Gloucester City Homes has adopted a virtual desktop infrastructure so its staff can work more flexibly and respond faster to customer issues while in the field.
The social housing firm has partnered with cloud and networking services provider Exponential-e, which is supporting the organisation’s digital ambitions by providing it with access to a scalable, and fully managed 100-Gbit Ethernet connection.
This will be used to ensure all of the company’s staff can make use of their corporate desktop resources from any device or location as Gloucester City Homes works towards becoming a “digital-first” operation by reducing its reliance on paper-based forms.
The partnership marks a new chapter in the company’s approach to technology, which has seen it steadily take more responsibility for running its own IT over the course of the past decade, added Lee Wade, CEO of Exponential-e.
“Since its foundation in 2005, Gloucester City Homes has undergone a massive amount of change,” said Wade.
“It has successfully transitioned from operating as an arm’s length management organisation, with all its ICT infrastructure and services being provided by the local council, to an independent body with complex back-end demands controlling everything from renewing tenancy agreements to managing burst drains,” he said.
Lesley Williams, head of IT at Gloucester City Homes, said the company and its staff have already begun to reap the benefits of adopting this new way of working.
“Staff can move from a desk to a meeting room to home and pick up their desktop in exactly the same state they left it. This makes a huge difference and provides us with an opportunity to deliver better assistance,” said Williams.
As an example of this, Williams cited the ease with which it was recently able to renew the tenancy agreements of 5,200 of its clients during its technology breakup with the council.
“Previously, this would have been a manual, paper-based process,” said Williams.
“However, the flexibility of the infrastructure means we have been able to use a combination of mobile and laptops to run events that allow people to refresh their agreements from designated locations throughout the city – something that was more convenient for our tenants and enabled more efficient processing,” she said.
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