BY USE CASE
Secure Distributed Work
Nilkamal Limited is an industry pioneer in the manufacturing business of moulded furniture and material handling products. The company’s portfolio spans across material handling solutions, ready furniture, lifestyle home solutions retail chain, mattresses and material protection solutions. Nilkamal serves a diversified customer base including household customers, industrial customers and retail buyers in India and across the globe in 30 countries.
Nilkamal’s journey to becoming a household name is founded on the customers’ trust it has built over the years. Behind that lies extensive operations spanning across the country.
Whether it is its 8 manufacturing plants and 42 depots or its network of 1,100 distributors, over 20,000 dealers and 80 stores, it’s entire operations rely on the SAP ERP application. To say that SAP is the backbone of the company’s operations would be an understatement.
When it came to ensuring secure access to the application, Nilkamal approached Unified Data-Tech Solutions (UDTechs) for consulting on a possible approach to enhance security, centralization and flexibility to deploy critical resources to employee devices during the COVID-19 pandemic. UDTechs proposed Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to provide secure remote access to their business critical apps and data. By introducing this VDI solution, Kilkamal was able to enabling successful remote working and allowed for business continuity in the middle of the pandemic.
“As a fast-growing company with highly diversified operations, it was imperative to enable our employees with the ability to access SAP from across different locations, including from non-office locations while traveling,” explains Karan Doshi, Head – IT & Strategy, Nilkamal Ltd.
Considering how mission critical the application is for business, the priority for Doshi and his team was to not only enable seamless access to SAP from anywhere, but to do so without compromising on security.
From undertaking financial transactions, managing inventory, and keeping the plants running to maintaining the supply chain and managing sales – key departments across the organization are dependent on SAP for their day-to-day functioning. With multiple entities accessing the application, it opens up the possibilities of data leakage. This was especially true when the application was accessed from outside the corporate network.
According to Doshi, SAP is a highly data sensitive application and data being the business’ lifeline, ensuring the highest standards of security was paramount for the company. User experience was also an area of concern with issues around latency and slowness. Considering the large data volumes involved, the experience while accessing the application was hampered, especially when connecting over low bandwidth. Thus, impacting overall employee productivity.
“With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, while we were looking for application virtualization to address the immediate need for secure and seamless access to mission critical applications, we also wanted to lay the foundation for future of work - one that allows our workforce the flexibility to work from anywhere and be more productive,” explains Doshi.
While the Nilkamal IT team evaluated other app virtualization solutions, UDTechs along with Citrix stood out for its strong security controls built around the zero trust security model as well as the ability to run on low bandwidth. In comparison with other solutions in the market, it offered greater business value with minimal resource consumption.
According to Doshi, “Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops fit well with our vision for the future. It not only met our current requirements but also offered the ability to align with the future demands and changing workplace dynamics.”
This was more than proven when the company had to unexpectedly and quickly get its employees to start working from home in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Having experienced the solution’s efficacy at work for over one year, Nilkamal decided to grow their Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployment to enable continued work from home. This continued to allow for secure access to business critical applications from anywhere.
“The secure remote access provided by Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to our mission critical applications, including SAP, has significantly enhanced our security posture while supporting the modern mobile workforce. We are confident of giving our employees the flexibility and choice without exposing our business information to risk and meeting the compliance requirements,” says Doshi.
The Citrix solution has built-in security controls along the lines of zero trust security, ensuring no data is compromised. The additional app protection feature provides anti-screenshotting and anti-keylogging capabilities to provide an additional layer of protection from withing the users’ sessions. The solution also doesn’t allow the user to copy paste any data from the application, thus avoiding the possibility of data leakage.
Another key feature of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops that has helped Nilkamal improve data security considerably is session watermarking. The feature places a watermark containing the username and company details over the SAP session. This dissuades the user from trying to take a photo of the screen on their mobile device and allows for data to be traceable.
With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops in place, Nilkamal was ready on day zero as the pandemic forced the employees to Work from Home (WFH). With secure access available to mission critical applications such as SAP, the solution helped keep the business operations running even in the middle of the lockdown.
“With time of the essence, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops helped us in enabling remote working and ensuring business continuity right from Day 1. The solution was well equipped to handle the WFH scenario at an unprecedented scale that no one had planned for, making sure there was zero disruption to business” exclaims Doshi.
According to Doshi, “An effective remote working experience requires the right balance of security and productivity. With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops we have been able to achieve that with considerable improvement in the employee experience, which in turn, has improved the experience they’re able to offer to their customers.”
Among the factors contributing to the enhanced end user experience include the Citrix solution’s ability to work on low bandwidth. Nilkamal has implemented the Enhanced Data Transport (EDT) protocol by Citrix which works on high latency networks. This ensures that even when the user is accessing the applications from a long-distance network with high latency, they don’t experience any lags. Seamless access with no compromise in performance has been a significant productivity booster even as majority of employees continue to WFH.
With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops in place, Nilkamal in now looking at building a future ready workplace aided by the key tenets of security, choice and experience. Strengthening the partnership further, the company has also invested in API protection and WAF solutions from Citrix to manage their API exposed to the outside world and to protect SAP from Layer 7 attacks respectively.
As a fast-growing company with highly diversified operations, it was imperative to enable our employees with the ability to access SAP from across different locations, including from non-office locations while traveling.