NATS, the leading air traffic control organisation, is to implement a multi-million pound project to transfer all its desktop IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure. By creating a secure, virtual desktop environment the company expects to reduce costs by £9 million over the next four years, shrink its environmental footprint, improve flexibility and enhance the service it provides to around 6,000 staff.
This is the largest implementation of cloud-based infrastructure in the transport sector to date and will allow more effective collaboration between NATS staff and business partners across NATS locations, over multiple geographic regions. Staff will have access to the services, information and applications they need for their particular role, creating a customised experience.
The new service will be trialled with more than 300 users during 2011 and will be rolled out to all staff in the first half of 2012.
Gavin Walker, Head of IS at NATS, said: “This project is part of our Future Workspace vision and is crucial to the NATS growth strategy, providing us with a flexible and responsive IT framework that doesn’t add to our footprint. Staff will be able to access the applications they need, wherever they are, and will have a consistent experience regardless of the device they are using.”
NATS is working with Amor Group, who will deliver, host and manage the new service. Robert Mooney, Technical Director for Amor Group explained: “We are extremely proud to be working in partnership with NATS to make their Future Workspace vision a reality. Working with NATS Information Solutions for the last five years has allowed us to develop a clear understanding of its key business drivers, even as these have continued to evolve.”
The virtual desktop and application environment will be provided using the Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp suite of software, transforming desktops and applications so they can be delivered to any user on any device. James Stevenson, Area Vice President, UK, Ireland & South Africa, Citrix commented: “NATS is putting virtual computing technology at the heart of its business, to promote innovation, flexibility, mobility and agility across the organisation. This project truly embraces desktop virtualisation and the consumerisation of IT to create a working environment that will ultimately reduce costs, enhance employee productivity and deliver centralised IT services to staff.”
AppSense user virtualisation technology will provide NATS staff with personalised and compliant desktops. Paul Higley, VP for Northern Europe at Appsense said: “Our user virtualisation platform enables NATS to have a much more flexible and agile work environment, reducing costs and improving productivity. It will also ensure that NATS is future-proofed for further IT migration projects and changes in business operations.”
NATS has apologised to Heathrow Airport Ltd for not highlighting an operational change to air traffic control which has affected some of the same communities that were affected by the airport’s airspace trials which ended last November.
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