K2M is a spinal medical device company in Northern Virginia, founded in 2004. They have commercialized innovative complex spine and minimally invasive spine technologies and techniques used by spine surgeons to treat some of the most complicated spinal pathologies.
With a data center located in Virginia, it was imperative to maintain business continuity, as a result, they also have a disaster recovery site located in Chicago. K2M outsources the management of their virtual infrastructure to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). While the MSP manages the infrastructure, K2M has a lean IT department that focuses on the applications, databases, security, and other IT services.
Enabling secure global collaboration and productivity
K2M started small, and as they grew, they began evaluating technology solutions to help their company’s operations. Today, K2M has a salesforce of 170 employees globally dispersed across North America and Europe. They needed a solution that would enable productivity and collaboration to their sales staff around the globe. K2M chose Citrix Cloud to deliver a full desktop experience to their end-users, providing access to Office applications, compliance training, and sales reports.
“The main business need for Citrix was to be able to provide a more productive user experience for our remote users,” explains Mike Runnheim, Enterprise Infrastructure Architect at K2M.
Citrix also enables secure remote access for their developers, as K2M has a team of developers dispersed amongst California and India. “The second main reason for implementing Citrix was for our developers based in California and India. We needed to provide remote access to their applications that would perform well on a high-latency network, while keeping the data secure,” explains Mike Runnheim.
Citrix enables K2M’s development team to remain productive. Prior to implementing Citrix, if a developer’s endpoint needed servicing, they would ship it back to headquarters for repair. This would cause significant downtime in the development cycle. Now with Citrix, the developers are empowered to use their own devices. Mike also notes how the developers enjoy the ability to connect two large monitors when working within their Citrix virtual desktop and how it enables them to work more efficiently.
Choosing Citrix Cloud over VMware
As a current VMware customer on the hypervisor side, when K2M began looking into app and desktop delivery solutions, they evaluated VMware solutions but decided Citrix Cloud was the best choice.
“We looked at the VMware product, but Citrix Cloud intrigued with its low entry cost.”
Empowering choice with device flexibility
Today’s workforce wants the flexibility to use their device of choice, and K2M’s sales staff is no different. The flexibility for their end-users to use their device of choice, such as a MAC, iPad, or iPhone to securely access their virtual applications and desktops not only enhances the user experience but also provides operational benefits. K2M offers their staff the ability to choose a corporate-imaged laptop or use their own device. Roughly 30 employees have decided to use their own device and not use the company owned equipment. The ability to implement an optional BYOD program has saved them on not having to deploy or replace endpoint equipment, as well as the operational overhead of maintaining those devices. As more employees are coming up for an upgrade, they are offering the choice for employees to use their own devices and access all of their applications and desktops through Citrix.
Enhancing K2M’s security profile
The ability to centralize their apps and data and provide secure remote access over an encrypted connection, while being able to control each user’s access with policies from Citrix Workspace, ensures K2M’s data remains safe, in their data center and behind their security layers.
“Security is one of our main IT requirements. We try to limit the amount of data that can be saved on non-company devices,” explains Mike Runnheim. “With the capabilities of Citrix Workspace being able to granularly lock down screen sharing, local drive access, USB access, all while keeping our data safe within our data center, makes Citrix a logical solution.”
Additionally, by centralizing their apps and data in the data center, Citrix allows K2M to lock down their users workstations, further enhancing their security profile.
Flying through Citrix Workspace with administration ease
K2M chose the Citrix Cloud platform due to the minimal on-prem investment and minimal setup. Mike notes how streamlined the Citrix Cloud admin interface is and how he documented the steps to deploy new workloads and assign user access in a one-page Word document.
“From the administrative-side, we probably only spend 10 hours a month maintaining the Citrix environment,” explains Mike Runnheim. “It’s been very beneficial that we’ve been able to get up and running with Citrix Workspace without the need for additional headcount.”