Recreation in the cloud with desktop virtualization: from museums to sports club

Syx Automations Group, Belgium , is the market leader for IT solutions in the leisure world, in both the Benelux and the UK. The group consists of Syx Graphics, Sydelsoft and Syx Automations. Syx Graphics specializes in printing and producing PVC fitting (access). Sydelsoft is the software house of the group and has developed, among others, ReCreateX - used for computerization in sports clubs, fitness centers, museums, theaters, amusement parks and public services. Besides automation of administration, Syx Automations offers solutions for access control, video surveillance, building management, climate control and coolin. Syx Automations Group employs 85 people and has a turnover of 14.5 million euros.

The Challenge: Creating extra flexibility to your desktop 

Syx has developed an application for the recreational market, ReCreateX. This solution is used by thousands of customers in the Netherlands and Belgium as a traditional on-premise application, as well as a hosted web application. "However, we experience more and more that our customers in the leisure industry would like a complete working environment. Therefore, we now also offer our ReCreateX hosted application according to the DaaS model, ReCreateX running Citrix software in the data center serves customers with a complete hosted desktop environment. Citrix enables ReCreateX to offer our customers a full desktop through our application, but also Microsoft Office ™ and many other applications available to us,"says Dirk Syx CEO at Syx Automations Group.

Entering the virtual desktop 

The company expects strong growth for the hosted desktop in the cloud. The main reason to choose Citrix solutions as the underlying platform was the excellent scalability with advanced load balancing features. "Because we have virtualized all of the servers in Microsoft Hyper-V ™ to desktops and applications with Citrix products, our customers have nothing to do with hardware," continues Syx. "The introduction of hosted desktops with impressive speed, with only a few settings in the data center, is sufficient to take the new environment successful. Most of the work is ReCreateX as an ERP application which always requires some adjustments to a customer or a link with the back office is necessary. At the moment we have 50 links including civil affairs, national and state register and all kinds of accounting environments. But even then it is a matter of a day's work. "Currently there are about 400 active clients on the central Citrix environment. The total virtual environment consists of some 100 virtual machines on Microsoft Hyper-V feature of Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 R2, used for web hosting and more than 200 ReCreateX users.”

Supports the dynamics of the leisure industry 

The leisure industry is very dynamic and requires a high degree of flexibility. An amusement park is extremely sensitive to seasons: during the high season there are many more users than in the winter season. A concert hall sometimes has to deal with artists that are extremely popular and therefore attract more visitors, causing a need for temporary extra capacity. "With the hosted environment, a customer chooses how many desktops it needs in a month. This highly flexible desktop is a big advantage for many government agencies and foundations, because the number of desktops can grow each month or even may decrease as needed, "continues Syx. "This scalability and flexibility ensures that each time a contract needs to be done there are not any time needs to be reinvested. We have a long-term relationship with our customers. "

Less complexity, clear cost structure 

The organization increasingly looks at outsourcing IT because it is all becoming too complex. "Before the introduction of the hosted desktop that we purchase from Syx, it was quite a task for our IT staff to keep the application server for the room reservation system up-to-date, "says Leon Brooymans, Head of ICT at the city Kapellen (Belgium). "Now the IT staff can spend more time on the functional aspect of the applications and the support for users, rather than having to concentrate on maintaining the underlying basic infrastructure. For a fixed monthly fee, the customer receives a local HP thin client with Citrix Receiver ™ and access ReCreateX centralized environment with the necessary office applications and back office systems. Obviously, with 24x7 availability, backups and support part of the monthly fee. "

Everywhere safe work

"Our organization has grown from a single location to multiple locations, in addition we received more users. We wanted an environment that is accessible everywhere: at work, but also from home. Now with the hosted desktop, it allows large numbers of people to work from different locations or sometimes work from home. It is convenient that employees can quickly and easily log into their own environment, even from an Apple iPad or iPhone, "said Erik Busscher, Director Sportbedrijf Almelo. "Another advantage is that all our data is stored centrally and not on individual computers.

Sustainable IT is a bonus

The infrastructure is located in two data centers in Ypres and in the backup data center in Passchendaele. The data centers are green efficient and have been running on 3000 m² of their own energy from solar panels on the roof and use special cooling techniques. At the moment, the green electricity may shorten its new wind turbines on the industrial Ieperlee Canal, the data centers are 100% green. "Sustainable IT is becoming increasingly important. DaaS allows our customer to use our green datacenters and sustainable IT standard as part of our concept. 

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in mobile workspaces, providing virtualization, mobility management, networking and cloud services to enable new ways to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, personal workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 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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"Our organization has grown from a single location to multiple locations, in addition we received more users. We wanted an environment that is accessible everywhere: at work, but also from home. Now with the hosted desktop, it allows large numbers of people to work from different locations or sometimes work from home.
- Erik Busscher

Director

Sportbedrijf Almelo

Industry 

  • Leisure Industry IT Solutions

Key Benefits

  • Drastic reduction of IT complexity
  • Instant scalability to more or fewer desktops
  • Clearly structured costs per workstation
  • All-in-one concept for the workplace
  • Saves energy and provides a sustainable IT solution

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