SECURE DIGITAL WORKSPACE
Amarchand Mangaldas is one of the largest full service law firms in India with a national presence and an international profile. With over 600 lawyers across eight locations, the Firm is an award full circle law firm acting for a wide range of premier clients, including domestic and multinational corporations and financial institutions
Amarchand Mangaldas is known as an expert in mergers & acquisitions; joint ventures; private equity; investment funds; capital markets; insolvency and corporate restructuring; banking and finance (including structured finance and debt capital markets); insurance; projects (including infrastructure, telecommunications and energy); project finance; real estate; information technology and intellectual property; taxation; litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution; trade and competition law; employment law and policy and regulatory advice.
The Firm has frequently been in the unique position of acting as an adviser on public issues, most recently on the drafting of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2013, and its conjunct Rules. Distinguished partners of the firm have acted on many legislative panels to assist the government of India with a legal perspective on policy-related matters.
For Amarchand Mangaldas, maintaining client confidentiality is of paramount importance, and preventing data leakage has been high on the Firm's agenda.
As Shams Khan, Senior Manager - IT Infrastructure and Information Security, Amarchand & Mangaldas, says, "In today's world, internal threat poses much graver danger then external threat. In the absence of any virtualization technology, sensitive data in the company can be susceptible to leakage through active directory, policy etc."
"Even blocking the end points and USB did not prove sufficient," he says. Faced with this challenge, the primary mandate for Amarchand Mangaldas's IT was to plug data leakage and control internal threats.
In addition to ensuring security of critical information, there were other drivers also that forced Amarchand Mangaldas to look for new solutions. The company wanted to optimize employee productivity and user experience with Windows apps on demand, streamline IT support of BYO devices, and also decrease application management cost and complexity.
Given the critical scenario, something had to be done fast. Without losing much time, Khan and his team zeroed-in on Citrix XenApp for virtual application delivery.
Citrix XenApp (Presentation Server) has been used by Amarchand Mangaldas for the past 11 years for remote users to equip them with better performance/streaming on low internet bandwidth. Internally, the company was using WTS (Windows Terminal Server) which had complete data protection from end point too. To keeping single interface and single farm for users and for better performance on HSD, it deployed Citrix XenApp for inside users in 2013.
"We didn't explore other solutions as we knew that Citrix's offering in this space was the best," Khan says.
The entire implementation took one month (which included kick-starting the process, purchase of the solution, raising the PO etc.). The actual implementation of Citrix XenApp, however, took only seven days.
"We never had any problem in the implementation of Citrix XenApp. The beauty of the solution is its simplicity of deployment. Even an admin who is not an expert in Citrix can deploy XenApp," Khan says.
The solution was deployed in Amarchand Mangaldas's data center in Delhi. There are a total of 450 users in the Delhi region. Khan also deployed Citrix's NetScaler, which has helped in load balancing and access gateway.
Post the deployment of Citrix XenApp, the IT team at Amarchand Mangaldas was able to meet its objective of plugging information leak from end points. The applications are centralized in the datacenter to protect intellectual property and private and sensitive information. The solution has eliminated unnecessary VPN holes and reduced the risk of data loss or intrusion through unsecured connections by leveraging granular access policy enforcement.
"With Citrix XenApp in place, there is no data transfer between the end point and Citrix. Users are restricted to copy the content. For instance, if a user wants to copy data from XenApp and paste it in a Word file or intends to transfer it, he cannot do so," says Khan.
Citrix XenApp provides multi-factor authentication, and activity logging for compliance support. It also enables fine-grained context-based policy controls for scenario-based access restrictions.
The new deployment also enables Amarchand Mangaldas to reduce manpower costs and streamline user support. Today, all users access application through Citrix XenApp, even if they are inside or outside office or from using any device (Smatphones or Tablets).
"In addition to the 50 percent reduction in the numbers, the job of the support staff has become much easier with the introduction of Citrix XenApp as they are now enabled to principally carry out trouble shooting remaining stationed at their work desks. Whatever is the issue with the application, they resolve it remotely," Khan says.
Earlier, whenever any problem arose, the support team/members/staff had to go from desk-to-desk to check if any software updates had been installed, any antivirus had been downloaded/uploaded or the R&D user's processes/actions.
"The remote console has simplified any exercise relating to troubleshooting. We just go into the terminal server manager, access the user profile, and provide remote support. We have also implemented the SmartAuditor which helps diagnose the problems faced by the users," he says.
SmartAuditor allows for recording the on-screen activity of any user's session, over any type of connection, from any server running XenApp. It records, catalogs, and archives sessions for retrieval and playback, thereby enabling IT to monitor and examine user activity of applications and aid in technical support by speeding problem identification and time-to-resolution.
Citrix XenApp also streamlined IT support. Earlier, it used to take about 2-3 hours to take a backup, restore the backup and make a system ready. With Citrix XenApp, the data is stored in the data center, and as a result even if a system crashes, a new machine can be provided in real-time and the user can immediately start working.
As the solution also provides the ability of application access anywhere and on any device, executives and employees who want to use their personal devices for work or work from home, now have the freedom to do so. This has resulted in increased satisfaction, productivity, employee retention and recruiting.
The IT department in the company delivers ERP, document management system, and Outlook through Citrix XenApp.
Having successfully deployed Citrix XenApp, Khan is now looking to implement XenMobile – the solution that lends complete enterprise mobility management (EMM) including mobile device management, mobile application management and enterprise-grade productivity apps.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leading provider of virtual computing solutions that help companies deliver IT as an on-demand service. Founded in 1989, Citrix combines virtualization, networking and cloud computing technologies into a full portfolio of products that enable virtual workstyles for users and virtual datacenters for IT. More than 230,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to help them build simpler and more cost-effective IT environments. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies in more than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2010 was $1.87 billion.
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