Statistics NZ has deployed Fujitsu’s Citrix-based Government Desktop-as-a-Service (GoDaaS) to enable secure access to critical applications for its users and for real-time data collection.
GoDaas is based on Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, XenMobile, Workspace Suite, NetScaler and ShareFile. It was developed specifically for the NZ Government and added to the DaaS Common Capability panel in March 2015, following the Department of Internal Affairs entering into Common Capability ICT Agreements (CC-ICTs) for the purchase of Desktop as a Service (DaaS) with four vendors in November 2013.
The others were Datacom Systems with VMware and Citrix based offerings, Dimension Data with a system based on Desktone, and Telecom NZ with offerings based on VMware and on Desktone.
According to Fujitsu, after remodelling its offices to “create a dynamic workplace and selecting technology to free its users from their desks and devices,” Statistics NZ was about to start the GoDaaS deployment when the November 14 2016 earthquake destroyed its head office, and cut off access to IT systems.
Fujitsu said a six month rollout had been planned but within four days of the earthquake, “thanks to Fujitsu GoDaaS, all 1,000 staff had a modern desktop environment that they could access from anywhere on any device.”
Fujitsu said its offering had been chosen over others available on the panel “because it delivered the outcomes the organisation needed: seamless user experience, multi-tenant security, agility and elasticity.” Fujitsu said it had already sold the service to four other NZ Government agencies where it supports more than 3,400 users.
According to Fujitsu, by the time people had started thinking about work again after the earthquake the GoDaaS service was ready. “Most importantly it meant that Statistic’s staff could work from anywhere, enabling them to stay at home with their families during the weeks of aftershocks that followed.”
Going forward, Fujitsu said GoDaaS would revolutionise the way in which Statistics NZ runs the national Census. “Previously the process involved building a system two years ahead, testing it at small scale and locking down the technology for twelve months. Now Statistics NZ can continue development and testing much closer to the Census date, enabling far greater innovation and use of current technologies.”
It added: “For a Census surveyor, this means they won’t need to carry kilogrammes of papers as they visit every house in New Zealand. Instead, they will have access to published applications on a mobile device that tracks the distribution of Census papers online and provides real-time instructions to the surveyor to direct them to houses that haven’t been contacted.
“When the surveyor returns to their local field office, or home, they can complete their daily workflow using the same application but on a larger device that enables easier content entry and review. This makes for a more accurate and inclusive Census, which will provide vital data to help grow the New Zealand economy.”