One of the largest desktop transformations in Europe creates the foundation for economies of scale across UK tax collection

“ A truly outstanding success given the size and complexity of the task. ”Nigel Green, STRIDE Project Director, HMRC

The Situation

When H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was created from the merger of two major UK government organizations the aim was to improve customer service, effectiveness and efficiency through economies of scale.

In terms of IT, a single integrated desktop would enable new standardized working structures and processes for all staff to provide foundations for the Department’s future and contribute significantly to efficiency. HMRC needed an IT partner capable of managing one of the largest desktop transformations in Europe while maintaining business as usual performance. Capgemini provided this service.

The Solution

The project encompassed mass deployment of 100,000 HMRC desktops and laptops from Windows NT to a standard operating environment based on Windows XP.

Custom legacy Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise applications were upgraded to work in the new environment and new applications that were previously unavailable in NT were introduced. Sophisticated provisioning enabled staff to customize their desktop with the tools they needed to be productive.

A new systems management infrastructure, and centralized service center, was put in place to provide a single view of the IT environment with tools and processes such as knowledge management for data and trend analysis to fix underlying problems.

Capgemini led the complex program supported by Fujitsu, Avanade, BT, Remedy, Microsoft, HP and Quest. Demanding timescales and technical complexity required meticulous planning and management, and a rapid ramp-up of activity.

At its peak, the programdeployed over1,500 workstations and up to 8,000 exchange mailboxes each night. Careful coordination ensured applications were ready for XP. Around a thousand servers were upgraded, new ones introduced and over 250 redundant servers decommissioned. To move from site support to the remote model, staff were recruited and trained for the fully operational greenfield service center in just four months.

The Result

Staff can use any workstation in any office to access core business services, including email and shared files, regardless of whether they are in former Customs & Excise or Inland Revenue offices, greatly enhancing performance and availability to all business users.

This organizational flexibility is a foundation for HMRC’s transformation. Accomplishments include:

  • Business continuity during rollout of modern, resilient corporate infrastructure
  • Taxpayers and businesses not impacted by the change
  • Any application or new IT project can be deployed to any user
  • Standardization to drive efficiencies and cost saving
  • Full problem management and root cause analysis improves availability
  • Incidents are identified centrally and quickly removed from all systems
  • Best in class helpdesk achieves 0.50 calls per user per month, 18 second average speed of answer and 71% first time fix of incidents and problems.


“ I came in, signed on and bingo. No problems, no issues, no disappointments. The on-site team worked a blinder too and the pre-cutover preparation material was first-class. ”Dave Dally, AYE Improvement, HMRC