Edinburgh's Microsoft-based overhaul delivers ROI in 14 months

Edinburgh council has completed a project to standardise its IT infrastructure on Microsoft platforms, delivering a return on the initial investment within 14 months.

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Edinburgh council has completed a project to standardise its IT infrastructure on Microsoft platforms, delivering a return on the initial investment within 14 months.

The two-year overhaul was carried out by BT using Microsoft’s Infrastructure Optimisation Model and is designed to give the council a future-proof IT infrastructure, as part of the council’s “Smart City Vision” for service improvement.

The project has standardised 6,500 desktop and laptop computers on the Windows XP operating system, while more than 200 servers, 11 domains, 26 directories and 4,500 business applications have been consolidated onto Microsoft technology.

Edinburgh is using Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003, SQL Server 2005, Operations Manager 2005, System Management Server 2003 and Active Directory. The new software has been rolled out to 8,000 users at 200 council sites.

Andrew Unsworth, the council’s head of e-government, said: “We are now well positioned to provide the higher levels of common business services to our citizens. As for our employees, they are already experiencing the benefits. Our staff now enjoy a significantly improved IT experience through the stability and speed the new platform provides.

“They are benefiting from new ways of collaborating, all of which is resulting in a marked improvement in productivity. For example, they can now easily share calendars, and mobile solutions such as push-emails are being trialled.”

The overhaul realised a return on the initial investment within 14 months, saved £5m in direct IT costs over two years, and is expected to produce total savings of £6.4m over five years.

Edinburgh is expecting to be able to exploit its new infrastructure to produce £25m in operational IT savings by 2011, through e-procurement, electronic document management and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

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