After 20 years delivering on-premises deployments and building custom clouds, NetPlans GmbH changed its game – in a remarkably short time. After becoming a Citrix Service Provider, NetPlans launched a comprehensive hosted services offering for small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) in Germany in only six months.

Customers believe cloud hosting is an ideal way to obtain technical expertise, security and reliability without a major infrastructure investment.

Differentiation through flexibility

To set the company apart from large competitors with standard, fixed offerings, NetPlans created a flexible, modular and easily customized solution. It is built on Citrix technologies, including virtualization, file sharing, and orchestration and management software.

Our business is understanding the use case from customers and providing a solution they can work with—not only a workload — Daniel Schweikle, technical manager for NPCloud.

An illustration of how NetPlans gives customers exactly what they need:

NetPlans gave a medical devices manufacturer its own business app server running XenApp, as well as shared services including Active Directory, Exchange database availability group (DAG), DFS cluster for files, security, storage and backup. Internally, the customer only had to install a small NAS system for local files and a firewall for basic security, and replace older PCs with thin clients.

Because this customer sells to hospitals and clinics worldwide, mobility was very important. Citrix Receiver client software allows employees to access the hosted environment from any device, in any location.

The medical device company now has the best of all worlds:

  • The freedom to self-manage critical specialty apps
  • The cost-effectiveness of shared services
  • The convenience of leaving admin, monitoring and updates to NetPlans professionals

Both new and existing customers are attracted to NetPlans’ hosted services. 

“These companies have heard about cloud hosting from large vendors, such as Microsoft,” said CEO Sascha Collin. “Customers believe cloud hosting is an ideal way to obtain technical expertise, security and reliability without a major infrastructure investment.”

Optimizing services delivery

NetPlans chose Citrix technologies to manage the services delivery process as well as customer workloads.

We believe the best way to deliver managed services based on a custom solution bundle is to work with friendly products such as App Orchestration and CloudPortal Services Manager — Daniel Schweikle

Their offering includes:

  1. NPCloud pro, a full managed cloud package including apps, domain and file services, backup and security
  2. NPBox file-sharing services powered by ShareFile
  3. DaaS in multiple flavors
  4. Hosted Microsoft Exchange

Looking ahead

Although the company’s solutions are appropriate for any SMB, the CEO is looking at a more vertical approach by delivering Datev, a popular financial software package, as a service.

“Many customers are running Datev on a small business server with no redundancy or failover. Instead of investing in more infrastructure, they are interested in working with a strong partner that can simplify the big Datev package into a small, hosted service,” Collin said.

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