Gwynedd Council’s network extends to 229 sites throughout Wales and employs around 6500 staff.
Many of Gwynedd Council’s staff attend meetings that are based at different sites belonging to other authorities. This posed a problem as staff were unable to secure connection to their home network without accessing a remotely hosted desktop. This in itself restricted usage of some functions, and could also be unintuitive to users accessing the systems. Health and social workers working within each other’s locations would have difficulty connecting to their own networks, and would have to travel to their own building’s network to update records if access was unavailable locally.
Gwynedd Council also provides IT services and support for GwE, a collaborative school effectiveness and improvement service in North Wales. GwE works across all six counties in North Wales and visits schools to check standards within these areas. Staff at GwE needed to be able to access the network and login to the system from whichever site and school they were visiting.
PSBA implemented its simple and cost-effective wireless roaming service, which allows staff to connect to the organisation’s network when they are on the move. PSBA’s Multiple Occupancy Site Service (MOSS) was also introduced, allowing all council locations to share connection.
This has helped Gwynedd Council to manage authentication proxy and has allowed employees, including staff at GwE, to instantly access the resources they need from PSBA Roaming enabled sites while outside of their own network, connecting to the home network seamlessly. PSBA Roaming also allows the local health authority staff to securely connect to their own network when they are visiting schools or other enabled council offices.
This has helped workers who are permanently situated at sites owned by Gwynedd Council to share the organisation’s service and connect via a single Wide Area Network (WAN) connection. Gwynedd is able to securely segregate each organisational network, rather than multiple WAN managed services, which was the norm before implementing MOSS.
'PSBA’s services have allowed our staff to work collaboratively. External authority staff can now access their network from our sites and complete tasks there and then, rather than returning to their own base. Gwynedd staff are also able to connect securely in the same manner from other authority sites where MOSS has been enabled. Staff benefit from being able to be co-located, while helping to reduce our costs. Our network team is also more productive as we spend less time managing multiple network services and requests from different organisations across the county,' said Ian Roberts, technical lead for the council’s network team.
How it helped:
• Improved network and connectivity
• Cost savings
• Reduced travel time
• Staff are able to access all systems from different locations
• Staff can work collaboratively across all sectors in Wales
• Increase in productivity among staff
• Less network overhead as sites are connected to one network
• Employees can work flexibly from multiple locations who share the same network