The South African government’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (DIRCO) approximately 3500 computer users across the world were on the Windows XP platform. After vigorous testing of various desktop operating system platforms, the Department’s IT team was firm on deploying Windows 7 as the preferred desktop solution for their enterprise.
“With so many sites in so many countries abroad, we needed a solution that would not require expenditure on hardware upgrades, but that would help our users be as productive as possible without compromising on security,” says Victor Mbulugeni of the Department’s IT Operations.
“While we want to comply with Government’s stance on open source, we had to assess what the people we work with have done,” adds Lillian Phahla, DIRCO’s CIO.
“DIRCO is internationally based, while the majority of other government departments are local, and we had to make sure that our various sites had access to support infrastructure.
”DIRCO had an existing Premier contract with Microsoft, and when the company approached the Department in August 2009 to discuss the soon‐to‐be‐launched Windows 7, the IT Operations team was very receptive to a solution that would offer great value for money, and that would not require any hardware upgrades.
“Like many government departments, DIRCO was striving to be more efficient with limited resources and it wanted a solution through which new software and applications could be rolled out quickly and effectively, with minimum support required,” says Joel Chacko, Account Technology Strategist at Microsoft.
“They tested the beta versions of Windows 7 extensively, and also went to great lengths to investigate the stability of Office 2007. They also considered – and chose – Windows Server and Systems Centre, which they now use to deploy Windows 7 remotely to their sites across the world.”