Enabling ‘work anywhere’ workplaces

Scottish Water’s new cloud managed desktop service provides an optimized, and secure employee experience.

At a glance

The close Digital Partnership between Scottish Water and Atos designed and delivered all the technical and logistical processes to transition to a new cloud-based Digital Workplace – remotely, rapidly and at scale.


Scottish Water has an optimized, secure, agile and evergreen Digital Workplace that is fast, seamless and easy for employees.

The strength and openness of our partnership with Atos inspired our team to get the job done quickly and effectively. The team consolidated the volume of applications across the estate, improved security, and enhanced user experience. Atos team was very supportive and smoothly controlled the process, keeping our employees connected with right devices, wherever they were working from.

Digital & Transformation Directorate, Scottish Water

Trusted to serve Scotland

Scottish Water’s purpose is to support a flourishing Scotland through being trusted to care for the water on which Scotland depends. The company supplies water and wastewater services to households and is also the wholesaler to the 30 retailers (Licensed Providers) who operate in the water retail market for businesses in Scotland. Using Scotland’s natural resources and the skills of its people, Scottish Water is committed to improving our services for customers and communities while protecting and enhancing the environment of Scotland. Scottish Water’s services support 2.56 million households and 152,806 business premises across Scotland. Every day, the company delivers 1.44 billion liters of clear fresh drinking water and removes 983 million liters of wastewater, which it treats, recovers resources from and returns safely to the environment.

Enabling seamless process for Digital Workplace, whilst ensuring business continuity

Scottish Water’s challenge was to rapidly equip and support a diverse and geographically dispersed user base of 4,000 employees.

In 2019, as Scottish Water’s digital services partner, Atos had been contracted to implement a full migration of all the company’s Windows devices from end-of-life Windows 7 to an evergreen Windows 10 service. With Windows 7 approaching obsolescence, the risk was that productivity would be impacted: users were beginning to notice slower and sometimes disrupted IT services and experiences.

When lockdown hit in March 2020, with migration planning and testing already well underway, Scottish Water needed to drastically change its plans. All office-based but essential operational employees suddenly had to work from home, so the company faced an additional and significant requirement to deploy devices to users no longer based at Scottish Water sites.

Social distancing restrictions meant that users would no longer be able physically to visit their offices to get a new device. What’s more, users had varying technical knowledge and skills, so the process to set up devices had to be straightforward for people not necessarily familiar with setting up IT. There was also the challenge of a complex applications landscape; shadow IT and multiple operating systems and licenses were a natural result of organic evolution of the previous Windows 7 environment.

Smooth transition to a modern cloud-managed desktop service

Working in partnership, Scottish Water and Atos deployed and enabled its new Digital Workplace in each employee’s home without physical contact.

Atos used Microsoft Intune endpoint management with Autopilot to automate remote configuration and user acceptance testing of all Windows 10 devices. The team categorized and rationalized the volume and versions of applications, with thousands of executable files.

A staged deployment ensured that the IT Service Desk could give Scottish Water employees support. With users given a choice of devices, these were deployed direct from the manufacturer to each user’s preferred location. All users had to do was enter their user account details to get started.

As part of the new Digital Workplace, smart lockers and vending machines at a number of locations are integrated with ServiceNow and ready to be used. This means users can get a new device quickly if they need one, without human interaction, and it will rebuild their workspace.

Spurring even greater impact

Scottish Water has an optimized, secure, agile and evergreen Digital Workplace that is fast, seamless and easy for employees.

  • The new Digital Workplace was deployed to over 3,500 laptops and 700 tablets.
  • With the right device for their role, users can access all the data and applications they need at any time, from anywhere.
  • Operating system is regularly refreshed with no need for additional upgrades.
  • All devices, wherever they are used, are managed remotely – including full visibility of how each is performing, enabling the IT Service Desk to provide proactive supports and fixes.
  • Cyber security is enhanced because Atos can now orchestrate security updates and controls for all devices, even those not on the Scottish Water network.

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Caroline Thomson

Account Director – Scotland

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