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October 11, 2013

Scottish Government transforms delivery of citizen services using Windows 8 tablets

Key Government employees equipped with mobile technology to improve information access and collaboration whilst 'on-the-move' in initial pilot project.

By Duncan Macrae

The Scottish Government has set out its vision to transform the delivery of public services, such as the operation of government and the support of Scottish Ministers, by providing staff with Windows 8 tablet PCs.

Using Windows 8 tablet PCs, civil servants will be able to provide more efficient and effective public services, whilst ‘on-the-move’, enabling staff to meet and interact with citizens, wherever they are, and work much more flexibly.

Windows 8 will be offered on the Samsung Series 7 Slate, Dell Latitude 10 and Samsung ATIV, to key employees enabling them to work on-the-move, anywhere. Microsoft System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager was also selected to centrally manage the devices easily and efficiently.

"The decision to move to Windows 8 was driven by a need to support greater mobility of staff following several consultations. Our long term ambition is to transform the way Scottish Government employees and our shared service customers can collaborate, access and use information applications with mobile access, both online and offline, from virtually anywhere in the UK," said Andy McClintock, CTO at the Scottish Government.

"Greater mobility provides staff with the capability to work beyond the traditional boundaries of government buildings and engage with stakeholders and the public which is incredibly important to us.

"This has been multi-year journey where we have incorporated technology, investment, and efficiency, within the context of financial constraints and evolving government strategies including a consolidation of our buildings estate"

Microsoft Gold Partner, Trustmarque, delivered a proof of concept (POC) to deploy a fully-customised Windows 8 solution.

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Mark Garrity, head of UK public sector at Trustmarque, said: "The success of this POC is testament to the enduring strength of partnership between Trustmarque and Scottish Government. At every step of the process we have engaged and listened to the Government’s requirements and provided our expertise to deliver a solution to achieve their vision; of enabling flexible working and improving productivity for employees, whether they are at home, in the office, or on the road."

The POC also involved Microsoft User Experience Virtualisation to assist with roaming profiles and to allow users with log on to any computer on the same network and access their documents maintaining a consistent desktop experience.

Chris Forrest, director of Microsoft Scotland, said: "The Scottish Government has recognised the importance of being able to empower staff to work flexibly and in the community. By improving information access to employees whilst on the move, the Scottish Government can get closer to citizens, wherever they are, and deliver stronger, more effective public services. This is an exciting pilot project with great future potential."

Two key groups of staff participated in the pilot project including 20 key government executives and 20 technicians. The Scottish Government’s long term vision is that the work-anywhere goal extends throughout the organisation.

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