Sustainable Urban and Energy Planning With Equally Sustainable IT Solutions

Success Story PLANAR

This success story illuminates the path of Planar AG. PLANAR AG für Raumentwicklung is a Swiss company specializing in spatial planning, urban development, architecture, landscape, open space, climate, energy and transport planning. It has had a transformative partnership with Open Circle since 2018. Learn all about the relationship and how PLANAR became a beta tester of the Managed Workplace.

Der Kunde PLANAR


At PLANAR AG, 40 employees are working to promote sustainable spatial development in Switzerland

PLANAR AG has been involved in the entire spectrum of spatial development since 1964 and focuses on innovative and sustainable solutions. With a team of 40 employees and a location in Zurich, PLANAR serves public and private clients with the aim of promoting sustainable spatial planning.

Company: PLANAR AG für Raumentwicklung
Short description: Pioneer in sustainable urban and energy planning
Industry: Site development, urban and spatial planning, energy, climate and mobility consulting
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Target group: Confederation, cantons, cities, municipalities, private builders in Switzerland

Work processes Efficient and safe work processes
Software requirements Implementation of specific software requirements and scalability
Sustainability Fulfilling our own sustainability requirements

Initial Situation and Challenge: More Compatibility and Away From Apple

Originally, PLANAR’s IT system was geared towards Apple. This hindered the efficient use of important Windows-based applications. The need for a comprehensive IT overhaul became apparent to improve efficiency, security and software compatibility.

“The switch to Open Circle and thus from Apple to Windows was a decisive step towards not only modernizing our IT infrastructure, but also making our work processes more efficient and secure. This changeover enabled us to make optimum use of the specific software we need.”
Paavo Schöb, GIS specialist and IT responsible at PLANAR AG 

Solution: Strategic Partnership With Open Circle

In 2018, the choice fell on Open Circle, which was still called ITIGO at the time. They won PLANAR over with their experience and ability to offer IT solutions tailored precisely to the needs and requirements. A key aspect of the partnership was consulting and support for the transition from Apple to Windows, including the implementation of a robust back-up solution and improved network infrastructure to support PLANAR’s IT strategy.


Solutions and expertise that PLANAR obtains from Open Circle:

Implementation: Beta Test of the Managed Workplace

The transition to Windows and the introduction of an early version of the Managed Workplace were carefully planned and implemented to minimize business disruption. The implementation took just one weekend. Employees handed in their old devices on Thursday evening and by Monday the new system was up and running with the new devices.

“With a few license and industry-specific exceptions, we are able to delegate the majority of our IT work to Open Circle. This helps to keep our internal IT infrastructure as lean as possible.”
Oliver Tschudin, Partner and Chairman of the Executive Board at PLANAR AG


One of the managed workplaces at PLANAR AG

Beta Test of the Managed Workplace

Participating in the beta test for the Managed Workplace enabled PLANAR to provide direct feedback and ensure that the solution meets their requirements in terms of security, efficiency and sustainability. This enabled Open Circle to identify requirements for its new product, identify potential added value for other customers and bring the Managed Workplace to market in a perfected form in 2024.

The Managed Workplace has enabled PLANAR to seamlessly integrate modern IT technology. The provision and setup of new hardware has also become noticeably faster. All devices are monitored by Open Circle as part of the Managed Workplace. The entire system is tracked. For example, as soon as a network storage hard disk shows the first signs of a possible failure, Open Circle immediately notifies PLANAR.

“I find working with Open Circle very pleasant, the employees are friendly, motivated and efficient. The support is reliable, regardless of whether a request is made by phone, email or ticketing system.”
Fabienne Maag, GIS specialist and energy planner at PLANAR AG

Result: Increased It Security, Flexibility and Sustainability

Paavo Schöb ist nicht nur Spezialist für Geografische Informationssysteme, sondern auch der IT-Verantwortlicher bei der PLANAR AG

Paavo Schöb is not only a specialist in geographic information systems, but also the IT responsible at PLANAR AG

By working with Open Circle, PLANAR was able to achieve a significant improvement in IT security, flexibility in software usage and sustainability. Sickness or vacation-related absences of internal IT staff are no longer a risk factor. The new IT structure supports PLANAR in further expanding its leading role in sustainable spatial development and mastering future challenges.

“One of the many things we appreciate about working with Open Circle is their ability to adapt to our needs. For example, we wanted a sustainable, upgradeable and repairable laptop for our employees, which is not yet available in Switzerland, and Open Circle made it possible.”
Paavo Schöb, GIS specialist and IT responsible at PLANAR AG

Conclusion: Innovation Leadership Through Partnership

The partnership with Open Circle has enabled PLANAR to not only significantly and scalably increase their IT security and flexibility, but also to create an IT infrastructure that supports their growth and innovation goals. The Managed Workplace has significantly improved the efficiency of software usage and device provisioning. And direct involvement in product development positions PLANAR as an active innovator.

“The partnership with Open Circle allows us to stay at the forefront of technological development and realize our vision of sustainable spatial development. We are currently very happy with the collaboration.”
Paavo Schöb, GIS specialist and IT responsible at PLANAR AG

For the future, PLANAR will continue to focus on continuously adapting and scaling its IT solutions in line with the company’s growth. Further steps towards complete digitalization with cloud solutions are also currently being discussed.

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