Case Study: How Capita Local Public Services call centre continued vital services during COVID-19 with VDI in Microsoft Azure

Overview

How a rapid deployment of a Citrix Virtual Desktop (VDI) solution in Microsoft Azure enabled employees at Capita Local Public Services team to transition to remote working. Helping to achieve business continuity and ongoing customer service when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.

Background to the project

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached the UK, Capita Local Public Services (CLPS) – like many organisations – needed a way to enable its employees to work from home by accelerate its agile working provision.

Responsible for a providing a portfolio of specialist services to local authorities across the UK, it was paramount that CLPS could safeguard business continuity and customer service. They needed to ensure that the contact centre employees were equipped with a safe, secure and familiar remote system that would not require extensive user training, so services could continue as seamlessly as possible.

CLPS wanted to leverage their existing infrastructure investments and therefore wanted to create a Citrix Virtual Desktop solution to sit within Microsoft Azure. It was crucial they worked with a partner who knew Azure datacentre design inside and out.

The solution

Trustmarque Cloud Solution Architects and Technical Consultants designed and deployed a Citrix Cloud VDI that connected to the existing Capita Active Directory within Microsoft Azure. This allowed CLPS to maximise its current Citrix/Azure investment and roadmap.

The solution enabled select Capita users to work remotely by safely connecting to the VDI to access relevant applications and telephony services. This  reduced the impact on business continuity during the Pandemic and allowed Capita to continue vital customer services, when they were needed most.

The first phase of the VDI deployment included a pilot test with 25 users. This was scaled up to service approximately 300 users across the division. Moving forward, CLPS has the ability to add 25 Citrix user licenses simultaneously, providing the scalability to meet varying capacity and workloads.

Key project deliverables

  • Complete build of Azure VDC and connectivity to Capita Active Directory
  • Connectivity to associated Capita Networks
  • Implementation of base firewall
  • Connectivity to existing Azure subscription and ExpressRoute
  • Configuration of Windows 10 desktop and associated business applications with base anti-malware
  • Pilot testing of the solution
  • Apply post deployment configuration including: full antivirus configuration; additional firewall and security configuration; patch management; updating policies; Azure Security center and logging; backup fine tuning and establishing a route to Council’s own systems, usually their own Citrix environment, via the VDI.

Phase 2 – additional contact centre users

Following the successful deployment of the Citrix Cloud VDI solution in Microsoft Azure, Trustmarque was engaged to extend CLPS’ remote working provision to include a further 90 contact centre employees based in Southampton.

The scope of the service was to provide contact centre users with real-time voice via softphone and application access to better serve the 11 priority customers managed by the contact centre. The existing Citrix Cloud VDI environment and Azure subscription was used as the base to host the new VDI machines, which was provisioned with a new Windows 10 Golden Image to support the additional users.

As part of the extended project, CLPS also wanted to review the Azure security posture. As a result, Trustmarque replaced the existing Azure firewall with Palo Alto Firewall and ensured additional security polices and configuration were supported from the Azure Security Centre.

Outcomes and next steps

Thanks to these engagements, both the core team and the contact centre team at Capita Local Public Services division have the ability to work safely and securely from home to carry out key business activities and customer relationship management. In the event of ongoing remote or hybrid working, the organisation is now well equipped to support out of office employees, while also providing seamless connectivity to valued customers.

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About the customer

Capita Local Public Services (CLPS) delivers a wide range of specialist services to local authorities, schools, academies, and other public sector organisations in the UK. Services include: IT and digital transformation, customer management, finance, property development, regulatory services, education support and back office processing.

CLPS has approximately 2300 employees with offices based in 57 locations across the UK. The division also manages a 2 contact centres in Southampton and Coventry, where a number of key customers are managed by around 390 employees.

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Why Trustmarque was selected as a partner

CLPS recognised Trustmarque’s extensive experience in helping customers to adopt Azure public cloud and to reap the benefits of infrastructure modernisation.

As a top tier Gold level partner to Microsoft, we have more than 30 years’ experience working together to help customers to transform and accelerate through smart IT investments. We are committed to creating an Azure centre of cloud excellence, through Cloudmarque – a bespoke open source reference architecture designed to unlock innovation across the industry.

CLPS was confident in our experience, skills and tried and tested approach, including a commitment to best-practice methodologies. We were able to provide the strategy, design, migration and implementation support needed to achieve a resilient server environment.

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