Merit rebuilds IT for security, savings, and innovation

 

When Group IT Manager Jacques Yalenghadian reviewed Merit Corporation’s IT environment, he knew things could be improved to better support its staff. The corporation owns CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest shipping businesses, and a group of trucking, logistics, freight forwarding, insurance brokerage, and travel agency companies in Lebanon and around the Middle East.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the IT systems were not homogeneous. As Yalenghadian describes, “There were a lot of siloes, and the systems themselves were saturated, depreciated, and at the limit of capacity and performance. They just weren’t top-notch.”

While CMA CGM is autonomous, the other group companies all relied on Yalenghadian’s small IT team to support their needs.

“We thought carefully about how to improve the platform bearing in mind the multiplicity of activities, how they come together at some points but are mainly different. We also had to consider our geographic locations and how we could serve distributed offices,” Yalenghadian explains. In the end, he says:

“We chose to rebuild from scratch. We designed a new architecture for our servers and for end users. After considerable evaluation, analysis and research, we opted to go for Citrix XenApp to ensure total virtualization for our staff.”

Merit worked with Citrix Gold Solution Advisor Procomix Technology Group to design and implement the solution.

“They do their job without carrying a single document in their laptops”

With businesses across the Middle East, Merit’s staff travel frequently. Improving mobility and security were important goals for the IT refresh.

“People used to take laptops with them carrying all the data and documents they needed,” says Yalenghadian. “Today, they might still take the laptop, but when they land, whichever country they are in, they just connect to our main system using Citrix. All the information they need stays secure in our datacenter. They do their jobs without carrying a single document in their laptops. All data is fully backed up, and we have no risk of confidentiality breaches, accidental loss, or corrupted documents. Our information has become a lot more secure and reliable.”

Cost savings and efficiency

Merit’s move to a virtual and desktop infrastructure has saved significant time and money, too. “Setting up a new employee’s workstation costs half as much as before,” Yalenghadian explains, “and it takes less than 10 percent of the time.”
Merit has also made “considerable savings” by extending the life of older PCs, which now simply act as thin-client terminals for the virtual desktop.
There are operational efficiency gains, too. “It has become a breeze to support the system. Our support team is a lot less stressed,” Yalenghadian says.

Making time for innovation

“Citrix has given us the time to think of new initiatives,” Yalenghadian says. “With a more stable system, we have time to discuss where we can add value for the business. That's a luxury we didn't have a few months ago.” Business analyst Sami Hajal says, “We are exploring marketing automation, robotics and the use of VR and AR technologies to promote the business. And, in the next few months, the IT department will become revenue-generating as we sell our services to other group companies. Whatever they need, we can deliver through Citrix.”

With Citrix, we have a fully scalable platform that we can grow on demand. It will serve us well into the next five years.
Jacques Yalenghadian
IT Manager
Merit Corporation
With the Citrix solution, we have no risk of corrupted documents. Servers are a lot more stable and robust than individual PCs. They crash a lot less frequently. With everything stored in our datacenter, our documents have become a lot more reliable.
Jacques Yalenghadian
IT Manager
Merit Corporation
Our IT team is quite small. We are just six people, but they are all highly skilled engineers. What is the point of that if they are only dealing with mouse problems and frozen screens? Where is the added-value? With the Citrix solution, we have time to research new ideas, run proofs-of-concept and build in-house labs. We have time to sit together and think of new initiatives.
Jacques Yalenghadian
IT Manager
Merit Corporation

About Citrix
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is leading the transition to software-defining the workplace, uniting virtualization, mobility management, networking and SaaS solutions to enable new ways for businesses and people to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, mobile workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. With annual revenue in 2014 of $3.14 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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Citrix has given us the time to think of new initiatives. With a more stable system, we have time to discuss where we can add value for the business. That's a luxury we didn't have a few months ago.
Jacques Yalenghadian
IT Manager
Merit Corporation

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