The Charity Commission is working with Computacenter to deploy a new Microsoft Windows and Office XP desktop infrastructure across 600 seats.
The body aims to change its service desk approach and improve its network with the deployment, part of a five-year, £6m managed services contract it signed with Computacenter in April.
Following the desktop and network deployments, the commission expects to embark on a web services project.
As the charity registrar and regulator for England and Wales, the Charity Commission monitors and advises some 190,000 charities on a range of issues such as regulation and modernisation.
"Our overall corporate objective was to increase confidence in our sector," said Kevin Chown, the commission's information systems controller. "We wanted to be in a position where our information systems could be an enabler of business change."
The Windows/XP environment is intended to provide a stable and consistent level of service and quality. "We have an online service strategy where we want to enable our customers to interact with us online," explained Chown.
The commission expects to have completed the upgrade of its network with a Cisco internet protocol telephony solution, as well as the first phase of its desktop deployment, by February 2004.
"We needed an infrastructure that would support our pattern of business change and deliver a stable, robust and flexible infrastructure that left us open to the option for staged, controlled change in the future," said Chown.
Computacenter is also managing an in-house team of civil servant IT specialists for the Charity Commission's voice and data work. An external project manager is handling the desktop rollout.
The arrangement "delivers economies of scale while working in a collaborative way", said Chown. "We wanted a tailored, bespoke service, but at the same price as a catalogued one."
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