No hold ups for Network Rail £10m desktop upgrade

Network Rail has completed one of the UK’s largest desktop upgrade programmes, moving 17,500 users, in more than 460 locations to the latest versions of Microsoft Office applications running on Windows XP/SP2.

Network Rail has completed one of the UK’s largest desktop upgrade programmes, moving 17,500 users, in more than 460 locations to the latest versions of Microsoft Office applications running on Windows XP/SP2. 

The eight-month programme was completed with no down time to the business, on time and under budget, the railway infrastructure company said.

In addition, some 8,000 new PCs and laptops were distributed and 490 applications were tested and rolled out to users. This represented a 50% cut in the number of applications on the Network Rail desktop.

Joe Van Valkenburgh, director, information management said, "This was a challenging programme.  Others have failed to roll out XP this year, but we found a way to do it by having the right team and partners, with a clear objective, empowerment and proper support. We are already seeing the benefits by way of a reduction in the demand on our support teams”.

The successful company-wide XP implementation followed  last year's migration of 6,000 users, who joined Network Rail in 2004 when thousands of maintenance staff were brought into the Railtrack fold, onto a new XP based infrastructure

Iain Coucher, deputy chief executive, said, “Network Rail cannot be successful without becoming more IT literate, information knowledge dependant and IT enabled on a massive scale.  The success of our IM team and its partners in tackling large scale IT challenges helps our business move forward more smoothly and efficiently. The XP roll-out was an exemplary project in this respect”.

Network Rail used Siemens Business Services to build the new desktops and laptops and handle disposals and asset control.  Hewlett Packard worked with Network Rail’s IT team and its outsourcer Atos Origin to design the XP Professional and Office build for the desktop.

Consultancy Afiniti provided communications and project management support.

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