Just in time for Olympics, London’s Tube Lines improves efficiency

31 July 2012 | Michele Bedford Thistle, Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

As many government organizations around the world face daunting budget restrictions, some are finding creative ways to cut their existing costs, while continuing to provide excellent service to citizens. These tactics include everything from migrating applications to a cloud environment to engaging in shared services between government departments and other agencies. However, today I’d like to highlight one example out of London, United Kingdom, that focuses on the cost-saving benefits of standardizing an enterprise IT environment.

Tube Lines, owned by Transport for London (@TFLofficial), is responsible for maintaining the Underground transit system’s Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly lines, which handle a total of 1.9 million passengers a day. With its employees dispersed across 45 locations in London, the organization faced administration challenges, and separately wanted to minimize the cost of upgrading its desktop and server environment.

To address this, Tube Lines standardized its IT environment on Microsoft enterprise technology and has committed to deploying Microsoft’s latest software. The move has enabled Tube Lines to take full advantage of its Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft, including low-cost volume licensing of software, and the organization is already seeing significant cost savings as a result. For instance, the company was able to replace expensive third-party security products with Microsoft equivalents that offer protection against malware and viruses. In addition, employees can install Microsoft software at home, which has reduced training costs since users become familiar with the tools and applications.

In all, Tube Lines has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds on new software costs as a result of the standardization and has lowered its operating costs by 70 percent.

As Adrian Davey, head of IT for Tube Lines stated, “Since 2005, Tube Lines has adopted a strategy aimed at standardising, simplifying, and lowering the cost of its IT infrastructure. Our long-term aim is to create a lean infrastructure where IT becomes a utility that’s easy to manage and provides a predictable and reliable service.”

That predictable service couldn’t come at a better time, especially as the 2012 Olympics are taking place in London this month! Tube Lines plays a key role in keeping the Underground running safely and on time, and these IT improvements will help the organization continue to achieve this mission even more efficiently. If you’d like to learn more about this project, I invite you to check out the case study with additional details.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

Michele Bedford Thistle
Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

About the Author

Michele Bedford Thistle | Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Michele is focused on sharing stories from government customers creating real impact for citizens, employees, economies, and students. She joined the worldwide team from Microsoft Canada, where she was also marketing lead for several technology start-ups.