Getting out from behind the desk

Modernising the workspace for staff and students

The customer

This further education college is part of the largest education and training provider in the south west region, offering a diverse range of vocational and university courses to over 15,000 learners each year.

The situation

The way in which the College was currently delivering desktops and applications to staff and students was no longer meeting requirements so needed to be updated and modernised.

Physical desktops were being used with applications delivered by SCCM (System Centre Configuration Manager) which was time consuming to manage and required regular visits to multiple sites.

Users were experiencing performance and reliability issues due to the aging desktop estate.

Remote access was being provided by a Remote Desktop Server solution which only provided limited apps and capacity and was restricted to staff only.

The College needed a desktop environment that was performant, scalable, resilient and available for staff and students to use on site and remotely.

The new environment also had to integrate with existing Office 365 applications.

Our approach

Xtravirt provided expert consultancy and project management services to guide this project from initial discovery workshops, through to design, deployment, knowledge transfer and solution handover.

The solution implemented was:

  • a dual data centre solution which included the full VMware Horizon stack plus FSLogix Office Containers
  • integration with Office 365 applications including OneDrive, Outlook and Teams

The College’s in-house IT team had limited knowledge of the VMware Horizon stack so Xtravirt were able to provide expertise to specify the optimal components to meet the requirements and ensure that best practice was used in the design and deployment of the infrastructure.

Outcomes achieved

A scalable desktop and application platform that enables staff and students to access College resources using a modern secure desktop, which is accessible from internal and external networks

Improved user experience through a higher performing desktop environment and quicker update cycle of Windows and applications across all desktops

Full documentation and knowledge transfer allows College staff to continue with packaging applications and migrating users in-house

At a glance


  • Time consuming application delivery via SCCM (System Centre Configuration Manager)
  • Performance and reliability issues due to aging physical estate
  • Remote access was limited in terms of apps, capacity and availability


  • Delivered a dual data centre solution including:
    • the full VMware Horizon Stack
    • FSLogix Office Containers
  • Integration of Office 365 applications including:
    • OneDrive
    • Outlook
    • Teams


  • A scalable desktop and application platform
  • Improved user experience through a higher performing desktop environment
  • Full documentation and knowledge transfer

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