Business Situation

Magna is one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers with over 150,000 employees and 312 production facilities in addition to 98 centers for product development, engineering and sales in 29 countries. It faced a special IT migration project after it split off its interior division.

As part of the sale, the PC and server infrastructures as well as the accompanying data from a total of 34 locations of the company in North America, Europe, and Asia were to be transferred from the Magna systems to those of the new owner. The objectives of the project included efficient, secure and fast infrastructure transfers.

“The very heterogeneous IT infrastructure at Magna represented a particular challenge here,” explained IT Tower Manager at Magna Europe Walter Pinczolits, who was responsible for the Active Directory and data migration project. “That means we couldn’t simply create a blueprint and use it everywhere. Instead, we had to come up with individual solutions for each separate location.”

Magna was looking for a reliable partner with proven strengths in consultation, planning and implementation. It was important to the company for project requirements include airtight data security and migration on a live system without interrupting operations at its locations.

“The migration worked like an airlock. We took the affected Active Directory structures and placed them in a temporary AD specially created for the purpose. Then we shut down the link to Magna and migrated from the temporary AD to the new owner’s IT systems.”

Walter Pinczolits IT Tower Manager, Magna Europe


After comparing skill sets of various vendors and intense scrutiny from a financial perspective, a decision was reached to commission Avanade for its consultancy and implementation of this complex migration project. Together with Avanade, Pinczolits and his team developed a migration strategy that placed equal focus on data security, operational stability, and costs.


The project was completed on schedule and within budget – plus, operations continued at the company’s locations during the migration phase without interruptions.Over 10,000 PC workstations and servers – at night and on the weekends when possible – were switched over to the buyer’s IT systems.

Magna and Avanade have since embarked on a follow-up project that has considerable strategic significance. It will involve centralisation and consolidation of the Magna Active Directory and messaging environment.

Learn more about how Avanade can help you with all aspects of Workplace Modernisation to support higher security, productivity and mobility for your employees.

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