Why the NHS should embrace a Windows 10 Managed Service

In April 2018, the Department of Health agreed a deal with Microsoft to license Windows 10 for use across the NHS.

However, whether Windows 10 is delivered and managed by in-house resources, or through an external supplier, is a decision still to be made by many NHS organisations.

Core’s NHS Windows 10 Desktop as a Service seeks to provide the NHS with a dependable, agile, cost-effective and secure IT experience, managing the deployment and maintenance of a secure Windows 10 service.

Here are some of the reasons your organisation should embrace Core’s NHS Windows 10 Desktop as a Service.

 

Mobile and flexible working

Core’s NHS Windows 10 Desktop as a Service is a Cloud-based managed service that provides the most consistent, secure and flexible modern IT desktop service available.

Core offer three bundled packages of this service, though the specific services included in each package can be purchased individually and mixed to suit the needs of an organisation. The bundles include varying degrees of desktop management, support desk and security features to meet different customer requirements:

  • Desktop as a Service Basic
  • Desktop as a Service Standard
  • Desktop as a Service Enterprise

All bundles are deployed with Windows 10 and Office 365 applications, integrating seamlessly together to provide a cohesive and flexible desktop experience. Users can therefore experience dynamic and modern desktops, with access to integrated Cloud services and remote log-in, minimising disruption and optimising workforce productivity.

Updates are included in all bundles, meaning new Windows 10 and Office 365 features are rolled out regularly. This allows optimal productivity for your employees on work devices in any location while maintaining enterprise-grade security around your services.

Employees can therefore work flexibly and consistently, meeting colleagues, contacts and patients at any time and place. Furthermore, the service is flexible across devices, so whether your employees are working on laptop, tablet or smartphone, they can enjoy a seamless, consistent and synchronised experience across all devices.

At an additional cost, Core can source the latest Microsoft Surface laptop and tablets, which have been designed to provide the maximum functionality and security from Windows 10 and Office 365. These devices vary in size, weight, battery life, performance and cost, allowing organisations to empower their employees with their ideal devices.

Although beneficial, it is not a necessity to invest in new hardware, and Core currently support organisations running Windows 10 on devices that are over five years old. Though some new functions and security features may not work on older devices, you will still enjoy more agile working and significantly improved protection than on Windows 7 or 8.

 

Windows 10 updates and third-party applications

Microsoft plan to make Windows 10 the last Operating System they ever release, with Windows being delivered as a service going forward.

This means Microsoft release gradual – but significant – updates in features and security every six months; a change from the conventional Windows changes made every few years. IT departments will therefore have to perform Windows 10 updates across all devices in their organisation more frequently, requiring a significant investment of time and resources to test and update.

If updates are missed or overlooked, your organisation’s Windows 10 build could be outside of Microsoft support within 12 to 18 months of deployment, significantly compromising security.

As part of the Standard and Enterprise bundles of Core’s Desktop as a Service, we undertake the process of updating devices with twice-annual Windows updates. We work with your organisation to ensure all devices are updated in a controlled and timely manner, resulting in an up-to-date, productive and secure service with minimal disruption.

Monthly security updates are also tested before they are implemented across all devices by Core, as are any patches released at short notice to protect against sudden threats to the system.

Furthermore, Core will test Windows updates alongside any third-party applications running on your devices, such as Sage or Adobe, before implementing across all devices. This is to ensure the functionality of these applications is not compromised. Any third-party applications will also be regularly updated by Core as part of the Desktop as a Service, ensuring they also contribute to maintaining your desktop service as the most modern and secure available.

Advanced Find

 

Flexible and cost-efficient

When updating IT services, organisations who choose to retain their services in-house are faced with the prospect of up-front expenditure to replace expensive software and infrastructure. There is also ongoing expenditure to consider, including the costs associated with training and replacing a large IT team and powering, maintaining and replacing equipment going forward.

With Core’s Desktop as a Service, these costs can be significantly reduced or removed entirely, with no upfront infrastructure or software deployment tools required. Instead, a predictable monthly cost delivers modern and up-to-date services to your organisation, which can be scaled up or down based on your usage and requirements. With a short lead time of between 2-10 weeks, Core’s Desktop as a Service offers organisations the ability to quickly deliver a consistent, reliable and secure desktop experience to all their staff.

