Point to Point restores enthusiasm for NATS future workspace vision
Desktop, application and virtualisation specialists, Point to Point, have just announced the successful completion of a discovery project which will enable National Air Traffic Service (NATS) to move to a new virtualised desktop environment. NATS enlisted the help of Point to Point for the discovery portion of the project through the deployment of a slimmed down desktop virtualisation system designed to illustrate the tangible benefits of virtualisation to senior management.
NATS is a leader in air traffic management, providing air traffic control services for 15 major airports covering UK and eastern North Atlantic airspace. NATS was looking to improve the IT user experience by introducing greater flexibility and remote working facilities, while also future-proofing the IT environment to support the business’ growth ambitions.
Gavin Walker, Head of Information Solutions for NATS, comments: “We have 6000 employees across the organisation including operational, technical and general office workers, who all have varied user profiles in relation to their use of IT. Operational staff do not have dedicated desks, phones or PCs, but they do need access to IT services for general admin tasks. Technical engineering and development teams work across multiple sites and need remote access. The business also has an ambitious growth strategy, which includes expansion into new international regions, the introduction of new services and partners, and possible M&As. Therefore the ability to scale at a fast pace was also a key requirement.”
After careful consideration of the technologies available, NATS recognised that desktop virtualisation, which allows remote access to the corporate network from anywhere at any time, would be the right solution. Additionally, it was vital that the technology could be delivered through the cloud to enable the company to scale as and when required. The project would also include providing a connection to a role based computing view with integrated Identity Management to help the company deploy services and applications based on user profiling to further improve the user experience.
NATS started working with Point to Point in November 2011 and has now completed the planning and discovery stage of the project. Point to Point conducted a thorough examination of NATS IT environment, which involved testing applications, assessing the company’s long-term business plans and profiling the user-base to ensure the technologies suggested would be compatible with the IT environment.
Walker comments: “Point to Point worked very closely with us making site visits, talking to our staff, and didn’t just rely on empirical evidence to understand how we work. The discovery work was superb. Point to Point made it very clear what was achievable and what wasn’t, and presented us with various options along with supportive information outlining the different paths we could take. There was no pressure to choose one specific vendor or technology, they just gave us the pros and cons for each.”
Point to Point was also able to deliver a scaled down version of the planned desktop virtualisation system with Office 2010 called ‘Springboard’. Springboard was rolled out to 100 people across the organisation including the CEO and most of the executive team. “Getting stakeholder investment can be a challenge as IT is seen to be taking money away from the bottom line. Springboard helped us to demonstrate immediate results and provided an indication of what the system would be able to do once in place - and people have been raving about it! It has got the team enthusiastic about the project again which is fantastic.”
Established in 1992, Point to Point has been a Citrix partner since the 1990s and was one of the first Platinum Partners in the UK. Today, Point to Point is totally vendor independent and will give customers an informed but impartial view on their desktop and application strategy. It is involved in developing an organisation’s application and desktop management strategy and depending on the outcome, technology implementation may or may not be involved in the solution.
The Point to Point team is highly skilled and qualified. Over the years Point to Point has been first to market via a number of large-scale deployments involving desktop and application virtualisation, including the first mission critical Citrix implementation in Europe, which developed to also become the largest implementation in Europe.
Point to Point has the customer proof points to support its assertions and can demonstrate the value it delivers to organisations, including household names such as: Premier Foods, St James Place, Surrey Police, Easyjet, and Rabobank to name but a few.
To find out more please visit the Point to Point website at: www.ptop.co.uk. Or follow them on Twitter:
NATS is the UK’s major provider of Air Traffic Management (ATM) services, handling 2.1 million flights in 2010, covering the UK and eastern North Atlantic. NATS provides air traffic control from centres at Swanwick, Hampshire and Prestwick, Ayrshire. NATS also provides air traffic control services at 15 of the nation's major airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, together with air traffic services at Gibraltar Airport. NATS was the first ATM provider in the world to set an environmental target to reduce CO2 emissions for aircraft under its control by an average 10% per flight by 2020.
NATS is also the first ATM provider to develop and implement an environmental measure as part of its regulatory framework. The UK/Ireland Functional Airspace Block, established in 2008 as part of the Single European Sky initiative, has already delivered more than €43m in fuel savings and expects to deliver savings in terms of fuel burn and delay reduction exceeding €300 million by 2020. NATS has tested the “perfect flight” in which every element of the journey – from pushback, taxi and continuous climb to an optimised flight profile and continuous descent approach – was calibrated to achieve minimal emissions and delay, saving around 11% of the normal fuel burn. Raising the TA will provide more opportunity for this to be replicated in normal operations.