For more than 25 years, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has been providing aircraft leasing solutions to a wide range of airlines around the world. Characterized by growth, both organic and through acquisitions, NAC’s global footprint stretches from its headquarters in Billund, Denmark, to branch offices in Ireland, England, the United States, Canada, and Singapore.
NAC flight inspectors travel from Denmark and Ireland to perform their job duties at more than 70 client sites across 40 countries.
To facilitate a growing global business, NAC’s IT department wanted to establish a flexible cloud-based solution that would give its widespread employees fast and secure access to company resources, whether in one of the offices or out in the field.
So, in close collaboration with their technology partner, Atea, plus Microsoft and Citrix, NAC was the first to create a solution with Citrix XenApp in Microsoft Azure.
A cloud-first strategy
“Working in an organisation, with the means and ambition to create the best conditions, also IT-wise, we aimed— if not for the stars—for the cloud to create a solution to bring data close to users anywhere, any time, and in a flexible and scalable way. We wanted to move our entire infrastructure to Microsoft Azure,” says Morten Thomsen, manager of infrastructure architecture at NAC.
When contacting Atea for assistance in the beginning of 2015, NAC learned that no other company had done this before.
“Already having a Citrix solution in our headquarters, we asked Atea to team up with Microsoft and Citrix to find out how to make it happen,” Morten says.
Agility and scalability to fit business needs
The solution Microsoft and Citrix developed was XenApp in Microsoft Azure, also includes NetScaler Unified Gateway to secure access to apps and data from anywhere. The entire solution is now delivered from three NAC data centres in the three time zones in which NAC operates.
A cloud solution gives NAC the speed they need to keep up with a growing business across locations.
“Our cloud solution is an enabler of growth, as it is now extremely easy to include acquisitions in the NAC infrastructure, giving access to our CRM system, for example,” Morten says. “Also, we can set up new users within minutes. If we were to establish data centres or at least servers at every office, it had been a slow, expensive, and vulnerable solution.”
The scalability of the cloud also helps IT operations run more efficiently.
“If we are to host a conference in Singapore with participants from all over the world, it is very easy to scale up the servers in our Singapore data centres to service more users and scale back down once the conference is over,” Morten says.
Data close to the user – any time, anywhere, on any device
It’s important for employees to be able to use any device, especially when traveling.
“All data and apps are fast accessible to our users, whether they are among the 70 percent of our employees working out of our offices or the remaining 30 percent working in the field,” Morten says. “They can use any device they want, as apps and data are delivered from XenApp/Azure.”
Using Microsoft Azure has allowed NAC to be less dependent on infrastructure.
“Microsoft Azure is carrying all data between our three data centres, using their infrastructure, network and expertise, giving secure and fast access to data for our users anywhere,” Morten says. “This is important as it is a mantra within NAC always to be able to act and never to lose an order.”
Leading the way
“It is very satisfactory having been able to establish a cutting-edge solution when implementing XenApp on Microsoft Azure,” Morten says. “We had the courage to do it— even months before Citrix and Microsoft made it into a product—because we were sure that our business needs were not specific to us but were more general. And because we had expert help doing it.”