The newly-formed Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is providing staff with access to core business applications via a new Citrix thin-client environment developed in partnership with IT consultancy Centralis.
Bringing together the functions of English Partnerships, the Housing Corporation and some of the work of Communities and Local Government and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, the agency was launched in December 2008. During the transition to a single organisation, Centralis worked with English Partnerships which had identified the need to rethink how staff accessed standard business applications.
Having investigated the existing infrastructure during summer 2008 to establish what was suitable to be used and what needed to be scaled up, Centralis built a solution scalable up to 1000 users, based on Citrix’s XenApp and Netscaler products. 500 users went live with the solution in December 2008 during the first phase of the project.
HCA’s remaining 500 users will move to the new system during 2009. This second phase of the project will also cover the adaptation to the new Citrix environment of the specialist applications used by the former Housing Corporation.
Tina Hughes, ICT manager, Homes and Communities Agency, said, “The flexibility and scalability of our Citrix environment is central to our ICT strategy. The project’s fixed timescales meant that particularly close collaboration was required between the in-house team and Centralis. Excellent working relationships were established from the start, and we look forward to continuing to work with Centralis in future.”