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Third Octet advances the higher education experience at University Toronto Mississauga by onboarding a virtual classroom environment in record time.

Helping a long-time customer harness the power of their Citrix Cloud investment


Under extremely tight timelines, Citrix Partner Third Octet transformed in-person classes and labs at the University Toronto Mississauga (UTM) into competitive remote educational experiences using digital workspace solutions and an underutilized investment in Citrix Cloud. IT is now shifting towards exploring future integrations with ServiceNow for student self-service and MicroApp development within Citrix Workspace.

Business Challenge

With the global pandemic threatening to shut down all in-person classes and labs, long-time Citrix customer UTM faced an overnight upheaval of their entire on-prem system. In three months, they needed to turn the current environment into a modernized remote classroom-- or face potential loss of enrollment.

UTM partnered with Third Octet for help developing remote labs capable of delivering on-site tools and resources at scale, while being easily accessible to students regardless of location or device. These environments needed to be flexible enough to adapt to the unexpected changes of a newly distributed educational system.

The Solution

After identifying student, staff and IT priorities, Third Octet leveraged UTM’s underutilized investment in Citrix Cloud to minimize the burden on their IT staff and mitigate an adoption period for students.

“We minimized, at all costs, the need for students to adapt,” says Matthew Metelsky, CEO, Third Octet. “Instead, we wanted Citrix to handle the adaptation. Under extensive testing, we validated all potential user experiences to ensure "sign on and go" access to any resources.”

Third Octet mapped out the new educational requirements and rearchitected a delivery strategy that was careful not to add any complexity to user experience. Citrix Cloud provided a seamless, always-on anywhere access to lab resources using a combination of Citrix Remote PC, scaling with extra virtual resources from the data center.

Moving towards widespread resources, Third Octet built out a shared infrastructure with the necessary applications, tools and data needed for supplemental education, providing students with access to widely used resources.

As they unburdened IT staff, Third Octet explored beyond Citrix for more areas where they could streamline. Working closely with ServiceNow, they showed how the ITSM Adapter, coupled with provisioning strategies, could remove the need for IT involvement and increase value for students and faculty.


Third Octet transitioned resources to a virtual format, under tight deadlines, and continues to provide flexible access to UTM resources for the student body.

With Citrix Cloud, UTM is shifting focus to faculty, exam delivery and complex resource requirements, as well as further innovation in educational delivery. They are also well-positioned for future remote learning opportunities and use case exploration across faculty and student bodies, including microapp development within Citrix Workspace.

“When you have a product like Citrix, with how we've configured it – it just works,” says Anthony Betts, Senior IT Manager, IT Client Services, UTM. “That allows us to focus on what’s important for our people and our students.”

About Third Octet

A PLATINUM Citrix Solution Advisor (CSA) and Citrix Service Provider (CSP), Third Octet believes successful businesses are built on happy, engaged, and collaborative employees – employees who can focus on high-value and deeply meaningful work. Their technology solutions focus on removing physical place and technology as a barrier to productivity and engagement, allowing employees to work when-, where-, and however they choose, minimizing time to productive, and allowing personalized definition of their own Work. Life. Balance. They collaboratively deliver and manage technology solutions within Digital Workspaces, Collaboration, Hybrid Cloud, Automation, and Cloud Security. They were also the Citrix Canada Partner of the Year in 2017.

When you have a product like Citrix, with how we've configured it – it just works. That allows us to focus on what’s important for our people and our students.
Anthony Betts
Senior IT Manager, IT Client Services


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