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Sustainable Business Practices in Extraordinary Times: A Use Case about SAIC-GM's Remote Work

Enterprise IT leaders often face the possibility of major and minor disruptions of all kinds, from planned events such as IT maintenance and office relocations to unplanned events that strike completely without warning, like natural disasters. This can have a major impact on keeping businesses up and running -- even hindering the development of the enterprise.

In the spring of 2020 with the COVID-19 outbreak, SAIC General Motors and Pan-Asian Automotive Technology Center equipped themselves with cloud-ready technology. The IT department responded quickly, enabling full-coverage of mobile offices and remote collaboration in order to efficiently and securely maintain business continuity.

The SAIC GM IT department capitalized on existing technology to deploy its remote virtualization platform. The platform ensures that employees can work safely and efficiently until the end of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Today, the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops solution (or Desktop as a Service) and Citrix Gateway fully support mobile office and remote collaboration scenarios. The remote virtualization platform meets a wide range of office needs, hosting a number of lines of business, including automotive design, IT software development, and office automation application and call centers. It serves 2,600 concurrent desktop users.

Enabling R&D with Citrix CVAD solution

In R&D projects in the automotive industry, capitalizing on the go-to-market time window is critical. Successfully doing so directly impacts the future success or failure of new products. Especially crucial is critical design and development work because the pace of it cannot stop.

For the first time, during the COVID-19 outbreak, SAIC GM and Pan-Asian Automotive engineers embraced telecommuting in order to continue to work on important projects. At any time, they can communicate the latest progress and jointly promote innovative applications to coworkers. With A Citrix cloud-ready virtual desktop infrastructure and a secure access control solution, SAIC's GM and Pan-Asian design and engineering teams are operating at full capacity with a "two-pronged" remote and mobile office initiative. Both sides are working together to drive innovation. A series of tasks, including design, bodywork, chassis, interior, drive systems, and more, are being carried out in an orderly manner.

Functional departments work hand-in-hand with front line business

The slightest nudge causes the widest chain reaction. The core business R&D cannot be separated from the normal operation of human, financial, market and other functional departments escort.

Now, with the Citrix virtual desktop, the day-to-day work of the functional departments is carried out continuously and smoothly, and employees have seamless remote access to all business systems and information within the group. Included are ERP, automated management platforms, internal confidential documents, and other application scenarios. The solution also provides support for role-mining access and related custom policies. This boosts enterprise data security.

In addition to supporting the daily work of hundreds of workers, SAIC's virtual infrastructure also supports hundreds of IT software developers and Angel Star's 1000+ - agent call center. Now these employees are equipped to provide the timely online support for the lines of business.

The Citrix solution protects valuable data by storing it in the data center rather than on devices. Because of this, important information cannot be compromised, lost or stolen. Through a range of policies including access control, data control, and peripheral control, Citrix helps IT leaders ensure security and compliance requirements are met. Now, with solutions that cover everything from core applications, office and back office systems, to mobile office, cloud-ready desktops, and application solutions, SAIC GM can battle security threats.

"Win-win" for businesses and employees working in extraordinary times

The IT environment enables the teams to deliver a "win-win" scenario for the business and its employees during this extraordinary period. The team has kept the business running and ensured easy access and employee satisfaction for the staff.

Modern digital workspaces created with virtual technology enable efficient mobile and remote collaboration. They free-up employees so they can be more productive and ensure the security of data applications. In practice, virtual desktops can be configured in a few simple steps, making it easy for users to work anywhere, anytime. While supporting business continuity, the system also creates a flexible digital workspace that delivers a great employee experience for workers.

The platform also supports smooth roaming from one device type to another requirement for continuous work, and "mobile and remote" office scenarios. Users can access company-standard Windows systems on their personal Apple computers, or they can securely use their internal applications on-demand -- flexibly on different types of devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. Switching devices does not cause any interruption in continuous service.

In this particular battle, The IT department was motivated to upgrade its remote virtual platform in just a few days. This created a solid foundation for the normal operations of SAIC GM's daily office and management work during uncertain times.