Today’s guest blog post comes from Fredrik Högström, IT Manager at RSM.

When RSM Göteborg was formed by merging three smaller practices, there were three separate IT systems for its staff, no VPN, and no access to office system files for remote staff.

RSM Göteborg is a Swedish accounting firm within the global RSM network, the world’s sixth largest network in audit, tax, and advisory services with over 41,000 employees scattered among 800 offices and 120 countries. Apart from a wealth of industry experience dating back to the 1950’s, RSM differentiates itself with the in-depth, local market knowledge they maintain across an international presence.

Fostering dedicated, personal relationships with clients is another core tenet of RSM’s business model. That’s why, when the technical fragmentation of RSM Göteborg’s merger had negative ramifications on their clients, the end-user, they knew they had to act quickly.

A Tale of Three Separate IT Systems

As IT Manager at RSM, I can sum up the situation in just a few words: “It was a mess!”

Each time auditors were working at a client site, they had to copy files from the server to their laptops and back again. Meanwhile, the office staff would edit the server version when it was checked out; each file had to be reconciled from its differing versions.

Beyond these frustrating manual efforts, IT was stuck patching and updating critical applications on each individual computer on a monthly basis. The strain of this process negatively affected the end-users (customers), the security of sensitive data, and the efficiency capabilities of the entire IT department.

The Patch for Productivity

The need for a solution that armed staff with anytime, anywhere access to their apps, desktops, and data was dire. RSM Göteborg, with the help of Gold Citrix Solution Advisor Xenit, replaced the three individual legacy systems with Citrix Workspace.

The impact on productivity was dramatic. Suddenly, time wasn’t wasted copying files or resolving version conflicts and RSM’s auditors and accountants gained full access to their virtual desktop no matter where or when they’re working. Staff could use personal devices when at home or traveling thanks to the technical enablement of a true BYOD policy.

The solution was a major victory for us in IT, too. The processing of updating each individual PC was swapped out with an update of a single desktop image in the data center.

Managing IT across three sites would have been impossible without Citrix Workspace. The biggest benefit for me is that RSM staff can work anywhere, anytime, on any device, and I don’t need to care about individual configurations; I manage everything from the data center.

Despite the fact that RSM Göteborg had doubled in size, my workload actually decreased.

A Sharpened Stance on Security

Apart from substantial productivity gains, Citrix Workspace drastically enhanced RSM’s security capabilities. Information is no longer stored on end-point devices, and remote access to information held in the data center is secured using two-factor authentication with one-time access codes.

We are 90 percent digital, and we have no customer materials or data on any end-point devices. Many of our clients are IT companies, and even those in the security sector are really impressed by the security of our Citrix system.

In a similar vein, RSM chose Citrix ShareFile to securely exchange large files with clients. Sensitive information is no longer shared over insecure mediums such as email or USB sticks. ShareFile has helped RSM go relatively paperless. Perhaps most importantly, it’s helped us prepare for compliance with the strict stipulations within the forthcoming enforcement of the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The End-User Effect

When RSM prioritized a technical infrastructure that enabled productivity and boosted security, their clients reaped the benefits.

Client meetings are no longer delayed by slow logon procedures, misplaced documents, or data conflicts. Instead, RSM staff have all necessary information at their fingertips. Skype For Business, powered by Citrix, empowers staff to hold seamless, high-quality video conference calls with clients. Client files can be accessed at a moment’s notice from a meeting room.

Ninety-five percent of our new customers come from recommendations. Audit and accountancy work is based on trust and confidence. Presenting such an efficient and professional image gives us a competitive edge over other firms.

Everyone — our staff, our IT team, and our customers — reap the benefits when the right solution is in place.