16 million clients through its network of 1200+ retail banking branches. ReadyWorks was initially utilized to manage the migration of one of their largest data centers in the United States. Upon successful completion of this program, ReadyWorks was utilized to coordinate the Windows 10 upgrade and parallel hardware refresh for 20,000 PCs across retail branches and corporate centers throughout the US and Europe. 


It was critical that all details of both projects – migrating a data center and upgrading 20,000 machines – be clearly understood so that systems, users, and departments could be migrated properly without any negative impacts. To accomplish this, the bank required a centralized data source. Unfortunately, teams of disconnected project managers were utilizing individual spreadsheets to manage these multi-million-dollar initiatives. This was slowing each program and making it difficult for teams to meet target deliverable dates. With a large team of consultants in place, and unmovable deadlines approaching, each of those delays increased the bank’s exposure while significantly adding to program costs.   


The bank had similar objectives for each program:

  • Create a centralized data repository so that all teams work from the same source of information
  • Eliminate manual work
  • Utilize workflows to standardize on delivery so that each migration wave could incorporate previous lessons learned


The firm first evaluated two options: using a popular ITSM platform or attempting to build something in-house. After reviewing the technical requirements, they concluded that the cost and effort to modify the ITSM platform far outweighed the cost of bringing in a purpose-built platform to run the programs. ReadyWorks was piloted, validated by the security team, and then configured to run each of the programs. The VP of Global Windows Infrastructure was particularly pleased with how his team could ‘hit the ground running’ and rack up early wins rationalizing their application inventory.  


Both projects were delivered successfully utilizing ReadyWorks as the command and control center. The data center migration, which took just under two years, leveraged the platform as the central repository for program information and utilized it to build and execute complex migration waves. 

The desktop upgrade was a resounding success. Every retail branch in the U.S. was migrated by a team 1/10 the size of that used during the Windows 7 upgrade a few years earlier. The remote migration teams utilized a ReadyWorks playbook on their mobile devices to track each task and report back to a central project manager in real time. This allowed the PM team to proactively identify bottlenecks as well as opportunities for acceleration. Ultimately, the program was delivered at nearly 60% of the cost of the Windows 7 migration from several years prior. 


Technicians were able to see machines assigned to them from their mobile device. Machines were not considered migrated until all tasks  were marked completed.


Both the data center migration and desktop upgrade were managed using dynamic waves and wave groups.


Project managers utilized dashboards to allow stakeholders to see information that was important to them. 


Both programs utilized ReadyWorks as the central source of program inventory information. 

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