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Tech-enabled hybrid working at Kent County Council

Council partners with Cantium Business Solutions to deliver 9,000 Microsoft Surface devices to its workforce, reducing cost base while increasing performance. 

The Covid lockdown saw us all adapt quickly to new ways of working – and it looks like we’re not going back. For practical reasons, we often can’t entirely work from home but many companies and organisations now embed hybrid working models. There are advantages to employees such as convenience. And there are advantages to the employer such as cutting operational costs. 

Overhead view of two people at a table working with a Microsoft laptop and notebook

Photo by Windows

Kent County Council (KCC) is supporting hybrid working through a large-scale rollout of devices to staff. To do this, the council has partnered with public sector IT services specialist Cantium Business Solutions to design an end-to-end device provisioning solution that aligns with the Microsoft systems used throughout the organisation. 

Fully mapped device ordering automates the process from order to delivery and device setup. That means staff have devices at their door 48 hours after placing an order. On average, they are ready to work just 30 minutes after unboxing. To enhance user experience, a self-service model tracks the user’s devices from start to finish and keeps them engaged throughout.  

Cantium is now working with KCC to seamlessly integrate these new Surface devices with the organisation’s existing cloud and on-premises infrastructure. The initiative will enable the management of cloud-based devices and help the team to identify and resolve any application compatibility issues. In centralising device management through the service desk, issues can be identified before users are even aware of them. Fixes can be rolled out proactively, easing the burden on support desks, enhancing user experience and reducing the total cost of ownership.  

What’s more, analysis of processes involved in the device lifecycle rollout means that Cantium is able to manage relationships and responsibilities between the council and its existing vendors. It’s hoped that this will ensure the effective procurement, delivery and maintenance of the new Microsoft devices, as well as the retirement of outdated ‘legacy’ hardware.  

The project is currently being under way and has already delivered significant benefits including modernising systems and saving on costs. Enhanced security and access management has been achieved through Entra ID, VPN upgrades and an automated configuration management database. KCC expects to save up to 30% per device compared to its previous technology refresh programme, while at the same time improving device performance.  

Lisa Gannon, Director of Technology at Kent County Council, says: ‘The transition to Surface devices will resolve longstanding issues from ageing hardware and facilitate a ‘hands-off’ deployment and disposal process that aligns with our modern work practices. Cantium’s seamless collaboration with our team and proactive approach have garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback. We are confident that these new devices will deliver excellent value for money in the future.’  

Simon Austin, Director for Account Management and Corporate Services at Cantium, adds: ‘We have delivered a modernised IT support function for Kent County Council, that enables seamless hybrid working. Our unparalleled public sector enterprise expertise ensures that applications and infrastructure at the Council continue to work for all end users without interruption. This partnership highlights Cantium’s capability to successfully execute a programme of works and large-scale device rollout with the necessary technical expertise and experience.’  

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