The Customer

Orbis is a shared services partnership between Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, and Surrey County Council. Its purpose is to deliver greater value for our councils, residents and customers. Orbis does this by working with like-minded organisations who believe, as they do, that greater things can be encompassed through true integration and partnership working. Today, Orbis is one of the largest local government shared service partnership of its kind in the UK.

Scope of the services provided

Surrey County Council, East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove Council (Orbis) wanted to reuse around 15,000 laptops that were end of life. It wanted these replaced by XMA Limited as part of a refresh project and the old laptops to be given to a charitable cause.

Orbis needed to conform with their disposal policy of complying with the Data Protection Act, ensuring that all data bearing devices are overwritten or physically destroyed and adhere to the European WEEE Regulations.

XMA Limited provided the new equipment and tasked Concept Management to assist with the disposals. The plan was to replace around 100 laptops per week. Orbis wanted to ensure there was a seamless process of new installations and redundant equipment being appropriately dealt with. Single points of contact, auditable closed-loop processes and for XMA and Concept Management to be able to demonstrate compliance were the key objectives of the project.

Disposing of redundant IT and end of life computers safely, securely and compliantly is not new; what takes this initiative beyond current good practice is the determination of staff at the councils to re-use and utilise the laptops for a better purpose. The easiest, most hassle-free route would have been to task its partners with disposing of the equipment, however, the team felt strongly that if the laptops could be put to better use than just being recycled under the councils standard procedures.

The result

XMA and Concept Management were able to take redundant laptops from the waste stream, overwrite the data, refurbish the laptops and set up the devices, ready to be sent to a good cause.

Concept Management’s standard mode of operation was to ensure complete data security and reputation protection when disposing of redundant IT equipment and they needed a complete overhaul of their processes to make this project work and to do it free of charge.

The whole project was a success with many departments and stakeholders coming together to make this happen. The goal was to help people but first they had to change mindsets, this required a complete buy-in from everyone involved in the project.

It was fundamental to this project that the lines of communication were clear, and everyone understood their roles & responsibilities. This was achieved, the project went extremely smoothly, without any hassle. Orbis outlined their goals, the dynamics in the team were clear, XMA acted as facilitator and Concept Management processed the material.

The result of this whole process has been a very positive one. The project has been deemed a success by the whole project team, as is attested to by the testimonial below and the fact that we secured additional work with the Surrey County Council and East Sussex County Council. We will continue to help the Councils and their ability to help others.


‘We wanted to provide a service that was feasible and practical but totally robust and data secure. The project was to reconcile thousands of laptops hassle free. Concept did this and I would not hesitate in recommending their services’.

Matthias Ager, Account Director, XMA Limited

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