Along with wrenches and wire cutters, mechanics at 3,000 Toyota dealerships across Europe use PCs running specialized auto diagnostic software as key tools of their trade. These PCs store technical documentation and run diagnostic software called Global Tech Stream (GTS) that mechanics need for vehicle maintenance and repair work. However, shop-based computers are not joined to the Toyota corporate domain and they operate outside the corporate firewall. This situation posed a problem for Toyota Motor Europe (TME), the body that is responsible for customer service and support at Toyota dealerships from Iceland to Kazakhstan.
“There are more than 3,500 of these computers across our dealerships, yet we had no way to reach them from headquarters,” says Dirk Christiaens, Manager of Enterprise Architecture at Toyota Motor Europe. “We couldn’t see if dealerships deployed an antivirus solution for their PCs, nor could we confirm if all dealerships consistently installed the latest corporate systems and software updates. As a result, we couldn’t be sure that everyone was providing the same level of customer service.”
TME wanted to improve its service to the dealerships and help them provide better customer service—without mechanics having to learn new IT skills that would take them away from their work. TME chose Windows Intune, a remote PC management solution that corporate IT staff can use to manage and secure these mission-critical computers in a way that’s seamless to the dealerships. “Windows Intune was the best solution for us because it was a cloud-based solution, which means we didn’t have to invest in hardware or train people to use it,” says Niels Svaerke, Manager, Business Process Office, After Sales at Toyota Motor Europe.
By deploying Windows Intune, TME estimates that it will avoid more than US$1.3 million in infrastructure and IT management costs over three years. As Toyota adds more dealerships, TME can acquire Windows Intune licenses as needed. “The scalability and cost structure of the solution is important,” says Svaerke. “In the future, we can use Windows Intune to manage mobile devices that mechanics carry around the shop—which could add up to thousands of devices per country.”
Today, TME can easily perform a complete tune-up of diagnostic PCs at every dealership. “Windows Intune helps seal our security risks and gives us piece of mind so that our mechanics can do their jobs efficiently for the customer,” says Christiaens.
And because TME uses Windows Intune to perform global software distribution and inventories, head office can see that everyone is using the GTS system as intended, ensuring a consistent high level of customer care. TME can also quickly push out diagnostic software updates to all dealerships, so customers start benefitting right away.
“We always start from the customer in everything we do,” says Pierre Masai, Vice President, Information Systems at Toyota Motor Europe. “Windows Intune fits perfectly in our customer-first tradition.”
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