Case study: Mobile workers
More than 40% of all employees in a typical enterprise today use laptops and are not constantly connected to the corporate network, or indeed to the Internet.
In a global financial services company, the number was even higher: 65% of all its customer-facing agents were mobile workers.
The company was spending extraordinary resources on managing its laptop pool. IT was managing each laptop as a separate physical workstation, including application delivery & patching, back up and disaster recovery. Application management was implemented using Microsoft SCCM, which required the employees to pro-actively bring their laptops in for an upgrade. Back up and disaster recovery was done on the client side, relied on user compliance and was frequently missed altogether.
The company wanted to enhance its IT infrastructure. It had to be both centralized (in terms of management, patching and mission-critical data) and distributed (since the laptops must be fully functional even when disconnected from the network). The immediate candidate for IT centralization and stateless end-points was VDI - however, after initial implementation, two market-leading solutions have turned out to be an unsuitable option in this case, since they rely on constant connectivity to the back-end. This is when the company decided to check its options, and Zirtu was among those.
Using Zirtu to deliver centralized desktops to mobile workers, including offline use
After deploying a PoC, the following was established:
- Zirtu Desktop Virtualization Suite allows to streamline laptop management, gain the benefits of centralization and make end-points stateless - even for users which are not constantly connected to the network
- Since Zirtu executes user workspaces directly on the end-points - without traditional VMs, remote desktop connections or virtual hardware layer - user experience remains the same as on a physical computer. This was tremendously important for workers dealing with real-time, complex financial datasets.
- IT staff retraining and user-initiated support requests did not increase in a significant manner, even immediately after the deployment
- Users are now able to get their personal workspace on any machine, and neither users nor IT need to worry about something happening to their laptop.
- Most importantly - even if the laptop has poor connection or no connection at all, the personalized Zirtu workspace remains available and fully operational at all times.
In the first phase of the deployment, the following benefits were realized:
- IT is able to centrally manage and coordinate its laptop users, reducing per-user maintenance costs by 25%.
- Backup and disaster recovery effectively eliminated on the client-side.
- As an unexpected benefit, IT is now able to standardize and order the common applications used throughout the company, while still allowing users to install their own.
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