Staffordshire County Council is the eighth-largest council in England and a leader in shared IT services. They wanted to benefit from management and virtualisation to save money and ensure continuity of critical applications, while creating a private cloud environment to extend shared services. Working with Risual, the authority carried out a proof of concept and a production deployment solution using the Microsoft System Center suite and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Over the next 12 months, significant savings and productivity gains are expected, with server build times cut by around 90 per cent and scope to reduce human resource demands. Staffordshire can now enter more shared services partnerships and can accurately bill for underlying services.