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Case Studies > The migration from old to new systems
Islington Peoples’ Rights
 

Overview

  • Organisation with years of under-investment required organisation wide workstation upgrade
  • Successful trial with handful of users built confidence in the system
  • Almost all work taking place behind the scenes, transparent to users
  • Minimal downtime, 0.5 day
  • Minimise cost, original LCD monitors used with Thin Clients that cost one third of the price of a traditional workstation
  • Smooth switchover; 0.5 day hardware swap over during quiet period in the office, another 0.5 day to induct users
  • Users ultimately migrated to faster experience, and given further capability of new MS Office 2007 system

Introduction
In 2007, IPR appointed a new chief exec. One of his first challenges in post was the under-investment on ICT by the organisation. Of their own accord, the organisation had opted for minimal ICT support / maintenance in previous years. The ICT had gradually dilapidated, and the organisation was now faced with five-year-old workstations that were beginning to fail / malfunction because of hardware problems. This in turn was causing problems for staff efficiency.

Recommendation
RJP recommended that the cheapest and most efficient way to migrate to a new, robust system with minimal downtime and disruption would be to move over to a thin client and terminal server solution. This was first trialled with a small number of users before rolled out throughout the organisation.

Trial & Testing
A ‘trial’ Terminal Server which had been currently serving a branch office was utilised to also serve a couple of ‘Thin Clients’ at the main office. End users were pleased with the swap, they were able to create more workspace on their desks and noticed few differences compared with their previous user experience on the system.

Over the next few months, IPR saw more workstations gradually expiring, and adding on Thin Clients, while quick, easy and cheap was beginning to put the ‘Trial TS’ under strain. IPR decided to purchase a new Terminal Server that would be able to accommodate the rest of the office. RJP were able to install, configure and test this new Terminal Server in the background, without affecting any end users.

The Big Switchover
When it came to ‘the big switchover’, RJP began the hardware swap on a Friday afternoon whilst most staff were out of the office. Any users in the office were requested to use the current Thin Clients. Old workstations were moved from their desks, and the new Thin Clients were put into place and plugged into remaining LCD screens. Configuration was copied from one ‘master’ machine, so all Thin Clients were correctly setup within 30 minutes.

On the following Monday, RJP were onsite to induct users, and also be on-hand to iron out any teething problems. The day passed without major incident, and according to IPR Chief Exec, Ahmad Butt; “A very smooth transition”

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