Change of IT services KONE to T-Systems

Change of IT services KONE to T-Systems

T-Systems once again wins an international tender for IT services. The Finnish industrial company KONE, which is listed on the Helsinki stock exchange, will outsource the operation of its data center, SAP landscape, and service for its globally distributed workplace systems, among other things, to the Telekom subsidiary. KONE is one of the world’s largest elevator and escalator companies, headquartered in Espoo near Helsinki. The outsourcing contract is among the largest IT contracts in Scandinavia in 2013, according to analyst firm Gartner. KONE has around 40,000 employees in 1,000 offices and more than 50 countries. The Finnish industrial company manages its global business operations with a central SAP system. In the future, KONE will obtain this software as a cloud application from the T-Systems data center in Munich. The Telekom subsidiary will also take over the operation and service of other corporate applications and databases. Since the elevator and escalator specialist’s employees and their service areas are distributed globally, KONE will also use the software for communication and collaboration – Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint – as cloud services from T Systems. The central platform runs in the T-Systems data center in Munich and offers KONE employees the advantage of being able to collaborate with colleagues around the world at any time from any of the company’s locations. T-Systems continues to manage all workplace systems at the international sites. To do this, the Telekom subsidiary uses its service desks in China and Spain, among other locations, giving KONE employees access to desktop experts around the clock. “Since our employees are spread around the world, and at the same time we want to provide high-quality service to our customers and employees, we need an IT partner that can support us around the globe and around the clock,” says Kati Hagros, CIO of KONE Corporation. “We chose T-Systems after a comprehensive evaluation process”.

Transition of the HP output server to VPSX

Before the switch, KONE was using HP’s Outputserver (formerly Dazzle) output management system across the company. As a result of the change, the VPSX product from the company LRS was introduced at KONE. MEGATRON Professional IT-Services GmbH is the specialist for output management projects at T-Systems and had previously successfully transitioned MAN Truck & Bus, as well as Phillips Netherland to new products. Therefore, as a subcontractor of T-Systems, MEGATRON also received the order to plan and execute the transition at KONE and to introduce key components of the product. In addition, the operation of the driver management of all Windows drivers in a worldwide environment was a task of MEGATRON.

MEGATRON, together with the manufacturer LRS, replaced the old output management system HP Outputserver. The HP Outputserver was the purchased product Dazzle and controlled printing from all ERP systems via Windows print servers to the end devices. In the course of the transition, VPSX clients were installed and configured on the ERP systems (SAP) to output SAP printing via VPSX. In VPSX, simple transformations of SAPGOF output were established with the locally integrated conversion software Docbridge from the manufacturer Compart, and even adapted to simplified Chinese.

LRS and MEGATRON integrated the SAP Document Presentment Server by Opentext (StreamServe) into VPSX and created special inbound queues here to intercept the raw data from the ERP system and forward it to StreamServe. Afterwards, the prepared documents were sent to the various output channels (FAX, email, EMC/Documentum and printer).


VPSX architecture

VPSX provides the possibility to centrally manage printer drivers and to establish a Direct-IP-Printing that makes Windows Print Server obsolete. In addition, VPSX has a certified BC-XOM interface to SAP, as KONE’s ERP processes are mainly populated from SAP. VPSX is also used to control the external formatter StreamServe, which is used at KONE as an OEM product of the company SAP (Document Presentment by Opentext) to prepare documents of the applications GENDOC and KTOC and KDOC. The advantages of the solution used are:

  • Centralized high availability solution with automatic failover.
  • Direct SAP printing without the use of distributed Windows print servers.
  • Centralized monitoring and management of all printers (office, production and Zebra) from a single management console.
  • End-to-end visibility of all print transactions and the ability to start, stop and redirect jobs.
Ablauf Data Center


Current printing landscape

KONE applications KTOC and KONECT generate formatted output for fax server and email server. The GENDOC project creates PDF documents and Word files via SAP Presentment by Opentext. For archiving, EMC/Documentum is used, which is tightly integrated into the VPSX architecture Email has a significant business and financial impact when KONE business operations are disrupted. Therefore, VPSX was chosen as the central OMS system to meet customer service level agreements. Fault reports are sent from the ERP systems via VPSX via fax, email and as print output all over the world to enable local service bureaus to repair and troubleshoot.

However, KONE’s worldwide service offices should be able to print locally even without a data connection to the headquarters in Brussels and be able to work with office printing independently of the central system. Therefore, the fax communication channel is a crucial building block in failover security.


Windows printing architecture

KONE controls the entire output in Brussels with a fail-safe VPSX solution. Direct-IP printing was chosen for the external locations. The drivers are stored centrally in Brussels and then installed, maintained and updated by the Personal Print Management Client on the workstation PC in each location.

One difficulty for MEGATRON was adapting the various drivers to the local Windows PCs. In addition to different installation languages on the PCs, the different output formats, such as A4 and Letter, were also a challenge. Thus, MEGATRON often had to create multiple driver packages for the same printer models to meet the local requirements of the user PCs in all regions of the world. Since KONE does not have a one-vendor strategy for printer models, hundreds of driver variants had to be created and maintained. KONE expected tray presets of paper types, since KONE uses special pre-printed paper for service jobs. In addition, logo paper was to be used in the printers and the default was to be set to duplex and B&W.

New printer models had to be incorporated as well as OEM variants from major manufacturers, such as Xerox or RICOH.

MEGATRON took over the setup and operation of all drivers and related incidents for KONE. In addition, MEGATRON prepared operational documents to later hand over the operation to T-Systems Slovakia. MEGATRON conducted training and coaching activities to prepare the staff in Slovakia for their tasks.

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