Avianca Accomplishes Strategic and Tactical Goals with Citrix XenDesktop

  • Leveraged refresh budget to virtualize 1,200 PC’s
  • Locked down corporate data by centralizing desktops
  • Reduced desktop management costs by 50%

Avianca is one of the largest airlines in South America with 7,000 employees and 1,200 in their operations center in Bogotá, Colombia. Like many large companies, Avianca has been living with high maintenance costs, and an inflexible PC infrastructure for years. They were looking for a solution that would make maintenance many times easier, improve data security and also support onboarding employees of recently acquired companies. As described in the Citrix case study, Avianca chose Citrix XenDesktop to deploy an aggressive desktop virtualization strategy.

Rather than immediately getting back on the PC refresh treadmill, Avianca deployed 1,200 HP thin client terminals to employees and virtualized 140 corporate applications using Citrix technology. Having done this, they had total freedom to leverage XenDesktop FlexCast technology, meaning that Avianca could deliver virtual desktops and/or applications to their thin clients using single image provisioning. Most importantly, all desktop processing now take place in the data center, locking down corporate data and vastly simplifying desktop management. Added benefits are a significant reduction in power and cooling costs along with overall higher desktop availability.

The Chief Information Officer of Avianca, Gabriel Rios, described security benefits in the case study: “When the workload runs on centralized servers, the security level is increased because risks, such as the use of USB memory sticks, are eliminated. In this way, the possibility of information theft or the acquisition of viruses and Trojan horses on the corporate network is enormously diminished.”

The bottom-line benefits of the project were also evident at Avianca. The company has estimated that the investment will pay back in only three years since their cost of PC maintenance has been reduced by more than 50%. Savings were driven by centralized management, a common desktop platform, rapid data restoral, and ultra-reliable thin clients.

I see this as a key example of how Citrix XenDesktop is the obvious solution for any company that is facing the prospect of replacing their existing PC’s. Avianca, by taking a step back and evaluating virtualization technologies, found a better way to deploy desktops and get them out of the PC refresh cycle. With the help of their Citrix partner, Compufacil Consulting Services, Avianca was able to separate their apps from the desktop OS using on-demand apps, freeing them to easily virtualize their desktops and deliver them to any endpoint. Make sure that you have a look at the complete Citrix case study and see how Avianca leveraged XenDesktop to grab the “holy grail” in desktop virtualization: TCO, agility, and security.