Kent County Council
Kent County Council is the governing council of the non-metropolitan county of Kent. With 84 elected councillors, 1.4m residents and an area covering over 1,300 square miles, it is the largest local authority in England.
Kent County Council is undergoing a large modernisation programme in order to provide its staff and partners with the ability to work in a much more efficient, mobile and flexible way. The Council determined that moving its 11,000+ staff to virtualised desktops would be the best way to achieve this objective, while at the same time yielding additional benefits such as adding greater resilience and flexibility to the overall IT infrastructure while protecting the Council against the impending risks brought about by the retirement of Windows XP support on 8 April 2014.
Given the climate of budget cuts affecting every local authority in the country, the project also needed to prove significant value-for-money for the Council. By re-utilising the Council’s existing Cisco UCS servers and 11,000 Windows XP desktops as thin clients, a virtualised desktop approach would unlock additional value from its existing hardware investments. Additionally, since virtual desktops would allow its staff to work productively from home, the project would also enable the Council to meet its target of rationalising one third of its total office space without affecting the services provided to its 1.4m residents.
The Council, therefore, issued a tender for software licences and an implementation partner for a desktop and application virtualisation technology to deliver a thin client capability across the entire council (11,000 users – 6,500 of which concurrent).