- Company rationalises apps from 6,700 to under 1,000 across 15,000 machines
Centrix Software’s WorkSpace iQ, one of the company’s innovative workspace management solutions, has given ACCESS LLP (the joint venture between Scotland’s largest local authority, Glasgow City Council and Serco) the detailed application usage analytics needed to deliver an accurate price and project timeline for Glasgow City Council’s 11,500 end-point Windows XP migration project.
Over years the council’s environment had become increasingly complex and distributed with no real view of the breadth and depth of the application estate. This made it difficult to plan the move from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7 and Office 2010. With application packaging being one of the most time consuming and expensive parts of a Windows migration project, the ACCESS team needed to rationalise the list of applications and accurately identify which apps were really being used and needed to be migrated.
Centrix Software was recommended by ComputaCenter, ACCESS’s partner, as the best solution to provide the real-time usage analytics data required for this task.
A user-based manual audit, undertaken before the Centrix solution was selected in late 2012, had identified 2,000 discrete applications in use. Within a few weeks of WorkSpace iQ being installed, the software identified 6,700 different apps being used including 83 versions of Adobe Reader and 40 paid for Adobe applications - a huge opportunity for consolidation, rationalisation and cost saving. WorkSpace iQ also enabled the project team to highlight several Line of Business apps with potential Windows 7 compatibility issues which had not been identified in the initial audit but that needed to be treated as high priority.
Having access to detailed app usage analysis has helped the project team to validate the requirements of each council department and every end-user, a task that had not previously been possible. The team now expects to be able to submit the full migration proposal to the council for approval in November 2013 leaving enough time to prioritise and migrate the most critical apps by the 8th April 2014 migration deadline.
“The application usage data acquired through WorkSpace iQ has helped tremendously with our Windows migration project. Initially we thought we had around 2,000 applications in use at Glasgow City Council but the information that Centrix Software provided shows that, in reality, we had closer to 7,000. Analysing usage and taking this data to each council department has enabled us to cut the Windows XP app packaging requirement to just fewer than 1,000. The usage information has been vital and has saved us an enormous amount of time getting us to a point we would never have got to without the tool,” said Faye Shaw, Commercial Director at ACCESS.
“As well as finding multiple copies of apps from suppliers such as Adobe that we could rationalise, we were surprised to find quite a few apps that had not been identified for migration because the users had only told us about the 5 or 6 apps they used every day,” adds Shaw. For example we identified a shift management system that was used on only 48 machines but was vital for scheduling a number of key council shift workers, it transpires that this is a Microsoft Access database which may provide additional migration challenges. As an added benefit, we have been able to enhance the policing and compliance of the council’s IT estate by ensuring that all software used is correctly licensed and managed.”
“When running a large migration project, it’s easy to look across an estate and tick all the big boxes by focusing on the major applications” continued Shaw. “But there are lots of business processes and specialised apps that only a few people know about that users take for granted and this is where the real risk lies. Without the Centrix Software solution and access to their hugely experienced data analysis and manipulation team, reaching the deadline would have been very challenging.”
Lisa Hammond, CEO at Centrix Software said: “By working closely together with the ACCESS team and enabling them to understand, interpret and prioritise Glasgow City Council’s application usage data, we could help them to overcome and reduce the size of the perceived migration mountain. It’s wonderful to see complex migration projects solved by having access to accurate and real-time app usage data.”
As the project is currently at its mid-way point, exact savings are not yet known, but Shaw anticipates “significant savings” as well as a continued commitment to Centrix Software, following completion of the main Windows migration project in April 2014.
“Centrix has delivered a great amount of estate management data which we have not yet utilised and it’s this element that we see helping us with our plans to move towards virtualisation - for example enabling us to identify which users would be best served by a virtualised desktop and which need to have directly installed applications. We also believe the data that WorkSpace iQ can provide will help us to manage the peaks and troughs of end-user login and password re-set requests, as well as providing some valuable data sets that will help drive further efficiencies,” concludes Shaw