To strengthen its cybersecurity the Department for Health and Social Care has an agreement with Microsoft that will see NHS devices upgraded to Windows 10. This version of Windows 10 Enterprise licence, E5, is free and includes Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). ATP monitors the Microsoft Windows operating system on a PC or Laptop for abnormalities. If any malicious activity is detected an alert is immediately raised. And as ATP is a part of the NHS national system, the same alerts give a real-time NHS enterprise-wide view of the system status. Meaning threats can be dealt with straight away.
Who is Windows 10 Enterprise E5 with ATP available to?
The free Windows 10 Enterprise E5 licenses are available to any organisation delivering predominantly NHS funded care. This includes Trusts, CCGs, GPs, CSUs and ALBs. It also includes CICs and commercial providers who are providing IT services for NHS organisations. However, it is not currently available to local authorities, care homes, community pharmacies, dentists and opticians or independent sector provider non-NHS activities. The free E5 licenses are on a per-device subscription basis.
Licensing and Windows versions
To access the free licenses, a service agreement needs to be signed with Bytes, via email@example.com. However, this covers the cost of the licensing only and not the deployment and implementation of Windows 10 across your organisation. You are free to do the deployment in-house or with a partner of your choosing.
ATP can be used on all of Windows 7, 8 and 10 versions. If needed, licences can be downgraded but the functionality for Windows 7 devices is not as comprehensive or effective as it is for Windows 10.
As a part of the agreement, all NHS organisations that take the free licenses must commit to migrating from their current Windows estates to Windows 10 Enterprise by no later than 14th January 2020. This is also the date that Windows 7 will no longer be supported (no more updates or patches), which will be a cyber risk to the whole NHS.
Current Windows contracts
Microsoft will replace your current Windows licensing with the new NHS Digital national agreement.
NHS Digital recommend that you join the new service before your next annual payment date or renewal of your existing agreement as there will be no refund for the unused part of your current agreement. This means that you will not have to make any additional payments for the Windows software that you could get for free. Trustmarque can advise you further.
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Key terms of the Service Agreement
Eligible NHS organisations that sign up to the Windows 10 Enterprise service agreement are committing to certain terms which include:
- The agreement ends on 30th April 2023
- Accurate forecasts must be provided for devices installed/licences required, updated annually for Software Asset Management purposes
- ATP has to be implemented and maintained throughout the agreement
- Organisations agree to share their ATP information with NHS Digital Data Security Centre
- Terms of the national agreement with Microsoft must be adhered to
It should also be noted that perpetual licensing is not available after the agreement expires on 30th April 2023. Further details should be sought from the license provider.
How to deploy and roll out Windows 10
As upgrading to Windows 10 Enterprise has become a necessity for all NHS organisations, as it was from XP to Windows 7. In some organisations, there is a reluctance to migrate due to past experiences of previous version upgrades. Our simplified deployment process can help you, no matter which stage you are at, and our expert knowledge and tooling will speed up your deployment and implementation.
8 steps to deployment
- Strategy & Roadmap
- Assessment & Rationalisation
- Service Model Design
- Solution Build
- Migration Readiness
- Scheduling & Deployment
- Close Down & Operate
How can Trustmarque help?
Our Windows 10 Readiness Assessment has been developed to remove the guesswork from the preparation process for Windows 10 deployment. It provides an in-depth understanding of your current desktop environment and application portfolio to ease your transition to Windows 10. Watch our webinar and find out why you should consider Windows 10 and how you can prepare, accelerate and manage adoption quickly and efficiently.
Enabling Windows 10 Enterprise will help your organisation to:
- Enable IT to spend less time on day to day tasks
- Ensure greater data and user safety
- Control costs
- Increase efficiency through smoother working practices
- Enhance desktop management and reporting