University of Birmingham adopts User Virtualization Platform from AppSense

In order to transform the way it manages its desktop estate and enable a wide scale Windows 7 migration, the University of Birmingham is deploying AppSense’s User Virtualization Platform (UVP) across 5,400 staff and over 35,000 student users. The phased deployment of the AppSense UVP will provide a consistent yet flexible experience across the wide and varied user base as well as enhanced security throughout and beyond the migration.

The University of Birmingham is one of the world’s leading universities and aspires to be amongst the very few premier global universities. The University is achieving this goal through the excellence of its research and teaching, as well as the quality of staff, exceptional nature of its graduates and world-class IT provisioning. 

As an education provider it is vital for the University of Birmingham to provide its staff and students with secure, high quality, consistent, access to the applications they need at any time.  By using the AppSense platform to underpin migration of user profiles and data from the University’s current legacy systems to the new locked down Windows 7 platform, the downtime and inconsistent user experiences usually associated with moving users to a new platform will be avoided.

Operating on disparate systems while the migration to Windows 7 is underway makes this increasingly complicated as the IT department has to manage multiple end-user profiles while moving between systems. By separating the user from the system and providing persistent personalisation with the AppSense UVP, the IT department can resolve this issue seamlessly, while increasing security through proper management of services and user rights. Once migration is complete the AppSense Management Suite will be used to manage application policy and user profiles of both staff and students, providing sufficient flexibility to deliver customised environments where required, irrespective of their location.

Rob Arnold, Head of Customer IT Support at University of Birmingham said: “Ensuring a consistent user experience for our staff and students regardless of the platform they’re using and where they are using it from is essential. AppSense enables us to deliver this to our staff and student body during the migration phase and beyond –AppSense UVP will facilitate a shift to a more user-centric model that not only supports our current needs, but also provides the means for IT to enable a strategic transformation of the ICT infrastructure in the future, helping us to deliver an even better user experience via core experience consistency and a robust locked down environment. The advanced delivery features that AppSense provides us with will become increasingly important as students and staff become more mobile – the number of people wishing to bring their own devices is increasing – the segmentation of the end-user experience that AppSense allows us to implement makes effectively supporting this array of devices achievable.”

Nigel Wilson, Corporate & Channel Sales Manager at AppSense UK & Ireland, said: “Within Universities, as with any large scale organisation, the challenge to improve user experience and provide consistency across multiple devices and operating systems remains one of the biggest headaches.  A traditional device-centric IT is becoming redundant as tech-savvy users demand to use their own devices.  It is a pleasure working with the team at the University of Birmingham to help them realise its ambitions as they transform their services for both staff and students to a more user-centric approach.”

Rollout of the AppSense Management Suite will begin in the summer of 2012.