Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government


The Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government has deployed Google Chromebooks across its entire network of technology centres, improving user experience, saving on software updates and simplifying maintenance.

Google Cloud results

  • Enables real-time management of the network with the Chrome Enterprise Admin console, increasing up-time and facilitating maintenance.
  • Improves user experience with faster browsing and simpler session start-up, cutting the number of user incidents reported. 
  • Eliminates the need for annual software updates, saving €70,000 per year.

As consumers increasingly get used to having access to products and services online, governmental bodies like the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government are also showing an interest in providing their citizens with the benefits of e-government.

“Castilla-La Mancha is a vast territory in the centre of Spain with a population of 2 million inhabitants spread across a surface area of almost 80,000 square kilometres. Some of our citizens have to travel up to an hour to get to the region’s administrative centres”, explains

Alipio García, Director General of Telecommunications and IT for the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government.

“Allowing them to complete tasks like paying a bill or requesting a permit online is a fundamental part of offering a modern and efficient service”.

”Ours is a comprehensive digital strategy which covers improving the infrastructure and IT literacy, as well as transforming municipal administration itself in order to simplify procedures and be more efficient. The general goal is to make digital services more representative and expand their use, making them available to everyone”.

-Alipio García, Director General of Telecommunications and IT for the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government.

The electronic revolution in local administration is based around two key factors: the infrastructure and electronic literacy. “We’re investing in our digital infrastructure to provide businesses and citizens with faster internet access, but we have a lot of people who don’t own computers or possess the skills to use them, especially given our aging population. Part of the challenge is giving them the skills they need to take full advantage of the digital tools, particularly when it comes to electronic administration”, says Alipio. “With a view to facilitating access to the services, we’ve set up an online portal and we’re currently managing a network of 470 technology centres which provide 3,900 access points to computers across the region. Now, our citizens can access registries, pay bills and carry out other bureaucratic and administrative tasks remotely”.  

However, maintaining their network of desktop computers installed in the technology centres was proving slow and expensive. The Directorate of Communication and IT went in search of the best way to improve the performance of their computers, simplify maintenance of the devices and make network administration more efficient. Switching to Chromebooks was the perfect solution.

“Ours is a comprehensive digital strategy which covers improving the infrastructure and IT literacy, as well as transforming municipal administration itself in order to simplify procedures and be more efficient”, explains Alipio. “The general goal is to make digital services more representative and expand their use, making them available to everyone. This initiative is supported and funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund”.

Simplifying network maintenance

For the public administration’s providers, rolling out a hardware network to improve access is only half the battle. Without adequate maintenance, the devices may begin to malfunction, which could lead to a deluge of complaints from users. “With our old machines and operating system, we had to physically send a technician out to install updates and carry out maintenance”, says Alipio. 

“That was incredibly inefficient, as our region is so vast. We also had to use a physical card to delete data between different users’ sessions, which led to faults in the system and delays in a new session starting up”. The Directorate General wanted a way to centralise control of the network so it could carry out maintenance tasks remotely and reduce down-times, all while upholding its commitment to data protection. 

“From the user’s point of view, using a Chromebook means faster browsing and the security of their data is no longer a problem because none of it is stored on the devices. We’ve found that users prefer to wait until a Chromebook becomes available rather than using one of the older machines”.

-Alipio García, Director General of Telecommunications and IT for the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government.

To achieve this, it made the switch to Chromebooks, initially installing 400 of the devices across its technology centre network. “Our technical team can manage the Chrombooks from the centralised Chrome Enterprise administration console”, explains Alipio. “It gives us real-time information about the status of all the machines on the network which helps us to increase up-time by optimising usage and simplifying maintenance. The Chromebooks are pretty much ‘plug and play’, configuring and installing them doesn’t require any advanced technical knowledge”.

“From the user’s point of view, using a Chromebook means faster browsing and the security of their data is no longer a problem because none of it is stored on the devices”, Alipio adds. “We’ve found that users prefer to wait until a Chromebook becomes available rather than using one of the older machines”.

Supporting digital literacy

In order to be as inclusive as possible, a central pillar of the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government’s implementation strategy is improving users’ knowledge. “The services we provide are free to access and help support our citizens in a broad range of tasks. Part of this challenge is giving them the skills they need to take full advantage of the digital tools”, says Alipio.

“We worked on the implementation of the Chromebook with Nubalia, Google Premier Partner, and it was a hugely positive experience”,  explains Alipio. “Nubalia provided essential support in training our technical team, as well as all the staff at our technology centres, who can now pass their knowledge on to the users of our services”.

“One of the benefits of imparting a knowledge of Google Chrome OS to our users is the fact that it’s transferable to other devices”, he adds. “If they feel comfortable using Chromebooks at our technology centres, they can take those skills with them and enjoy access to features offered by Chrome on other devices”.

“As a municipal body that provides an inclusive service, beyond the financial and administrative benefits, building confidence and support is also hugely important to us. The response has been incredibly positive, and that’s why we’ve made the decision to broaden access”.

-Alipio García, Director General of Telecommunications and IT for the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government.

Expanding the network, improving access

Since making the switch to using Chromebooks, the department has seen a drop in both their administrative workload and the number of incidents recorded. “In the first year, incidents have fallen by 45 per cent and that’s considering we’re still using a combination of old machines and Chromebooks”, says Carlos García del Pozo, Project Director at the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government. “The number of incidents reported with the Chromebooks is almost zero at this point! And where we used to need 12 technicians to maintain the system, now we can manage with 3 thanks to the advantages of the administration console in maintenance terms”. There has also been tangible financial benefits: “By using the Chromebooks, we’re saving around 70,000 euros a year on licensing and software updates”, adds Alipio.

Now, the department has decided to expand the pilot project to replace all its old computers with Chromebooks. “The response has been so positive that we’ve decided to roll out another 3,600 Chromebooks across 737 towns in Castilla-La Mancha, covering up to 80% of the region”, he says. “As part of this program, we’re going to be including access points which provide improved accessibility and video conferencing facilities in order to bring technology closer to the people”. 

“As a municipal body that provides an inclusive service, beyond the financial and administrative benefits, building confidence and support is also hugely important to us”, explains Alipio. “The response has been incredibly positive, and that’s why we’ve made the decision to broaden access”.

Industry

Government – Spain

Summary

The Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government has deployed Google Chromebooks across its entire network of technology centres, improving user experience, saving on software updates and simplifying maintenance.

General strategy

“The general goal is to make digital services more representative and expand their use, making them available to everyone. This initiative is supported and funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund”.

Results

Enables real-time management of the network with the Chrome Enterprise Admin console, increasing up-time and facilitating maintenance.

Improves user experience with faster browsing and simpler session start-up, cutting the number of user incidents reported. 

Eliminates the need for annual software updates, saving €70,000 per year.

10 June 2019