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Merton council turns to virtualisation to support flexible working

System could enable the council to become a shared desktop provider to other London councils

The London Borough of Merton is deploying a virtualised desktop productivity system to reduce costs and provide 2,000 staff with a flexible working environment.

The Citrix-based system is being implemented by IT consultancy Thintech, the UK Citrix partner for outsourcer Capita.

The system not only allows staff to access critical applications from any location via any device, but will also enable the council to potentially become a shared desktop provider to other London councils, said Merton council.

Merton Council is deploying Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop technology to offer a range of desktop virtualisation technologies.

Used in combination with Citrix Receiver, XenApp and XenDesktop will allow Merton staff to benefit from bring-your-own-device schemes, using Android, iPhone and iPad devices to access work applications and documents on the move.

The council's use of Citrix NetScaler will also allow employees to access a cloud-based internal network where server-based resources and personal desktops can be securely stored.

"We have achieved significant efficiency savings through this initiative by consolidating office resources, meaning we now need fewer office buildings available for our staff to hot desk from," said Richard Warren, head of IT service delivery at London Borough of Merton.

"By consolidating our sites not only have we saved money on office space, we've also been able to reduce the management overheads associated with running the PC estate."

Warren added: "The flexibility this technology provides can subsequently allow us to share our systems with other authorities."

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