Huizhou Mobile dramatically improves productivity and service with Citrix
Guangdong Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. was founded on January 28, 1999, and changed its name to China Mobile Communications Group Guangdong Co., Ltd., Huizhou Branch (Huizhou Mobile) on December 15, 2006. Besides basic voice service, Huizhou Mobile provides customers with thousands of value-added services in the form of short message service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS) and GPRS mobile data service, and operates several famous service brands including GoTone, Easyown and M-Zone. After a decade of development, Huizhou Mobile has built a mobile communication network that delivers wide coverage, high-quality communication, rich variety and first-class service.
The challenge: Rapidly and efficiently deliver applications
Huizhou Mobile was using a traditional distributed architecture that presented a number of drawbacks to users, the IT team and the company as a whole. As its customer base grew, these issues became more urgent. First, with the availability of new applications, the ongoing spiral of updates for user devices and operating systems added significant costs and required constant administration on site at multiple locations. Also, maintenance caused inconvenience to users. A second challenge was how to provide Huizhou Mobile’s network of agencies, which sell the company’s services from locations in supermarkets and residential areas with poor or unstable Internet connections, with improved connectivity to customer service applications. Slow performance of these applications over the network was affecting agencies’ productivity and customer satisfaction with Huizhou Mobile’s services.
Also, as huge amounts of application data were transmitted over Wide Area Networks (WAN), the company was concerned about security: how to effectively assign different levels of authorization to employees and agencies based on their roles.
Implementing Citrix application virtualization
It only took three days for Huizhou Mobile to implement Citrix® XenApp™, Advanced Edition with Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003 on three servers. Huizhou Mobile is now delivering a virtualized business support system application called BOSS (business and operations support system) to agencies at 300 locations, and plans to expand to 800 locations in 2009. All agencies that have been added to the XenApp system are able to connect to Huizhou Mobile’s applications and data efficiently from anywhere, using any device and WAN, LAN or Internet connectivity. These users enjoy a satisfying computing experience with XenApp delivered applications that is equivalent to having applications locally installed on their client devices.
IT management efficiency improves by 100%
By delivering BOSS with XenApp featuring SmartAccess, the company’s existing IT team can centrally manage and control user access to the application. With XenApp centralized management functionality, IT efficiency has improved by 100 percent.
Previously, Huizhou Mobile’s IT staff spent 30 to 50 percent or even more of their time maintaining the BOSS business support system on site at hundreds of locations. With XenApp, Huizhou Mobile can avoid time spent traveling to its branch offices and working on local desktops and servers. Centralized management makes previously strenuous maintenance work much easier, while avoiding the inconvenience to employees and customers of system downtime for maintenance.
Rapid return on investment (ROI)
By delivering applications with XenApp to any type of device, Huizhou Mobile expects to extend the useful life of devices by three or four times, postponing sizable expenditures for operating system and hardware upgrades. In addition, since the Citrix Receiver™ protocol is highly efficient and only transmits compressed and encrypted screen refreshes and mouse and keyboard inputs between the central servers and remote devices, each connection only requires about 10Kps of bandwidth; therefore, the demand for bandwidth has been dramatically reduced.
Barrier-free application delivery
XenApp allows users to connect to required applications at any time, anywhere, with any device and through any means of connectivity—wireless, wired or Web—thereby allowing them to conduct business easily and safely. With Citrix application virtualization, Huizhou Mobile has the flexibility to install intelligent terminals for public use in banks and department stores. These terminals allow customers to access Huizhou Mobile’s business system for self-service transactions without having to queue at a Huizhou Mobile business office or agency. As a result, customers save time and the workload at business offices or agencies is less.
Xu Yongijan, manager of the information department, said, “The removal of price regulation and the mergers of operators have intensified competition in the telecommunications sector, cutting into profit margins of the whole industry. XenApp has enabled Huizhou Mobile to install intelligent terminals in its business offices and other locations in all counties and districts of Huizhou, which provide a competitive advantage while reducing costs through self-service.”
What’s more, since XenApp supports a variety of devices, such as laptops and mobile phones, business offices in remote areas with poor network quality can connect to the business system over narrowband mobile phone connections. Flexible application virtualization improves employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Huizhou Mobile’s major account managers can also access the business support system over mobile devices when they are traveling to customer sites for presentations.
XenApp provides strong security for protection of Huizhou Mobile’s business and customer information. First, application data remains in the datacenter behind the firewall instead of exposed on the desktop. Second, the screen updates, mouse clicks and keystrokes transmitted over the network are encrypted. Also, policy-based controls allow the IT team to restrict local actions such as downloading and printing. With XenApp, workers at the business offices can only use applications permitted for their roles.
Xu Yongijan concluded, “Other benefits of XenApp include improved application performance at our branches in remote areas. Also, with load balancing capability and better performance over the network, the stability of our business system is improved, which significantly facilitates transactions and improves customer satisfaction and quality of service. In addition, by deploying Citrix XenApp, we achieved centralization of application management, which lowers costs for maintenance and upgrades without compromising security, efficiency or controllability, bringing significant social and economic benefits to the company.”