Neckarsulm/Schweinfurt, 6. June 2011 – For ten years now, the German city of Schweinfurt has been outsourcing its IT services. Each of the five-year IT cooperation agreements was preceded by an appropriate bidding process. Schweinfurt's town council has accepted a bid from Bechtle's Würzburg IT system house for the next five years at a total volume of 5.5 million euros.
"The success of the initially controversial outsourcing of our IT services proves we were right," says Mayor Sebastian Remelé. "Only in cooperation with an external service provider can we continue to improve public services with state-of-the-art information technology, while lowering the costs of IT administration".
According to the agreement, Bechtle will design and implement a completely virtual data centre for Schweinfurt, and take over operation of the city's IT infrastructure and local networks for the next five years. In addition, Bechtle will maintain the user help desk for the city's around 1,300 users and 40 field offices.
The city can rely on Bechtle for a high-performance, sustainable and flexible virtualisation solution. "With this decision, the city of Schweinfurt is taking a remarkable technological leap from a classic server infrastructure to a state-of-the-art virtual solution. It's not only proving its sense of innovation, but also improving both the efficiency of its municipal public services, and their cost structure," explains Gerhard Marz, head of Bechtle AG's public sector division.
"For example, the new technology eliminates the need for onsite service from system technicians. That increases the cost-effectiveness significantly," says Johannes Beckert, IT project manager for the city of Schweinfurt. "In addition, use of the new technologies reduces energy consumption in the server and client areas".
Schweinfurt's new IT concept provides for a comprehensive renewal of the city's existing IT, including both the data centre and all the city government's IT workplaces. Accordingly, Bechtle is developing an individualised server virtualisation solution for operation of the data centre. In keeping with this solution, many physical single-server systems will be replaced by a single hardware platform. This will result in a significant reduction in costs for operation and maintenance of the components and systems. "In the lifecycle of a traditional PC terminal device, considerable operating expenses are incurred in order to answer an essentially very simple question, namely, how the user gets his software applications most economically while taking availability, confidentiality and integrity into account. With the latest desktop virtualistion technology from Citrix, physical PCs are replaced by virtual PCs in data centres," Rainer Pecher, managing director of Bechtle's Würzburg IT system house, explains the concept. Bechtle is also responsible for all active network components, including security management. Bechtle's Würzburg IT system house will also equip the city of Schweinfurt's total of 1,300 IT work places with monitors and what are known as 'zero clients'. Schweinfurt is a pioneer in the use of the latest virtualisation technology for municipal public services, even beyond the borders of Bavaria.
According to the agreement, the Bechtle Remote Control Centre in Neckarsulm will not only maintain the user help desk, but also provide 24/7 supervision of the data centre through a secure access point. In addition, the agreed-upon service level for terminal devices, printers and copy machines will provide a significant increase in efficiency.
In cooperation with the city of Schweinfurt's IuK (information and communication) department, Bechtle systems engineers will migrate a total of 400 different applications – what are known as specialised procedures – for everything from the vehicle licensing centre to the registration office to the town libraryData protection is of particular importance for this project and will be ensured through appropriate operating and security concepts.
"We consider ourselves the technological partners and full-service IT providers for the city of Schweinfurt. We look forward to the exciting task of using our know-how to lead the way to a very service-oriented and cost-effective city government," says Günther Hektor, Bechtle AG's project leader.