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Posted: 8/16/2013
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Young Enterprise Charity Uses Hosted Desktops to Share Files, Access Systems, and Boost Collaboration

The United Kingdom (UK) charity Young Enterprise wanted a hosted desktop solution for 128 users, having decided to centralise IT provision. Hosted desktop cloud service firm Nasstar provided all users with secure, well-managed Microsoft Office, stored on the Nasstar EMC solution. Young Enterprise staff now collaborate more effectively, plus the organisation doesn’t need to invest in new physical infrastructure thanks to the pay-as-you-go model.

Business Needs

Young Enterprise, the largest business-led education charity in the UK, was founded in 1962. In its 50th-anniversary year, it worked with 200,000 young people aged between four and 25 years, across a network of 5,000 schools, colleges, and universities. The not-for-profit organisation was previously split into 10 regions, each with autonomy over IT and no centralisation, but in March 2011, it became a single national charity. Around 67 per cent of the charity’s staff work from home. With a flexible working IT solution in place, these people would benefit greatly—allowing them to collaborate and handle workloads more effectively.

However, different regions within Young Enterprise had diverse providers and solutions. The North West England region had adopted Nasstar Hosted Desktop in 2009. Other regions had different providers and solutions or hosted dedicated systems. Young Enterprise needed to centralise all its data and standardise the user experience so the different regions could easily share templates and work from the same documentation with agreed procedures.

Sharon Davies, Chief Operating Officer, Young Enterprise, says: “Previously, across the UK, we had a diverse range of systems, which were hampering productivity and collaboration. After coming together as a single charity, it was important to support our staff across the organisation to feel part of the new national structure. Having a standardised IT system was critical to that outcome. We wanted to centralise each region’s data on a global shared drive.”


Nasstar, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market, provides Hosted Desktop—a cloud computing service whose subscribers access their desktops, applications, and data in the cloud. Hosted Desktop is a highly scalable service that provides benefits including anywhere access to computing, and a standardised, corporate desktop solution that can be accessed globally and in multiple languages.

Charles Black, Chief Executive Officer, Nasstar, says: “We are proud to build on the successful relationship we have with Young Enterprise, having started working with the charity in its North West England region. I have had the privilege of judging the Young Enterprise regional awards and have seen the tremendous work that’s carried out. The children in schools across the country who have been encouraged to create their own businesses are inspiring.”

Nasstar Hosted Desktop is a server-based solution, giving each user a remote hosted desktop, published using Citrix XenApp with Microsoft Office 2010 and hosted Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Nasstar Hosted Desktop includes each user’s My Documents and shared data, all stored on the Nasstar multiple data centre EMC storage solution.

Nasstar Hosted Desktop provides a solution where users can log on using any device—personal computer, laptop, Mac, smartphone, or tablet. They can securely log on from home and reach the Hosted Desktop system, fully integrated with the Microsoft Office productivity suite with shared files. The project was delivered in November 2012.

Black says: “Users can reach their core business applications such as Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Exchange 2010 email messaging through Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access, as well as the shared drive of data for the organisation.”


With Nasstar Hosted Desktop, Young Enterprise users have achieved a significant productivity increase thanks to the familiar Windows environment and shared central data source. Plus, instead of having to invest in a new physical infrastructure, Young Enterprise has access to the most up-to-date versions of Microsoft desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis through the cloud.

Shared file server results in biggest productivity gain. The shared file server available from Nasstar Hosted Desktop is the biggest productivity gain for Young Enterprise. Davies says: “In the North West England region, we had a really good experience with Nasstar Hosted Desktop. Now we have rolled it out nationwide, the shared file server is undoubtedly the biggest benefit in bringing the organisation together.”

Home-based staff can reuse templates and sample documents. With two out of three staff working from home, Nasstar Hosted Desktop has made it easier to collaborate and share presentations. Davies says: “Users can reuse templates and sample documents rather than having to create new ones on a region-by-region basis.”

Familiar Microsoft desktop technologies improve user satisfaction. Young Enterprise staff greatly appreciate the standardisation achieved with Nasstar Hosted Desktop. It delivers familiar Microsoft productivity tools such as Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Exchange with Office Outlook Web Access for remote working. Black says: “Other solutions would have cost far more and provided less flexibility for a workforce that is largely based at home.”

Charity avoids the need to invest in new physical infrastructure. Davies says: “The Nasstar Hosted Desktop makes a great deal of sense for us because it establishes and centralises the IT function within what is now a national organisation. It was an important element in making our people feel part of a national structure. Hosted desktop does that and avoids the need for Young Enterprise to divert capital resources into IT.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 128 employees

Organization Profile

Young Enterprise is the United Kingdom’s largest enterprise education charity for aspiring entrepreneurs. In 2011, it became a national charity by merging 10 regional operations and centralising infrastructure.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Suites
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft System Center 2012
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Office 2013 suites

Vertical Industries
Charities & Philanthropic

United Kingdom