Trouble free virtual desktops from the cloud at H&P Finance B.V.

Trouble free virtual desktops from the cloud at H&P Finance B.V.

H&P Finance B.V. is an experienced all-round financial service provider founded in 1996, active for both individuals and companies. In the field of insurance, mortgages and other financial services, the organization is acting as financial advisor and ensures a professional, reliable and independent advice in understandable language. Personal contact with customers is very important. Core business of H&P Finance B.V. are mortgages and insurance for the private and business market, from SMBs to enterprises. H&P Finance B.V. acts as consultant and/or broker for customers requiring financial products. The five employees of H&P Finance B.V. hold office in Capelle aan den IJssel.

The challenge: a cost-effective solution for IT management

Until about mid-2011, H&P Finance B.V. worked with local servers - including Microsoft Windows Small Business Server – and Windows-based PC workstations on the desks. “Our problem was twofold: we wanted to switch to a more easy business application for financial administration and secondly we started looking for another third-party were we could outsource our system management. When we bought our current CRM application in 2007, the software developer also was responsible for the system administration,” said Yvette Kromhout van der Meer, mortgage consultant and ICT coordinator at H&P Finance B.V. “We had quite a lot of incidents and this had too many adverse effects on our daily activities. The systems on the desks and the servers were becoming outdated and had to be replaced. The new IT company should replace the systems, install the new environment and take responsibility for the entire system management after the renewal.”.

Implementing the virtualized hosted desktop

Together with Dari IT Services, a Silver Citrix© Solution Advisor, H&P Finance B.V. decided for the Desktop as a Service model and to run desktops from the cloud. Dari offers an online service - called My Easy Office - where virtual environments are offered for a fixed price per month. “We actually never had considered running ​​everything in the cloud before, but now decided not to replace servers and PCs but migrate to the cloud,” continued Kromhout van der Meer. “Thus we eliminated not only the need to replace servers and to purchase new workstations, but we were also able to easily bring everything together with a single party.”

After a pilot for about a week, in one weekend of January 2012, the organization switched from the traditional environment to My Easy Office, a Citrix hosted solutions with desktops in the cloud. “While it was exciting, we decided for ​​a big-bang and combined the renewal of IT with the move to a new building. On a Friday, the server was picked up and the same day and in the weekend we moved from Rotterdam to our new building in Capelle aan den IJssel. On Monday we worked with the new Citrix environment and zero clients on the desks. During the weekend, Dari has transferred the data, virtualized and configured the Microsoft Exchange server, placed zero clients and prepared the Citrix infrastructure for us including Online Pro from Online Software b.v., our new CRM solution. We also brought a new ADSL connection into operation.“ To be able to print and scan locally, H&P Finance B.V. leases a multifunctional and two smaller printers from Océ/Canon.

My Easy Office provides flexible trouble-free Citrix desktops in the cloud

Previously, systems on the desk belonged to an employee, but now the workstations are identical and employees of H&P Finance B.V. can work anywhere. The organization implemented 100 percent interchangeable workspace with personalized applications for each employee. “We are a small team in a relatively large property. When a colleague’s is out of office, we can easily share an desk at another location and we do not have to sit alone all day. A colleague who works from home two days a week as a result of the long travelling distance, also has an identical environment as in Capelle aan den IJssel. So now we're extremely flexible,” added Kromhout van der Meer. “We know that Citrix solutions are used to power My Easy Office in the cloud, but in practice we do not see or experience Citrix. The HP zero clients immediately after login shows the Windows login screen, so Citrix remains completely hidden. Only at home we realize that Citrix is used, because we need to install the Citrix Receiver.”

A special compliment from H&P Finance B.V. to Dari and Citrix is that people really notice no difference with the previous environment. One can do the same activities, access data and applications from anywhere and print and scan to the local Océ equipment thanks to Citrix HDX that automatically connects the devices in the central workspace. “Well, of course there is one important difference, namely that we got rid of all those annoying errors. The new virtual desktop works great and working in the cloud is a pleasant experience.”

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in mobile workspaces, providing virtualization, mobility management, networking and cloud services to enable new ways to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, personal workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.

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For a fixed price per month per workplace, we now have a virtual workplace consisting of an HP zero client and a virtual desktop in the datacenter. The new virtual desktop works great and working in the cloud is a pleasant experience.
- Yvette Kromhout van der Meer

Mortgage consultant and ICT coordinator

H&P Finance B.V.

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Citrix Products