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ESP helps HP refresh Cathay Pacific’s hardware on a global scale

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Our client

Hewlett Packard (HP) is an information technology company that develops market-leading hardware and software. It currently provides services for the airline Cathay Pacific, which has its main hub at Hong Kong International Airport. HP asked ESP’s PRINCE2-qualified professional services team to help it refresh the airline’s hardware and end user computing base globally.

Our client’s challenge

HP had been tasked with upgrading and deploying more than 10,000 computers across all Cathay Pacific’s locations (covering 44 countries and over 12,000 users). It had just a year in which to do so, and had to ensure the end users did not experience any downtime during that period. HP had to make sure IT service was consistent across Cathay Pacific – with a solution that can handle multiple locations, varying internet speeds, different office sizes, and various types of hardware and software. HP asked ESP to help coordinate the global project with professional services that would ensure Cathay Pacific could continue to operate smoothly while its IT was being upgraded.

ESP’s bespoke IT solution

In order to meet HP’s requirements and efficiently manage the large-scale, highly complex project, we implemented project teams in the UK and Hong Kong (where Cathay Pacific has some 7,000 users). We designed and implemented a multi-pronged, multi-team programme that enabled us to deliver the project in line with HP’s plan. HP managed the images, while we managed the project and provided the necessary on-site resources.

Another great outcome

Both HP and Cathay Pacific were delighted that the programme took less than a year from inception to completion. Naresh Sharma, Programme Manager at Cathay Pacific, said: “We are currently at around 10,500 machines with a Standard Operating Environment (SOE). This is great progress from where we were 10 months back, when we had only 100+ test virtual machines (VMs). We achieved this number in around 40 weeks; in fact, it was 40 weekends (or 80 days). So, effectively we refreshed and replaced 260 machines every weekend. We did all this while performing rationalisation of 2,000+ applications, which we then reduced to 400+ to package, test, fix and retest them to ensure they work on Windows 8.1. These numbers cut across departments, continents, time zones and application landscapes.

“We also had to accommodate last-minute requests. I remember how, after finishing the time-critical meeting with ATPCO users around Christmas, we all huddled in the HP conference room for a full two days, before coming out with the way forward.

“We had three immediate challenges:

  1. To build a cohesive team with everyone rowing in the same direction.
  2. To develop a roadmap or decide a direction in which to proceed.
  3. To change the end users’ mindset to help them adapt.

“I am well aware of the effort that goes into preparing a deployment – chasing multiple parties to align it and then being in the office over the weekends doing the necessary migrations.

“I am also aware of how team members travelled overnight and reported straight to work from the airport to do the migrations, so as to save time and money for Cathay Pacific.

“I know how many people sacrificed their family lives or missed birthdays and anniversaries because they were committed to getting this done.

“As we draw closer to the end of the project, it will be more challenging for us because of exhaustion, tight timelines and other complexities, but I have no doubt that ESP will continue with passion and zest to get this done.

“I heard a quote the other day: ‘It takes 10 men to change a light bulb’. But, looking at what we have achieved, I would say that ‘It takes just one match to light thousands of candles’.”

If you would like to find out more about our professional services or our work with HP and Cathay Pacific, contact us at ESP today.

The result

10,500 high-performance machines installed within just 80 days.

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