The Municipality of Voorschoten wanted to provide more flexible work arrangements for Municipality employees using IT applications. The Municipality decided to implement Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization, significantly reducing the administrative workload of Municipality IT staff while also improving employee mobility and application security.
Voorschoten is a town situated in the western Netherlands, enclosed by the cities of Leiden and The Hague. The Municipality of Voorschoten consists of a town council and municipal council led by the mayor and elected councillors. The Municipality has a workforce of 250 employees and provides local authority services to the 24,000 residents of Voorschoten.
IT staff at the Municipality of Voorschoten are responsible for providing all municipal employees with access to the applications they need. As a result, the IT team needs to manage a large number of desktop PCs, which used to be a significant challenge given that all applications at the Municipality of Voorschoten were subject to manual installation processes. As a result, IT staff at the Municipality spent much of their time performing the lengthy tasks of testing, packaging and installing applications on individual desktops. The process was further complicated by conflicts and compatibility problems which arose between applications.
The lack of application flexibility was obstructing plans to offer Municipality employees more flexible working arrangements. “We wanted to implement a hot-desking system in which part-time employees could move freely between departments on days when workspaces were over-crowded,” said Hassan Akhiat, Senior IT Policy Advisor, Municipality of Voorschoten. “However, the lack of standardisation of the applications found on different desktops made this impossible.”
The Municipality required a flexible solution which would reduce the workload of IT staff, solve application incompatibility issues and offer a high level of application security.
Working with Netflex, a Novell Partner, the Municipality of Voorschoten decided to implement Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization.
“We had already used a number of Novell solutions for Endpoint Management and felt that Novell technology fitted well with the infrastructure of our organisation,” said Akhiat. “We’ve been impressed with the stability and reliability of Novell products and support in the past, so Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization was the logical choice for us.”
With Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization, the Municipality of Voorschoten has already virtualized over 35 different applications which are now being run as standalone executables over the organization’s network. After testing, new applications can be distributed across large groups of desktops and run exactly as they would if they were installed locally.
ZENworks Application Virtualization applications run in an isolated environment immune to incompatibility issues. “One of the best features of ZAV is the virtual shield it creates to protect existing applications when new applications are added,” said Akhiat.
The Municipality of Voorschoten also implemented Novell ZENworks Suite to assist in the management of user devices. The IT department is now able to control the management of users’ desktops from one central point.
The ZENworks software has enabled IT staff to grant Municipality users access to applications on a per-group basis, meaning that employees have access to the applications that are tailored to their position within the organization. For example, the Municipality’s accounts department now has sole access to accounts-specific applications.
“By installing and managing software on the server and then distributing specific applications to specific groups of users we are greatly reducing the risk of unlicensed software use,” said Akhiat. “What’s more, the mobility of users has improved because employees can now log in on any screen in any department in the building and they will find a desktop with applications tailored to their particular user group.”