IGATE is a global leader in providing integrated technology and operations-based solutions, headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. With revenues in excess of US$ 1.2 billion, and a global employee talent capital of over 31,000 the company offers productized applications and platforms that provide the necessary competitive and innovation edge to clients across industries.
IGATE, with multiple offices spread across the globe, had deployed traditional desktops for its employees. However, the conventional environment was causing several bottlenecks in the day-to-day operations of the company.
As the provisioning time for traditional desktops was too long, it was impacting efficiency and productivity at IGATE. Also, since the conventional desktops were not customized, there was one single configuration for all use cases and projects. Each project had its own specific requirements and the standard desktop environment was proving to be a challenge.
“We had traditional desktops deployed for all our employees. Be it call center or any other application-related services, there was a dedicated desktop for each employee. With all the users having a standard configuration, we thought this was not the correct way of deploying resources. This was one of the key drivers for us to look at a virtual desktop solution deployment,” says Deepu George, AVP- IT, IGATE.
With an aim to shorten provisioning times and make available customized desktops as per the needs of each project, IGATE decided to implement a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) environment.
While scouting for the right solution, IGATE evaluated multiple industry solutions.
“Citrix met all the requirements IGATE had, be it adequate performance in high latency environments, Shared Desktops and mobility etc.” Deepu says.
Once it decided to leverage Citrix XenDesktop, IGATE started rolling out the solution in a phased manner.
“We started implementing Citrix XenDesktop at the end of 2013, and it took us about 12 months to complete the first phase from end-toend (testing and production). By the end of the first phase, we had migrated 3,000 users onto the new solution,” says Deepu.
These 3,000 users span across BPO, trainings, projects and shared services. The deployments are in Delhi (BPO), Mumbai (training), Bangalore (internal users and shared services) and North America (Project users).
The Citrix XenDesktop has been deployed on a variety of different platforms including Dell, Hitachi and Cisco. The thin clients that employees use are primarily from HP and Dell.
One of the major rewards for IGATE from the deployment of Citrix XenDesktop was the shorter provisioning time.
“Citrix XenDesktop hybrid cloud provisioning enables IT to dynamically provision desktop workloads from public, private and hybrid clouds leveraging Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Microsoft Hyper-V. This has impacted productivity in a positive way. Besides, we also don't need to security patch up individual desktops,” says Deepu.
As the virtual desktops are centrally maintained 1 Networking Environment • Cisco and Hitachi servers • Hitachi storage in the datacenter, the risk of data loss or intrusion when delivered to any device is greatly reduced. Access remains secure while intellectual property and sensitive private information stays safe.
Also, Citrix XenDesktop has enabled each use case or project to have a customized desktop as per its specific requirement.
However, ringing in a virtual desktop environment also meant the challenge of overcoming the issue of change management.
“People are used to seeing physical desktops.However, once we demonstrated all the features of the new solution, they gave a feedback that it was better than a traditional desktop,” exclaims Aravind Kumar, Group Manager - IT. XenDesktop enables instant mobilization of Windows apps, making them available on any device, anywhere. This cut transaction times of traditional client/server applications by as much as 300 percent. Employees can work remotely, thereby getting the much-needed flexibility.
“The additional benefits that have accrued for us include compliance, easier management and green IT (by using thin clients),” Aravind says.
As next steps, we are working on rolling out Citrix XenDesktop in a larger deployment in our new training center in Pune.
“Going forward we are looking at eventually having 8,000 users on XenDesktop. We have also just initiated discussions around Business Continuity using Virtual Desktops, and are also looking at leveraging Citrix NetScaler,” Deepu adds.
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