Centerprise International supports Wiltshire Council with an extensive tech refresh project
Wiltshire Council undertook a mobile working tech refresh programme in 2016-17, which they called ‘The Working Mobile Transformation Project’. After a lengthy and rigorous tender evaluation process to identify the most appropriate solution, Centerprise International (CI) was awarded the contract.
Following a recent deployment of 2,500 monitors and docking stations to Wiltshire Council, CI’s remit was to supply, build, configure and deploy nearly 4,000 new laptops, and safely dispose of the de-commissioned devices.
CI has been working closely with Wiltshire Council for the past ten years, so they were able to suggest a solution that met all the Council’s requirements. CI provided the right product, at the right price, all successfully project managed within the tight three-month timescales.
Wiltshire Council was experiencing a shift in culture, from mainly desk-based staff to a more mobile work force. They closed several offices, and wanted all users connected to the network with hot-desking available throughout the remaining offices. One of the Council’s main stipulations was that the new laptops had to be compatible with their existing docking stations.
A large number of the legacy laptops were out of warranty and support. Laptops were beginning to fail and many were beyond economic repair. This was becoming costly for the ICT team in both time and money, and was putting a huge strain on the Service Desk and Desktop Support resources. User downtime was also having an associated impact on the business.
Despite the urgent requirement to upgrade their laptop estate, as with all Local Government, Wiltshire Council faced challenging financial times. They needed a provider who could support the Council’s ICT staff to implement an optimal technical solution which met their budgetary limitations, as well as their scheduling demands, to deploy the initial 2,300 laptops in just three months.
The tender process
CI has over 33 years’ experience of IT project-based Service Delivery within the Public Sector. They helped Wiltshire Council with a technical refresh in 2010, procuring the new IT hardware, and the Council deployed it themselves. For the 2017 tech refresh, Wiltshire Council decided that they also needed deployment support from an experienced IT provider.
CI spent several months evaluating and researching the most suitable solution for Wiltshire Council’s upgrade. They fulfilled all the risk mitigation measures to ensure successful execution of the project. CI are not only WEEE compliant and hold the ADISA (Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance) accreditation with Distinction, but they also have a robust Quality Management System that comprises multiple ISO accreditations.
CI worked very closely with Wiltshire Council to finalise the rollout schedule as soon as they were awarded the contract. They placed a volume order with Dell for the full 3,900 Latitude E5470 devices and planned to receive the laptops in batches sufficient to meet the imaging and deployment schedule.
Once the laptops were received at CI’s production and logistics centre in South Wales, they performed a 100% quality assurance check to identify any damaged devices. Asset tagging was also managed at the production centre, which has purpose-built production lines capable of configuring 1,200 end user devices per day. The centre’s sophisticated configuration technology offered maximum efficiency and significantly de-risked the entire project for Wiltshire Council.
CI had to deploy laptops to 2,300 critical users at three specified Wiltshire Council locations (Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury), between 5th January and 30th March 2017. CI’s experienced engineers de-risked the deployment phase, and produced a detailed daily report of the devices’ asset numbers, serial numbers, assigned end user and office location.
CI’s engineers were also on hand to help users download their relevant user profile and for any other queries. Redundant devices were collected and CI’s engineers also managed the simultaneous laptop exchange with Council employees. Detailed planning was needed to arrange the hand over of 2,300 new lap tops and exchanges for busy staff, within an ambitious 12-week window.
The remaining 1,600 new laptops went into storage, to be deployed at a later date by the Council’s in-house IT team, when the remaining legacy devices needed replacing. CI were then able to undertake data wiping of 2,100 redundant laptops, to Government standards, to de-risk data compromise. The devices were re-marketed to provide Wiltshire Council with a financial boost towards the cost of the project.
Since the laptop upgrade at Wiltshire Council, staff now have improved network connectivity across the main council buildings, or from home. This gives them the flexibility to connect securely from anywhere with Wi-Fi access, to the Council’s services via Direct Access.
The project has also enabled significant cost savings. The new laptop deployment has saved the Council’s IT team a lot of time and resource, removing the headache of supporting the old laptops; consequently, service calls have greatly reduced. CI’s Service Delivery expertise also saved Wiltshire Council a huge amount of money in both deployment and project management support.
The move to Windows 10 – currently the largest deployment in Local Government in the UK - has provided the platform to provision OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Office 365, and it will integrate seamlessly with Windows 10 smart phones (due for deployment soon). Not only is the new operating system more secure, it also provides touchscreen capability for the future development of optimised applications.