Finding growth opportunities has never been a problem for WAGO, the global leader of spring pressure electrical interconnection and automation solutions for industries including manufacturing, process industry, power engineering, railway systems, and automotive.
Headquartered in Minden, Germany, WAGO has grown to almost 8,000 employees worldwide. Sales have doubled in the past 10 years, with 2017 revenues topping 862 million euros—13 percent higher than 2016.
Handling that growth from the IT side, however, presents a wide range of challenges as WAGO expands globally.
“We are growing every year—five, 10, 15 percent—and to manage this…is our biggest issue,” says Manfred Brillert, WAGO’s head of IT international.
With almost 1,000 servers housed in two data centers in Minden, WAGO has been migrating workflows to the cloud with the help of Citrix Cloud services. The decision has brought the needed IT agility and scalability WAGO requires to continue its rapid growth.
WAGO uses the XenApp and XenDesktop Service through Citrix Cloud to deliver and centrally manage digital workspaces. The flexibility and scalability of the cloud allows the company to easily expand business globally.
“We can decide if we need, for example, a local workload in Australia. It’s very easy to bring them up directly into the cloud because we may have no data center in Australia, so we can bring up cloud services around the world to handle these kinds of services in different locations,” says David Kreft, WAGO’s head of service center and system integrations.
Citrix Cloud services give IT the flexibilty to decide whether they want to host the apps and desktops in the cloud, at a data center, or on premises at company headquarters. Regardless of where they’re deployed, Citrix Cloud services securely link to WAGO’s enterprise directory, making the workspace available to anyone, anywhere.
Makro Factory is a German IT consulting firm focusing on IT strategies and centralized IT infrastructures. The company provides services to major clients from the banking and insurance sectors, industry and commerce, as well as public authorities. Makro Factory's employees help companies with projects relating to the virtualization of servers, clients and applications. They also assist with strategic and economic management of IT projects, as well as with concept and risk assessments for internal and external clouds. Makro Factory operates throughout Europe and has a strong partner network. The company philosophy is based on their commitment to achieve the highest standards in quality and customer satisfaction.
Where it would traditionally take IT staff hours, days, or months to deploy an app with servers at a data center, it can be done in minutes with the Citrix Cloud, Kreft adds.
Citrix Cloud services’ Smart Tools speeds up and simplifies design, deployment, and management of apps. And with the Smart Tools Smart Scale function, specifically, WAGO can keep costs under control with on-demand scaling. For example, a secure workspace can scale by adding capacity on premises, in the cloud, or a combination of the two.
“Before, you had to spend money in local hardware and in licenses. Now we can invest specifically in cloud services, which offer tremendous agility. You can shut down by the ‘push of a button’ if you don’t need the service anymore,” says Kreft.
The WAGO sales team also sees tremendous benefits in its daily work. In one example, Citrix ShareFile allows for easy and frictionless document exchanges and synchronization between different endpoint devices.
“This means that our salespeople always have a virtual briefcase with them when they meet clients, which means they can access current catalogues and product information using a tablet, for example,” Kreft notes.
In addition, the integration of Outlook into ShareFile makes it possible to send the client documents, even during the meeting, and in the relevant language. Instead of needing to print documents, all the content is managed in a central library for easy access to allow users to send and exchange them as needed, Kreft explains.
Citrix Cloud services also improve product development for WAGO engineers who design controllers and other devices with the help of CAD systems. These employees are not confined to Minden laboratories or manufacturing facilities to design, collaborate, and build WAGO controllers, explains Kreft. Additionally, through VDIs, WAGO engineers can work with third parties without exposing data center information, which is critical for security.
Citrix Cloud services also offer added security for WAGO’s product development process by having no personal or local data stored on a computer or laptop.
“So, [if] the notebook is stolen, nothing happens.…There [is] no data. This is how we define safety, and this is very important for us,” Kreft says.
Citrix’s NetScaler Web App Security Service also uses signatures, blacklisted and whitelisted URLs, and IP reputation for added security. At the same time, NetScaler Management and Analytics Service allows for end-to-end control and visibility of WAGO’s infrastructure across multiple clouds.
“I think with the Citrix Cloud we have more security than we have…on premises,” adds Brillert.
Citrix’s XenMobile Service and Access Gateway allows desktop users access from anywhere and from different types of devices, whether it’s an iPad, home PC, or phone. Bringing mobile device access to employees was an early stage cloud transition for WAGO.
“[With] XenMobile, we handle any iPad…any iPhone around the world…and this is one of the first workloads where we [brought] it out to the cloud. It’s very comfortable. It is now critical,” Kreft notes.
The device flexibility is also critical for finding top-tier employees for positions located at the Minden headquarters, according to Heike Nehrmann, WAGO’s head of IT operations.
“Minden is not a hotspot, and when we try to get new staff with much experience, they don’t want to go to Minden because it’s not a hotspot and then they work [in a] remote office with different kinds of devices and it makes it easy. Citrix makes it easy,” she says.
WAGO operates under a hybrid multi-cloud system and has been slowly incorporating cloud services for more than a decade. With cloud flexibility, adding expensive data centers in the future may be unnecessary, according to Nehrmann.
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) aims to power a world where people, organizations and things are securely connected and accessible to make the extraordinary possible. Its technology makes the world's apps and data secure and easy to access, empowering people to work anywhere and at any time. Citrix provides a complete and integrated portfolio of Workspace-as-a-Service, application delivery, virtualization, mobility, network delivery and file sharing solutions that enables IT to ensure critical systems are securely available to users via the cloud or on premise and across any device or platform. With annual revenue in 2016 of $3.42 billion, Citrix solutions are in use by more than 400,000 organizations and over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
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