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Virtualisation speeds Revenue's apps roll-out

Arif Mohamed
The Inland Revenue is to use a software virtualisation platform to simplify and accelerate the deployment of some 600 applications used by its 70,000 staff.

The Revenue bought the virtualisation software to reduce its testing and deployment costs and to port its applications to a Citrix thin client system, which it is in the process of implementing.

IT services company Point to Point is implementing Softricity's Softgrid virtualisation platform, running on HP hardware, for the Inland Revenue.

Softgrid will enable the Revenue to test its applications in a "virtual sandbox", which does not affect PCs' registry or DLL files, and runs alongside the main PC infrastructure. The virtualisation software also transforms Windows applications into virtual services that can be centrally configured, managed and deployed.

"We expect to eliminate or vastly reduce co-existence testing, allowing us to deploy applications faster, more cheaply, and with fewer support issues," said Chris Scott, principal business analyst at the Inland Revenue.

Sean Fane, managing director at Softricity's UK distributor InterQuad, said, "The Inland Revenue had been spending enormous amounts of time regression testing applications before deployment to ensure they would not conflict with software already in use. They needed a much more efficient, reliable process."

Progress on the project was slowed as the Revenue transferred outsourcer from EDS to Capgemini in September.

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