Ede is centrally located between influential, urban networks, surrounded by the exceptional nature of the Veluwe and is easily accessible. The municipality has 108.000 inhabitants and is a strategic base from which to work, live, learn, study and leisure. In the coming years Ede is prioritizing four developments - Food Valley, Knowledge Campus Ede, the Veluwe Gate and a vibrant center - which Ede will position and distinguish themselves in 2025. The municipality of Ede has six locations and approximately 10 smaller branch offices with approximately 900 employees.
At the end of 2010 the municipality of Ede decided to make a start with new ways of working to deliver significant contributions to the development of the organization in terms of customer focus, collaboration, entrepreneurship and modern employer. Because the new work demands adjustments to the culture of the organization, management, housing and ICT, it was decided to carry out a comprehensive pilot first. "To facilitate the pilot, new desking must be completed from scratch within seven months, making maximum use of the existing infrastructure. The pilot had to include 250 employees and 100 applications and had to scale up the entire organization," said Peter Weersink, Information Architect at the municipality of Ede. "Desktop virtualization seemed the best solution for us to achieve the desired high degree of flexibility and to jump on trends such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Citrix XenDesktop clearly had the best credentials in terms of technology and supported devices. Because there were concrete plans to renovate part of the Town Hall in Ede, we could kill two birds with one stone: the introduction of a flexible ICT workspace and a flexible working environment in the renovated building."
Qwise, a Gold Citrix Solution Advisor and Citrix Authorized Learning Center, has built the environment and made it functional, with HP blade servers, an IBM SAN and Citrix XenDesktop to provide about 250 Microsoft Windows 7 workloads - approximately 50 per server. Citrix XenServer is used as a hypervisor since it is the best suited to the rest of the technology. Because the municipality of Ede has its own applications and much knowledge, it was decided to virtualize the applications for the VDI environment with Microsoft App-V. After delivery by Qwise the virtual infrastructure was transferred to the IT staff of the municipality of Ede and now it now performs management itself. For the majority of employees when logging on to the workstation the default is Windows 7 reconstituted from a golden image, which is supplied by RES Workspace Manager with App-V applications and personal settings. A small group of employees has a private image with admin rights and can self-install applications.
About a third of the town hall has been converted into a modern flexible working environment where employees find a place that suits the work they want to perform at that time. There are different types of flexible working environments: communication places, concentration areas and administration workplaces. Departments have their own zone, but within the department employees can work anywhere. Every workplace has its own living room and kitchen to have lunch and to celebrate birthdays. Private agencies personal belongings are stored in a safe place. Weersink says, "Existing fat clients desktop systems are reused and using self-developed scripts converted to thin client. The image of the flexible employment systems can therefore be managed in the same way as the image of the other fat clients. The only application on the desking is the Citrix Receiver and an internet browser."
The flexible workstations are shared by 250 employees who are located in the renovated building. Employees everywhere can quickly log on and work with their own applications and they see their own institutions. "We have calculated that we reduce the number of seats to 72 percent - so 72 workplaces, 100 employees - and one that we can dispose of the nuclear sites, which certainly leads to cost savings. Another advantage is that we save energy because fewer PCs are needed," continues Weersink. "The rest of the town hall will soon follow. We decided to virtual desktops with Citrix XenDesktop within our organization for all workplaces and therefore we grow to 700 virtual desktops. In buildings that are difficult to cultivate, such as city hall De Doelen, there are still new IT workstations with XenDesktop offered even though flexible working is not useful because housing in the building does not yet support flexibility. We create and help manage a unified and efficient environment that is fully prepared for flex work."
The Municipality of Ede presents itself as a modern employer, thanks to the possibilities offered by flexible working. The working environment and workplaces make an attractive environment for new and young employees, with plenty of freedom to work on their own devices, anywhere, anytime. Several employees are already taking their own iPad, Android tablet or MacBook with them. They use the WiFi network in the building to use these devices as "remote controls" for Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktops," said Weersink. "Desktop virtualization also creates a better balance between work and private life because it makes working at home simple. We want to promote the new structural work and telecommuting as part of the working conditions. Thanks to XenDesktop the corporate workplace is safe, and easy to use at home in the same way."
The business case for desktop virtualization in the municipality of Ede was very clear: the organization wanted to create a high degree of flexibility for employees and for the organization. As the staff desktops now based on Citrix XenDesktop are running virtual in the data center, they can be used very efficiently and easily at any location. "For small - temporary or otherwise - offices and ambulatory functions the Citrix solution is ideal. Think of district administrators as an entry point for citizens to act for public space management, employees visit customers' homes for social support or hospitals where we occasionally open a desk. But also for the provision of information and applications the collaborative virtual desktop is an appropriate solution. The regional implementation service must issue permits, for example, as a result of the new law, Working To Power (WWNV), social service given new tasks in child care from 2013 now have access to our systems," concludes Weersink. "Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktops has opened our borders, we facilitate our systems, we are decisive and we have flexible and future-proof workplaces."
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