Windows 10 Desktop as a Service pricing plans help organisations to balance need with cost, identify and adopt the level of support required. Variations include support desk availability, ranging from UK working hours only to 24/7 365 days UK based support, and whether to include 1st line support in addition to 2nd and 3rd line.

As a result, in-house IT resources will be released to perform more business-critical IT functions, while the time-consuming management of Windows 10 is performed by Core at a predictable and scalable monthly cost.

 

Certified and secure service

The primary motivation for the NHS upgrade to Windows 10 is security.

In 2017, more than a third of NHS Trusts in the UK were impacted by the Wannacry Ransomware attack, made worse due to outdated legacy systems unable to identify, withstand and repel the attack. This caused significant disruption to healthcare services and pushed the issue of NHS resilience and response to cyber-attacks high on the agenda.

Windows 10 is, by its own right, an operating system that has been built from the ground up with security in mind. Microsoft marketed Windows 10 as the last operating system they will release, meaning it is built to be evergreen and Microsoft engineers will be focused on improving the user experience, optimising the desktop and making Windows 10 the most secure Operating System available long term.

Core’s Windows 10 Desktop as a Service builds on the security Windows 10 offers, by effectively maintaining and updating the OS and enable robust and reliable security measures, including intrusion detection and prevention to help identify ‘zero-day’ threats.

All three of Core’s Desktop as a Service packages provide regular quality and security updates, while the Standard and Enterprise Packages also include twice-annual updates from Microsoft to guarantee the most modern and secure service possible.

Core’s Desktop as a Service is Cloud-based and therefore hosted in Core’s secure Azure data centres, all of which are Pan Government approved to ‘Official’ Level. Furthermore, Core’s Windows 10 Desktop as a Service build is penetration tested before handover to an organisation, ensuring the highest quality of security possible.

Core’s service desk support included in the Desktop as a Service utilises ISO 20000 best practices, are ISO 27001 compliant and the team are provided with ITIL Service Management best practice. Furthermore, Service Desk staff at Core are BPSS certified, with some SC Cleared.

 

Access to Core’s industry-leading knowledge, support and innovation

Core hold multiple Microsoft Gold Partner accreditations, demonstrating our status as an industry leading supplier of the latest technology services. We can therefore integrate Desktop as a Service with integral existing business systems, such as Active Directory, to manage user credentials and permissions.

Core’s solutions are approved and listed on G-Cloud 10, the procurement platform for the UK public sector. Having been listed on every iteration of the G-Cloud platform since 2013, we have worked with a range of public sector organisations to deliver future-proof, cost-effective and transformative technology services.

Core can also act as a single vendor for the service and support desk, simplifying processes for our customers.

As an SME, Core’s operational structure makes us a highly agile and accessible managed service provider, while our industry leading in-house expertise and innovation provides our customers with outstanding front-line service and support to embrace futureproof technology services.

Furthermore, our transparent and accessible operational structure makes senior management, including our Chief Operations Officer, a visible presence on every project.

Access to Core’s resources, expertise and innovation is a significant benefit to organisations in the Public Sector. Our experience designing, deploying and supporting a range of IT services for Central and Local Government, NHS Trusts and Blue Light Services has demonstrated our ability to work closely with the public sector to deliver significant and sustainable success.

Core’s NHS Windows 10 Desktop as a Service configures and deploys the approved Windows 10 base build to meet your organisational requirements, including build management, updates and Service Desk support direct to the users.

If you would like to discuss Core’s NHS Windows 10 Desktop as a Service in further detail, please send an email to Callum MacKay or call 020 7953 3609.

Core are an established and trusted technology supplier to the UK public sector, with our services approved and listed on the Government procurement portal, G-Cloud 10.

To browse Core’s services and offerings on G-Cloud 10, including the NHS Windows 10 Desktop as a Service, please click here.

Lucy Wright
Callum MacKay

Callum is the Business Development Representative for Core and is responsible for generating new business in the Not-for-Profit and Public Sectors. A Masters graduate in International Journalism from the University of Leeds, he has experience working for organisations delivering services for Public Sector contracts. A key aspect of Callum’s role is to undertake extensive research to develop and maintain an in-depth understanding of the aims, issues and challenges facing the Sectors he works with.

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