Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Dumps Microsoft SCCM and Expands Relationship With Novell to Increase Efficiency and Functionality

Trust calls on Novell solutions to help meet SLAs and virtualise over 250 apps.

13 November 2014

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has expanded its Novell estate and taken on more Novell solutions as it looks to manage an increased number of users following its recent insourcing of IT services for Community Services for East and Mid Devon.

The trust is now using Novell’s Service Desk and ZENworks Application Virtualisation (ZAV), as well as ZENworks Configuration Management (ZCM) and ZENworks Application Management (ZAM) to help reduce cost and efficiently manage over 5,000 devices, resulting in impressive savings in time and cost across the trust.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has over 4,500 staff providing both acute and community services to almost half a million people across an area of 1,300 square miles. This extensive footprint poses a rare challenge because as well as an acute location (a hospital), it also has many smaller facilities spread over a very large area. The trust’s lean IT resource is tasked with managing 4,500 users and over 5,000 devices, requiring a careful blend of best-of-breed solutions. “We carefully evaluate the cost, functionality, compatibility and scalability of every solution to see which will offer us the very best return on resource,” explains Mike Jones, CIO, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

The trust is using the following Novell solutions:

Novell Service Desk
After adding more users, the trust needed its service desk to become more responsive and quicker at dealing with new tickets. The team needed to manage much higher demand and accurately track how it managed and responded to requests for audit purposes.

The trust’s previous service desk solution and how it was configured couldn’t provide the visibility needed on SLAs and at times was not sufficiently resilient. When the solution went down, it took a long time to restore, and data could not be imported so it was difficult to keep it up-to-date. As user numbers and demand for the service desk increased, the previous service desk solution was struggling to manage increasing numbers of tickets due to its lack of sophistication and integration with other Trust IT Service Management solutions. “Novell Service Desk loads data from other sources so we don’t have to duplicate data entry, which saves time and increases accuracy,” explains Mike Jones, CIO, Northern Devon NHS Trust. “We’re trying to make the most of the lean resources we have, and in that situation sending IT support staff to the wrong location because of an error is bad news.

“Previously we were limited by the system, it felt like we were having to work around our old service desk rather than making it work for us. We looked at other solutions but the competitors didn’t offer any additional functionality. Now that we’re using Novell Service Desk we’ve seen immediate benefits such as fantastic clarity of reporting, easy core management timescales and simple and effective management of SLAs, all of which has brought us much closer to our customer base.”

ZENworks Application Virtualisation
Northern Devon NHS Trust supports around 250 applications in the acute environment, not including additional apps in use in its community locations. Most of the trust’s third-party apps require different software runtimes or application frameworks, which could result in compatibility issues. This was creating a substantial development and maintenance workload for the trust’s IT team and the time required to manage software conflicts was impacting its ability to deliver effective technical support services to the trust’s growing user base.

After looking at the other vendors like ThinApp from VMware and App-V from Microsoft, the trust chose ZENworks Application Virtualisation. “We’re really happy with the automation and control we get from ZAV,” said Mike. “We can now roll out multiple instances of conflicting applications without issues and in a fraction of the time and cost it would have taken us before ZAV. For past projects it would often take us weeks of development time to get a new application up and running, but today because everything is packaged up with ZAV, we can roll out new applications for our business users in a matter of hours or sometimes even minutes. With ZAV, we only have to develop once and we can roll out to 4,000 PCs. We estimate a time saving on development and maintenance of about 30 percent.”

With a PC in a ward used to run 25-30 apps throughout a single day, ZAV enables the trust to run apps in separate packages on the same PC running Windows 7 or Windows XP. “Trying to force a single operating system to run all the apps required, with different requirements would be hugely resource-intensive,” said Mike. “With ZENworks we don’t need to rush to install the latest operating system to use the apps we need because we can run apps in separate packages in the same instance on the same PC. This is a huge benefit, as is the fact that we can use ZAV to package up apps and push them out to all of our users across the whole organisation. Compare that to making a 70-mile journey to install an app on a PC and the savings in time and effort are obvious.”

As well as these Service Desk and ZENworks solutions, the trust is also examining Novell iPrint and Filr with a view to rolling out these solutions in the near future.

Press Contacts

Bret Fitzgerald
Novell, Inc
Telephone: (801) 861-5635

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