We’ve renewed our place on the G-Cloud 9 Framework

We’ve renewed our place on the G-Cloud 9 Framework

Big news! We’ve successfully renewed our relationship with the government’s G-Cloud 9 Framework for the supply of cloud software services and support for the fourth consecutive year. 

As part of the agreement, we offer a full range of services and support through the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Digital Marketplace to bolster cloud-based working across the public sector, including local government, health, education, not-for-profit and devolved administrations.

The CSS is a public sector organisation that acts on behalf of the Crown to drive savings for the taxpayer and improve the quality of commercial and procurement activity.

Our G-Cloud 9 Framework offering includes:

Cloud software services

– Adobe Creative Cloud.

– Managed fulfilment of Apple technologies and services.

Cloud support

– Apple audit services.

– Cloud help desk services and support.

– Active directory (AD) Apple integration cloud services.

– Hosted Apple management.

– Bring your own device (BYOD).

– Apple VPP (Volume Purchase Programme) service.

– Apple cloud consultancy services.

– Apple DEP (Device Enrolment Programme) consultancy services.

– iPhone and Apple Watch managed services.

– Tech bar services.

– Adobe Creative Cloud VIP programme.

If you’d like to find out more about each service and support solution, including scope, planning, pricing, implementation and much more, you can visit Jigsaw24’s section of the G-Cloud 9 Framework Digital Marketplace here.

Want to talk to us in more detail about cloud services and support, and the G-Cloud 9 Framework? Give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email gps@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Apple in the public sector: What makes Mac so great?

Apple in the public sector: What makes Mac so great?

Macs pack in some of the fastest, most advanced technology you can get in a notebook or desktop workstation. They’re backed up by powerful Intel processors and speedy memory, not to mention one of the world’s most stable operating systems. The chances are, if you’re currently using a PC, then there’s a Mac that will do the job better. To give you an idea of what makes Macs a good choice for the public sector, we’ve rounded up our top seven reasons…

1. Macs cost less than PCs

We can work with you to find out how much making the switch from PCs to Macs will be, but in calculating ROI, the following should be taken into consideration:

Initial capital There may be cheaper PC options available, but how do they compare when it comes to specs? More often than not, the cost of the cheaper PC will also be reflected in size of hard drive, processing speed, etc.

Software costs OS X is far cheaper to upgrade (even with the launch of Windows 8) and you can run Windows on a Mac if you want to. When it comes to software, most will be available for Mac at the same price point as the PC equivalent.

Energy efficiency Apple is the only manufacturer whose entire range of products exceed ENERGY STAR guidelines – even the iMac is 2.4x better than the requirements. The Mac mini uses less power than a 60-watt lightbulb when in idle mode.

Manufacturing quality Macs are made to be hardwearing. They don’t just look shiny, they are made with aluminium cases to protect the internal hardware, meaning you’re less likely to replace them annually.

Productivity benefits Macs are incredibly fast and OS X includes functionality for speeding up the user experience, including the Dock and Finder, while the Apple ecosystem makes sharing and accessing files and sharing between devices an easy one.

Support costs In a study by Clearworks, 43% of respondents said that PC support costs were substantially or somewhat more expensive than their Mac support. While Macs can have higher upfront costs, the long-term support makes up for that – largely because of the self-help model.

Resale value While it’s not always possible to resell ageing hardware because of security problems, our research shows that Macs have a significantly higher resale value – around 30% after 3 years.

2. You can run Windows on a Mac

OS X has a built-in tool called Boot Camp that lets you load up Windows rather than OS X at boot-up. You do have to buy a Windows licence to be able to use Windows applications, but get the benefit of two platforms on a single machine – the speed of the Mac with the benefits of Windows. Alternatively, if you want to run Windows or Linux and OS X side-by-side, virtualisation options by VMware and Parallels can be used instead.

3. Macs can be integrated into PC environments

On a basic level, OS X has built-in support for the latest version of Microsoft Exchange Server and virtually all email services and providers. But from an IT management point of view, tools like Centrify DirectControl and Acronis ExtremeZ-IP now let you treat Macs as if they were PCs on your Windows infrastructure, and give Macs access to Windows file servers.

4. Macs can run Windows applications

Not through OS X they can’t, no. But most applications that are available for Windows and Linux have an OS X version available that is identical in functionality. Microsoft Office, for example, may be made by Microsoft but there has been a Mac version available since the early 90s.

For those applications that don’t have a dedicated OS X version, it’s always possible to run it through a virtualised Windows environment.

5. Macs are easy to pick up

Apple are constantly finding new ways to make computing a simpler experience. They were involved in the creation of the mouse, the iPhone and iPad have led the way in the rise of tablet computing, and OS X has always been known for its ease of use. For the end user, Apple’s attitude has always been to keep it simple and straightforward – hide the functionality you don’t need, and make it easy to get to the features that you do!

