Leaseplan is the world’s largest automotive fleet management company. It currently has 1.3 million vehicles on lease, has over 6,300 employees worldwide and operates in over 30 countries across five continents – including a recently opened office in Russia. LeasePlan Information Services is a subsidiary of LeasePlan and has 150 employees, the majority of which are based in Dublin, Ireland. It operates as an internal shared service provider to all LeasePlan Group companies globally – offering project management, consulting services and technology.
As LeasePlan grew and increased its footprint of offices globally, it became apparent that it needed to consolidate its IT infrastructure into one central location to reduce costs and complexity, increase efficiency and ultimately offer a more flexible and streamlined IT service. Ronan Murray, Infrastructure Manager at LeasePlan Information Services explains: “With a growing network of offices across Europe, each operating its own IT services, it became apparent that there were significant productivity, mobility, efficiency and cost advantages to creating a private cloud that would effectively centralise all IT systems, delivering a virtual desktop service out to users in each LeasePlan office."
“As well as reducing costs associated with duplicative tasks across each office, such as manually updating IT systems, we also realised that there was a wealth of untapped data and intellectual property that could be moved into one central location,” Murray continues. The challenge was identifying the best way to achieve these objectives with minimal disruption to the business.
Following a proof of concept, LeasePlan began working with Zinopy, a Platinum Citrix Solutions Advisor, as the primary strategic partner to design and deploy a private cloud service, based on Citrix XenApp®, Netscaler®, NetScaler Gateway™ and Citrix Receiver™. The intention was to create a centralised, virtual desktop that could be delivered to a variety of workers in LeasePlan offices across Europe, accessible via any device.
As such, for the first stage of the project, LeasePlan consolidated all back-end servers, based locally in LeasePlan offices around the world, into centralised datacenters in Dublin.
The combination of XenApp, NetScaler and Citrix Receiver has created a true enterprise mobility solution for LeasePlan, offering some significant advantages. Employees have the opportunity to work from anywhere on any device, ultimately increasing productivity. The solution has also helped LeasePlan mitigate potential disruptions to service delivery, as Murray explains: “our data is now centralised, and users can access that data with a number of devices, but ultimately from an auditing and security perspective the data never leaves our datacentres. This reduces the complexity of data and compliance auditing across the business. Most importantly, if for any reason we do encounter a disaster recovery scenario, employees can continue to work seamlessly wherever they may be.”
“Migrating our users away from physical desktops to a centralised, virtualised service has proven to be a seamless process – for example as we opened new offices in Turkey and Russia it was simply a case of deploying the service rather than needing to build a new infrastructure from scratch,” explains Murray. As such, deploying a hosted-shared desktop based on Citrix technology has proven to be a simple and effective way of delivering a consistent service to variety of LeasePlan locations across Europe, whilst ensuring a seamless user experience.
Ronan Murray and his team have a multitude of different customer across the business – requiring over 2,000 different types of applications to do their job effectively – such as financial applications, SalesForce and so on. Citrix technology has allowed LeasePlan to standardise and streamline the applications it offers to employees, whilst ensuring that each job role still has the right tools to be productive. Ultimately, the Citrix cloud service will tackle the spread of applications.
Of the 19 LeasePlan sites currently using the Citrix cloud service, the LeasePlan team has identified approximate annual savings of €40,000 per group office making use of the virtual desktop.
Murray summarises: “We have 2,900 users running on Citrix with a further 1,200 users to be rolled out in 2013 and 2014. Citrix technology, combined with Zinopy’s expertise, has proven to be a great enabler for our global strategy; it has allowed us to consolidate data and applications from across the business into two central datacentres and deliver it back out to almost 3,000 users as a service."
“We now have an IT team of six supporting thousands of employees all over Europe. We’ve seen significant efficiencies through transitioning to this model and the deployment and management of applications is far easier. Our users see a benefit because they get the applications they want faster and more quickly,” Murray concludes.
LeasePlan is also currently piloting Citrix XenMobile® with the intention to ultimately transition entirely away from a desktop based solution and purely focus on delivering data and applications to employees.
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the cloud company that enables mobile work styles—empowering people to work and collaborate from anywhere, securely accessing apps and data on any of the latest devices, as easily as they would in their own office. Citrix solutions help IT and service providers build clouds, leveraging virtualisation and networking technologies to deliver high-performance, elastic and cost-effective cloud services. With market-leading cloud solutions for mobility, desktop virtualisation, networking, cloud platforms, collaboration and data sharing, Citrix helps organisations of all sizes achieve the speed and agility necessary to succeed in a mobile and dynamic world. Citrix products are in use at more than 260,000 organisations and by over 100 million users globally. Annual revenue in 2012 was $2.59 billion. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
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