Hammersmith & Fulham Council deploys enhanced virtual desktop system

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has deployed a virtual desktop infrastructure system across the organisation to support 2,700 employees.

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Hammersmith & Fulham Council has deployed a virtual desktop infrastructure system across the organisation to support 2,700 employees.

Colt provided the solution in partnership with the council's IT services partner Agilisys, to enable the London borough to reduce relevant costs by up to 25 percent and increase overall productivity.

The VDI solution also integrates with the council's remote access service, enabling Hammersmith & Fulham’s employees to work away from the office, securely accessing the information they need to do their job via laptop, smartphone or tablet device.

This will support the council in its bid to reduce office space and improve the way it provides services to its residents.

The council was a desktop virtualisation pioneer 10 years ago, but the council said the system it had in place "was limited" in the number of users and services that it could support.

Jackie Hudson, director for procurement and ICT strategy at Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “The important thing for us was finding a service provider who understood what we wanted to achieve and who had the ability to work in partnership with us and Agilisys to provide and integrate the right solution.

"The underlying infrastructure is a fundamental element of our virtual desktop solution, which provides our employees with access to a wide selection of applications and the ability to work off-site and on any device.”

Starting with the council’s housing department, the rollout has been phased to ensure the relevant applications are ready for use in the VDI environment, enabling continuity of service to residents throughout the migration.

As a result, the cost of desktop support has reduced considerably and service delivery is faster for employees and more cost effective for the council, it said.

Howell Huws, head of business technology at Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “Early adopter employees really like the new service because booting up, logging in and launching applications is much faster.

"Hearing this from colleagues rather than IT makes others ask if they can have it too. People want it as quickly as we can provide it to them."

In addition to providing improved performance and productivity, the VDI rollout complies with government IL2 regulations that exist to make sure that sensitive data is stored and protected appropriately.

Colt’s wide area network encryption services ensure sensitive residential data is secure when an employee sends and receives data while working away from the office.

The VDI network is supported by technology from Cisco and VMware.

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