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unwatchable > E36-NHS

Was interesting to hear. I use to work for the NHS as well, in their IT. However, where as the PCTs Nicky work/worked for sounds like have out sourced their IT, hence Nicky and Su-Fay getting externally hired in. We had our own set up. We actually were our own separate entity that worked for the NHS but technically funded by the local PCTs but not controlled by them. We'd have to show each year what they were getting for their money which would dictate the budget the next year. If they didn't like what we did and removed funding, we'd have collapsed.

But not sure the licence issue would effect us as we were MS Partners so maybe had another deal. It might affect the cheap licences you could get for Office for home use. You were able to buy the DVD for £19 or the download version for just £9.

Regarding what Nicky does. We went down the lite touch deployment route and at first I wasn't happy (as was taking away my job), but then when I moved rolls I was pleased with it, as it was a good and better system. We had no external consultants as we had our own people setting it up. Only consultants we got in were the AD guys to sort out our AD which was a mess. We moved to only one Domain. doing away with the other crap. And we had our own people doing Su-Fay's job. We also became a partner with Novell so got their Zen software for free, which allows us to control software installs, deployment, patching, inventory management etc. It's not perfect but when it works its good.
July 26, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci
So, basically, Nicky and Su-Fay are going to be out of a job in terms of all the NHS work then. Also, how can hospitals still rely on legacy hardware / software? The last time I was in a hospital (a year ago) they were running Windows 2000! That's over 10 years old! And the machines were bulky white boxes with a CRT Monitor!

I think Microsoft has a lot to answer for already...
July 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
"I think Microsoft has a lot to answer for already... "

Why is that then? most of these places have SA so they can upgrade any-time without additional costs they choose not to for four main reasons.

1. old hardware - specs and drivers availability
2. staff retraining - this doesn't come cheap i know several trainers
3. complete site or organisational roll out- they want everyone ideally on the same software and os versions
4. and lastly compatibility with bespoke software.

In my experience its actually the latter, the bespoke software, is the main culprit that holds up roll outs.

Its is not uncommon for companies to hold off version upgrades for years, if its still supported why move? as you say a lot of these companies get extended support anyway, also through SA i presume, thats why alot of companies will still stick with server 2003 right up to 2015.

I look after a large charities network and i buy OS and office licences for £6 each (inc SA) and that is basically the handling/admin costs for the licensing partner. We too can get the cheap copies for home users i believe its ties in with SA.
July 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
"where as the PCTs Nicky work/worked for sounds like have out sourced their IT,"

Most out source now for server and network work. Whilst the NHS provides their own call center/remote support and a few onsite contractors for each larger site.

Schools are beginning to do this as well especially in London area
July 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
Schools have done this for years. They typically have 3 or 4 "Administrators" who basically clean filters on the projector and wind up the elastic band to keep the old server going another few days.

To be fair, most state schools in the UK desperately need an upgrade. Try running 500 computers from one old server like Nick's old one. The schools don't actually have the money to upgrade the hardware to be able to support the software.

I think Microsoft will only be making the problem worse if they stopped their "discount" products for Charities and NHS. I don't think they support schools... if they do it certainly isn't for £6.
July 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
Our setup was different. When I first started it was behind the times. But then they did some deals with some companies and things took off. The trusts we supported we managed to modernise and we have our own Infrastructure team too. If the PCTs are broken up however, then the organisation I worked for (which was part of the NHS) will go tits up. But we supported over 25k PCs, over 600 sites.

Connecting for health is what helped. We supported/support 10 trusts. But sounds like in London, the trusts there have out sourced this. If they looked into it, they'd probably find it would be cheaper for them to setup the same system we had, than hire Nicky and Su-Fay's company which, I'm sure charge more than we all ever got paid :)

No, Nicky and Su-Fay won't be out of work as their company doesn't limit themselves to the NHS, they do other companies too. And the trusts will still need their support.

I think the idea behind how our business worked was to make us irreplaceable. Make sure they realise it would cost them far more to out source than it would to keep us on. They'd also have to buy most of the kit, switches and servers from us which they couldn't really afford as budgets were already tight.

Giving the Doctors total control over the budget is going to be a big mistake. A few of them were arrogant arseholes. Like the bint who'd left data on the C drive of a PC my team had to replace. She complained when it got taken away (I'm pretty sure she was scared she'd be fired). Complaint was thrown out as her trying to cover her arse for her cock up and the PC was perfectly safe anyway.
July 26, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci
Why didn't they block access to the C Drive in Group Policy? And then give them all roaming profiles so nothing is on the local computers. Then they can save money on not needing a large C Drive in all the machines.

I know how arrogant doctors can be...

But, if they outsourced their IT, people like Nicky, Su-Fay and Dave could potentially lose their jobs as they wouldn't need as much staff at Eurodata as there would be less clients.

However, if they outsourced their IT, then maybe they can get a bigger discount on the hardware by going direct to the seller. Then they can just pay some post-graduate monkey peanuts an hour to keep winding up the little elastic band.

Then eventually, when the whole thing goes wrong, they can call in IT techies like you, nicky etc... to come and sort out the mess they made setting it up. That might be where the money is in the future...
July 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
"Why didn't they block access to the C Drive in Group Policy? And then give them all roaming profiles so nothing is on the local computers. Then they can save money on not needing a large C Drive in all the machines."

You mean permissions via a security template that is distributed by a Group Policy.

Dont know, unfortunately i do know sometimes you have to give users local admin rights because software wouldnt run otherwise. Bloody Vodafone, O2, Tmobile,3 3g modem dongles come to mind they wont run unless the user has local admin rights even when once installed. Can you image give a user a laptop with local admin rights? ..lets say we replaced them with a mixture of more expensive dongles that did the job and mobile tethering.
July 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
"Schools have done this for years. They typically have 3 or 4 "Administrators" who basically clean filters on the projector and wind up the elastic band to keep the old server going another few days."

I went to a job interview once at a school that had 4 dedicated IT techs for 250 pcs.

I currently look after about a 100 PCs, a couple of 2003 servers (soon to be upgraded). Most of our software is SOAP based and connected to a central network over VPN. if google ever released google docs (or office live) for self hosting we could probably do away with on-site IT staff altogether. They probably could with citrix, however, they still don't have the infrastructure for it.
July 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova
I see now, but then again O2 and all the mobile dongles arn't really aimed at businesses, more home users who don't know what the internet is and who think this dongle will magically make it appear out of no where.

The trouble with schools is that in State schools, the computers get ripped to shreds, chewing gum in CD drives and keyboards with keys missing. Not to mention scratched LCD monitors... (in particular the inner city schools where no kid leaves with a decent grade).

The solution to the above (if I remember from my first secondary school) was to glue shut the CD Drives and use Virtual CDs or just disable them from opening. And inspect computers right after they were used and you were assigned a computer...

Still, in Saudi we had 1 main Admin (who was stingy with the storage quotas... how were we meant to work with 50MB and disabled USB ports?) and several other admins that kept the server running and computers going and cleaned the dust (mainly sand) out of everything every month or so (it gets everywhere). But they were well paid and it is a job in the future that will require more and more people (no matter where you are) as people now are always going to need IT and with that, they need IT Support as they will have IT problems.
July 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie