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Auckland Council standardises desktop systems

Auckland Council standardises desktop systems

HP-led consortium chosen for upgrade of around 10,000 devices.

Auckland Council has appointed a consortium led by Hewlett-Packard (HP) to assist in a programme to standardise its desktop computing systems following a competitive tender process.

The work of the group – which includes Dimension Data and Microsoft - is part of a wider programme to continue to unify the council’s core systems and business processes.

In a press statement, the council says this wider programme of work will make the council more efficient, saving ratepayers $50.1 million over the next 10 years.

Asked to elaborate on this, Angela Jones, council senior media adviser, replied in an email, “This is commercially sensitive information”.

Jones said the upgrade will include around 10,000 devices.

Auckland Council, formed over two years ago, is number 11 in MIS100, the annual report on the top IT using organisations in New Zealand. The 2012 report listed a total of 13,737 screens for the council, which include desktops and mobile PCs and hand-held dvices.

The council merged eight councils and their business units, which meant bringing together eight different technologies which had been built and managed differently.

In the press statement, the council said a comprehensive, single standard desktop environment is needed to provide the most efficient support for staff and better serve Auckland residents, as promised in the Auckland Plan and Long-term Plan.

“The desktop is a vital business tool for all in council and is used right across the organisation to enable basic business processes. Librarians use it to access their book catalogues, resource consents staff use the desktop to track applications and all those who answer Aucklanders questions at service centres rely on it,” says Ian Maxwell, Auckland Council’s acting chief operating officer.

“The new platform we will implement will be cheaper to operate, saving ratepayers’ money, while also being simpler and faster for our staff to use.”

Last June, Computerworld New Zealand reported that Auckland Council was seeking vendors to standardise its desktop environment, which has been negatively impacting its bottom line and customer service due to “poor performance,” according to the RFP document.

The RFP sought a solution to standardise the build of operating systems and devices used by the council. In particular the council said it was concerned about Windows XP losing update support from Microsoft in 2014, as more than 8100 council machines run the operating system.

“If our desktops are not upgraded before this date, no security updates will be available for Windows XP, leaving our desktops vulnerable,” read the document.

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