York, UK, 29th May 2012 – Infrastructure and software solutions Value Added Reseller, Trustmarque, announced today that it has helped Plymouth City Council migrate to Windows 7, enabling greater efficiency and future proofing the estate for subsequent upgrades. Trustmarque also tuned the Council’s Microsoft’s System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM) to deliver greater control over on-going administration. As a result the Council has been able to consolidate its desktop environment from 4000 to 3200 and introduce hot-desking to help reduce property overheads.
Plymouth City Council employs a workforce of over 14,000 people and delivers more than 300 services to Plymouth residents including transport, social care, leisure, education and schools. To reduce costs and increase efficiencies the Council was looking to consolidate its office space and assets by enabling a more flexible working environment. Tom Unwin, Technical Architect for Plymouth City Council, comments:
“Our key goal was to have eight desktops for every ten employees as mobile working is on the increase. However, with Windows XP each person had their own computer configured for their use, which meant our workers weren’t able to work flexibly. We therefore started to investigate the move to Windows 7 as well as expanding our deployment of SCCM, which would enable us to consolidate and manage our desktop environment more easily. ”
The Council benchmarked a number of providers and Trustmarque was successful in its bid to deliver Windows 7 and expand the deployment of SCCM. The project started in January 2011 and the first line pilot was rolled out in April. Trustmarque took a staged approach to the technical deployment of Windows 7, first migrating the office based staff, such as HR and finance, and then moving on to more mobile workers, such as social workers. Trustmarque tested the environment in advance and highlighted any applications that would cause an issue. Unwin explains:
“Like many public sector organisations there were multiple applications that were bound to be troublesome in a Windows 7 environment. Trustmarque kept in close contact, providing us with weekly progress updates. The level of communication was excellent throughout.”
The Council was already using Microsoft’s SCCM, however it was looking to extend its use throughout the organisation. SCCM assesses, deploys and updates servers, client computers and devices across physical, virtual and mobile environments. Trustmarque created the build for the system to ensure it was configured to manage every device in the IT environment and to enable central administration. Unwin explains:
“Previously if we wanted to add a new device it would have taken three or four days to get the configurations correct and to get that system up and working. Now, it takes half a day. The on-going management of the desktop environment is also much simpler. Before we had to go into each different build to incorporate each change or update that came through. Now, with the SCCM build, it changes the configuration for every device automatically.
“Trustmarque also provided training on the job, which meant that after Trustmarque left our staff were skilled up to run the SCCM system themselves. The knowledge transfer we received was great - we haven’t had to call anyone out to make any changes or updates as our engineer has felt confident to tackle any issues himself.”
Trustmarque also adjusted the Windows software to enable roaming capabilities using Active Directory and folder redirection to ensure each set of configurations are assigned to individuals, rather than devices.
“We have had really positive feedback from our users,” concludes Unwin. “Windows 7 allows staff to work faster and more efficiently, and we are getting less support requests, which is great. Employees can now work from any location and their applications and configuration follows them around, which really improves the user experience. The fact that Trustmarque could configure the system for us as a service and through negotiated concessions with Microsoft has also meant that we have not had to spend money on deploying an additional application management tool.”
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Trustmarque is a market-leading Value Added Reseller and provider of technology services and solutions to UK private and public sector organisations. Trustmarque has been a trusted advisor to customers on issues relating to technology for over 24 years, helping companies to make sense of their complex IT environments by unlocking the value of technology, improving efficiencies and reducing costs.
Trustmarque holds ISO9001/2000, ISO14001, OHSAS18001 and ISO27001 certifications, is OGC accredited and has achieved the Investors in People standard. In addition Trustmarque’s employees are ITIL and PRINCE2 qualified.
Trustmarque has also worked with The CarbonNeutral Company (formerly Future Forests) leaders in the field of carbon management and climate change solutions to become a CarbonNeutral® company.
For more information about Trustmarque visit www.trustmarque.com, call 0845 2101 500, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
C8 Consulting Ltd
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