From an IT point of view, though, there’s always been a view that moving to Mac will mean a big shift in workflow and hours of training. Not the case. You could get us to manage your Macs for you, but tools such as Centrify mean that you can carry on managing Macs as though they are PCs.

6. Macs provide a secure platform

From a technology point of view, Apple have historically won the Mac/PC security battle. They are built on a UNIX foundation, which is known for its security and reliability, and integrate a Mach 3.0 microkernal and FreeBSD Svariant, making them far harder to hijack.

Added to that, OS X does everything from sandboxing apps to blocking apps from unsecure developers being downloaded (unless you want them to). And while Windows is starting to catch up by upping its security tech, it often requires the user to be more vigilant and responsive when it comes to installing updates and maintaining the system.

7. There’s a Mac for everyone

From the lightweight MacBook Air for mobile working to the creative powerhouse that is the Mac Pro, there is a model of Mac to suit all job functions. To summarise:

• Macs cost less than PCs and work out as a better investment in the long run.

• Macs can run OS X, Windows and Linux, and all your applications will work on them.

• Macs integrate into existing Windows environments.

• Macs are easy for end users to learn.

• Macs are less likely to get clogged up with viruses and have security features built-in.

Want to find out more about how your organisation will benefit from Macs? Give our team a call on 03332 409 323 or email PublicSector@Jigsaw24.com.

Apple in the public sector: What makes iPad so great?

Apple in the public sector: What makes iPad so great?

From meeting rooms to the GP surgery, iPad is helping transform the way we work. It’s now possible to make presentations, get up-to-the minute information on emergencies and access patient records on a single device that can be taken anywhere.

Small enough for anyone to carry around with them, secure enough to protect sensitive data, and with constant access to internet services, here we talk you through the benefits of iPad and how we can help you get the most from it…

The basics

It’s fully secure Having met CESG requirements for Impact Level 3 information, iPad has four levels of security: device (which includes passcode, timeout periods and device restrictions); network (secure WiFi, cellular and VPN integration); data (hardware encryption using AES 256-bit encoding for preventing data access when device is locked); and platform (apps are prevented from accessing data on other applications).

It improves efficiency iPad gives staff access to everything they need in a single place. They can share information via email, access files and records, create and edit documents, schedule meetings (and hold them), organise their day and much more. In iOS 7, for example, you can be notified about your entire day, including estimated travel times and the weather at your destination. You can even access Windows via virtualisation.

It minimises costs While a deployment of iPad devices is going to be more expensive than replacing computers on an ad hoc basis when they break, the ROI of having mobile devices will more than make up for that. From minimal support costs because of a self-service philosophy to a massive reduction in paper and time spent transferring information to a computer, iPad has a great total cost of ownership.

For local government

With iPad there’s no need to be bogged down in endless amounts of paperwork – it’s the ultimate tool for digital working. Rather than having to fill out forms and documents, then transfer them to a computer, everything can be done on iPad and from anywhere. This means that more staff are able to benefit from working at home or remotely. For example:

• Environment and planning officers can take photos while visiting a site, then save them straight to a central server or share them with colleagues, rather than having to wait to upload them to a computer when they’re back in the office.

• Visual surveys can be put together that make use of the user interface on iPad. Results can then be automatically synced and downloaded.

• Admin teams can fill in digital forms or documents rather than having to manually do paper versions that are scanned in and a hard copy filed.

For NHS

With the NHS going digital and more focus on having computerised patient records, it’s important to provide staff with the right tools for accessing them. iPad helps eradicate many of the previous problems around adopting a new technology. As well as being incredibly intuitive, it gives users access to records from literally anywhere. For example:

• GPs can access patient records from both behind their desk in the practice or doing home visits. With iPad it would be possible to administer digital prescriptions, refer to guides and access referral letters on a single device.

• Paramedics can use iPad when out responding to an emergency. As well as being able to receive detailed information about an emergency on the device, they can access a full medical history on scene.

• Hospital staff can use iPad to order tests, view x-rays and more, all in realtime while doing their rounds.

Pharmacist with iPad

For blue light

While iPad for the police and fire brigade is a relatively new idea over here, trials are taking place around the country. If you need access to realtime information, iPad really is the best solution. For example:

• iPad can be used to get directions to incidents, and then for assessing the location and any potential problems that might be faced on arrival.

• Fire teams can stream video back to the station for a second opinion on the best tactic to take or to assess if further resource is needed.

• Police and fire crews can access social media platforms and other online forums quickly and easily to notify the public of any issues, or use those platforms to find additional information on an incident before arrival.

Want to find out how iPad could help improve day-to-day operations and processes? Get in touch with us on 03332 409 323, email PublicSector@Jigsaw24.com.