IGEL has provided the tech to allow 4,500 Scottish staff to work from home [WFH] through its ‘Office in a Box’ system.
Most of Standard Life Assurance’s customer-facing teams are based in-office and use desktop PCs with dual monitors to carry out work tasks.
In response to the pandemic, a large percentage of the staff from the firm’s Edinburgh offices needed to move to a home-working environment.
IGEL’s team implemented the “easy to use, secure and centrally managed” system, to allow staff to access their normal CRM applications to support customers.
Commenting on the news, Kevin McVitie, Technician, IT Service Operations, Phoenix Group, said: “When we started looking at how to deliver WFH, we considered purchasing more laptops.
“The business had about 1,200 but – to cater for 4,500 employees – we struggled to buy more given the increased demand for laptops from organisations globally. And as many staff didn’t have appropriate endpoints at home, this drove us to look at how we could repurpose our existing estate of PCs which were now sitting idle in the office.”
IGEL OS has been used to convert the office PCs into ‘locked down’ endpoints which then connect to Citrix Workspace. Staff have then been provided with an IGEL OS-powered desktop, two monitors, keyboard, mouse, Ethernet cable and headset.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do,” added John Kerr, Senior Delivery Manager, IT Service Operations, Phoenix Group. “It was vital to us that we ensured continuity of service for our customers and ensured that all our teams were set up for success, to work from home.
“With normal large scale IT projects, we may take several months to agree requirements, review the market, build a solution and undertake operational and end-user testing.
“Responding to coronavirus, we knew we had just weeks to be ready to ‘go live’ which is why we came up with the ‘Office in a Box’ idea.”
Delivering WFH also highlighted that some colleagues didn’t have fast enough broadband to underpin a stable service. For those needing it, a dongle providing 4G mobile broadband was also provided.
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McVitie added: “To facilitate our WFH deployment, IGEL Cloud Gateway is used to connect and manage all the home-based devices not on our corporate network.
“We’ve used Cloud Gateway before so we knew the platform worked well and, in conjunction with IGEL OS, that’s why we were confident we could implement ‘Office in a Box’ so fast and reliably for the business.”
Moving forward, ‘Office in Box’ hardware will remain with employees, meaning irrespective of whether they work at home in the future or come into the office, they’ll have access to the same applications.
Ken Dougan, IGEL’s regional sales manager for Scotland, said: “The whole idea behind delivering an IGEL OS-powered PC was simplicity – the user can’t get anything wrong.
“They don’t have to worry about installing Citrix, thinking about what version they have and there’s nothing to break either because all the endpoint does is present them with a familiar login screen.”