About Wyre Forest District Council
Wyre Forest District Council is in the north of Worcestershire and encompasses the three riverside towns of Bewdley, Kidderminster and Stourport-on-Severn, the surrounding rural countryside and several attractive market towns. This diverse district also boasts some major visitor attractions, including the Severn Valley Steam Railway and the West Midlands Safari Park.
The IT department at Wyre Forest District Council is committed to delivering a professional service to its 380 users across 4 sites. Headed up by the ICT Manager, Dave Johnson, the experienced team took the strategic decision to migrate its IT estate from a Novell platform to a Microsoft one, to address its enterprise security and management requirements. This substantial project involved the implementation of Microsoft System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM), which would enable them to manage and operate their infrastructure better.
“Our requirement was to have something that could help us roll out updated patches to servers, deliver software to the desktop, or basically patch the desktop,” explained Dave.
“SCCM was the most cost effective product on the market; it made sense to use it.”
By executing this project, the IT department wanted to:
- Adopt best practices in deploying new software architecture
- Standardise the IT estate on one scalable platform to improve capability and mitigate risk
- Optimise the IT software estate to make it easier to manage on a day to day basis OR
- Introduce efficiencies into the daily management of the IT software estate
- Control spending to save money
- Microsoft System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager
- Commercial Benchmarking
Extra flexible project support during and after deployment
In addition to the support from the engineer delivering the project, Wyre Forest District Council benefited from Trustmarque’s tailored Enablement Support Service. This is a highly flexible and responsive, virtual extension of the Council’s IT function. It seamlessly augments the existing support services, by offering technical assistance and expertise for specialist products or technologies where they lack the knowledge.
On time, on budget
The project delivery succeeded in meeting Dave’s expectations, with his goal of “on time, on budget” being met, thanks to the commitment from the Trustmarque staff involved. He commented: “These kinds of project sink or swim because of the engineer. If you’ve got a professional engineer who puts him/herself out if there’s problems, stays late if necessary, who’s prepared to go that little bit further just to keep the project on the rails, then a successful outcome is definitely on the cards, within time and within budget.”
Good, open communication lines means smooth project delivery
Since much of the project was executed remotely, it was important for Dave and his team to be in close contact with the Trustmarque engineers and consultants. “They did it mostly off-site, remotely, but obviously they kept in very close contact with my team,” he confirmed. “We also had regular feedback to say exactly what was going on. I didn’t have to keep going back to the engineer to ask when tasks were going to be completed. I was given unprompted feedback which, from a manager’s point of view, is just what I need.”
Future-proof, scalable infrastructure
Choosing to work with Trustmarque enabled Wyre Forest District Council to benefit from Trustmarque’s in-depth experience of implementing SCCM. The result was an infrastructure design that was scalable, which catered for further expansion and development, and was aligned to the business requirements. This has had a positive impact on productivity and the ability to deliver a high level of IT service to the users.
Dave explained that it will also facilitate a smooth transition from Windows XP to Windows 7 for the IT team and has greatly assisted with the daily operations, such as patching, remote control and reporting.
(Trustmarque are) professional and flexible. And good to work with really, we like working in partnership with them.-Dave, IT Manager, Wyre Forest District Council
Wyre Forest District Council had already purchased software licences through Trustmarque. Because of the existing strong relationship with their account manager, Dave was aware that Trustmarque could provide IT services to resolve business and technology challenges. He took advantage of these to deliver the SCCM project. Working with Trustmarque also made sense for the future: “Moving forward, they could offer support on our Microsoft Windows environment and other areas, such as Citrix.”
On-going hands on skills transfer throughout the engagement formed a key part of the Trustmarque delivery framework. It ensured that Dave’s team was supported, trained and confident in maintaining and improving the solution platform into the future – as well as offering a low cost of ownership.
“We like to work in partnership with any consultants we have on site and learn about the new software on the job,” confirmed Dave. “That’s exactly how it worked with Trustmarque during the SCCM project. We worked with the engineer, sat down with her, went through it all and did the build together, and that all worked well. There’s no point the engineer coming in, doing all the jobs, then walking away and we haven’t got a clue what to do with it.”