Socofin uses Citrix solutions to virtualize servers and deliver applications
Socofin is a company dedicated to collection management and financial regulation and was founded in 1999. It is owned by the Bank of Chile, a historic financial institution created in 1893 to provide services to the Chilean market.
Socofin has a network of 29 branches located in the 15 regions of the country, providing collection services and credit normalization for the Bank of Chile and other companies.
Their business model requires local presence and a work team, which carries out telephone management with the clients of the bank, through a latest-generation contact center.
Due to its extension throughout all of Chile, Socofin required a solution that would permit them to remotely administrate their branches and quickly activate a new work station both within the headquarters as in the branches, and offer its client management applications to the network of users.
Socofin uses specialized applications for prejudicial and judicial collection, as well as liquidation and safe systems. At a corporate level, they use an application named C, from the Financial System Company. They also use a Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) solution. They use Oracle’s bank- management system, Flexcube. IBM’s business-intelligence-Cognos tool is in use as well and the use of these programs all demand high bandwidth from the corporate network.
“Using Citrix technologies meant that we did not require links with large broadbands, since Citrix Access Gateway and Citrix NetScaler optimize the communication between the different geographical points of our branches very well,” mentions Jaime Sanhueza Miranda, Technological Development Manager at Socofin.
The company has been using a Citrix virtualization solution for more than 10 years, and we wanted to add value by implementing new products such as Access Gateway, Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenServer and NetScaler. This would allow the IT infrastructure to align with the new technological requirements of the company, giving flexibility and scalability to the Socofin technological platform.
Implementing the Citrix solution
Because it is a financial company whose operations are sensitive in terms of information back up and management, Citrix solutions were implemented to one sector of the company at a time.
“The new infrastructure is composed of three Dell PowerEdge R710 servers and a Dell EqualLogic storage system, which allows virtualization of the 25 servers. It was activated in a successful and controlled manner, allowing the new structure to have mobile profiles and high availability”, adds Sanhueza Miranda.
Together with e-Contact, a partner business company of Citrix in Chile, Socofin created a migration strategy for each of the 25 physical servers to only three hosts, which stored the virtual servers of the new platform. They are machines that support about 20 business applications, which are currently published in the virtualized environment provided by Citrix.
The implementation process took four months, during which Socofin virtualized their server infrastructure for Citrix XenServer and published business applications such as Siebel, Cognos, Oracle Flexcube, plus internally developed systems that support the business turnover of the company.
“We took a very important step by using XenApp for the delivery of applications, and we also implemented the virtualization of the XenServer and the load balance through NetScaler. This architecture has given us a lot of flexibility, which was demonstrated during the earthquake of February 2010, when we activated virtual branches in different parts of the country in a very short time”, remarks Sanhueza Miranda.
Socofin achieves higher availability and lower costs
Socofin is an organization with an extensive network of 29 branches and a hundred users distributed around various regions of Chile. Its centralized administration system ensures more security since the terminals used by Socofin do not allow peripheral systems to enter, which could lead to theft or the entry of a virus, Trojan or other malicious attacks.
“The advantage of this model is that we have higher availability and achieve greater space optimization in the data center; in fact, we reduced the space occupied by the 25 servers by 70 percent”, he assures.
Amongst other advantages, Socofin lowered the cooling cost of the data center and reduced the electricity consumption. “We passed data from each physical server to a virtual one, and reduced the electrical consumption and the cooling requirements in our data center”, says Sanhueza Miranda.
More services, more workstations in the future
Thanks to a history of success with the Citrix solution, in the future there will be more opportunities to implement new virtualization systems that will permit better management of the IT environment, offering new services to users, and this is not only within the Socofin environment.
“At this time we are carrying out a small pilot for workstation virtualization, for which we have created a testing environment with 100 workstations. We have already taken the first step and later we will continue growing until we reach all 500 users that we have today”, he said.
The step to the future with the virtualization of the workstations will provide the possibility of working online for the employees of the firm. “It is something we are considering for next year, since there is already a growing tendency to offer this opportunity to companies”, concludes Sanhueza Miranda.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the company transforming how people, businesses and IT work and collaborate in the cloud era. With market-leading cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and more accessible for 260,000 enterprises. Citrix touches 75 percent of Internet users each day and partners with more than 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2011 was $2.21 billion. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
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- Extension of the hardware’s useful life
- Centralized management of the IT infrastructure
- Unique user experience under the concept of applications delivery
- Resolution of information security problems and compliance with the standards related to the financial sector