The company, which operates in the logistics sector, upgraded its virtualised architecture using Citrix and Praim solutions to improve maintenance and control of clients and peripherals.
Established during the post-war period, SUSA was initially involved in transporting food products around central Italy. In the 1960s it opened new distribution facilities throughout Italy. It was in the 1970s and 1980s, however, that the company embarked on a real period of growth, thanks to its involvement in the distribution of automotive parts. This growth, coupled with an extension of the services offered, continues today.
Satisfied with its experience of Citrix virtualisation solutions, SUSA needed to develop its outdated infrastructure in order to improve management and support the increased demand for services resulting from the growth of the business. Like any business with a nationwide presence (the company has a head office and various regional offices), SUSA required centralised management of both clients and connected peripherals, such as printers, handheld terminals, and scanners.
“In 2016 we began to analyse the solutions available on the market,” recalls Giovanni Simoncelli, Business Development Manager of PCS Group, one of SUSA’s digital transformation partners, “and in 2017 we embarked on the project which involved an initial phase of upgrading our client inventory for over 100 users based in the head office and regional offices. This will be followed by upgrading the whole installation.”
Developing existing virtual solutions
As SUSA was already using Citrix XenApp and MetaFrame solutions for centralised infrastructure, the company opted for continuity. The natural development process led the company to adopt the latest versions of XenApp and XenDesktop, together with thin and zero clients such as Praim’s Neutrino series – certified “Citrix Ready” – and ThinMan console.
Consequently, in addition to being able to cope with greater demand for services from users and maintain the same user experience as the previous architecture, SUSA’s IT department is also capable of centrally managing the peripherals used in the various offices, such as handheld terminals and scanners.
The overall level of security has improved during the upgrading process, thanks to the installation of next-generation operating systems, the in-built robustness of the control policies, and user profiling, all of which are centrally managed via Citrix Universal Profile Manager.
Releasing software is now easier
The advanced centralised management, facilitated by the new platforms, allows improved and more efficient control of both hardware and software, saving time and resources.
“A significant result of the implementation of the new architecture,” explains Armando Tonnetti, CIO of SUSA, “is that we can now rely on the uniformity of the software installed and precise control of the licenses for the packages we use, such as Microsoft Office.”
The user experience has improved, as well as the management features: the data flow has been optimised thanks to the development of the protocol for transmitting data to the HDX suite. Users can now take advantage of more advanced features provided by XenDesktop and are able to use multi-platform applications and desktops (Windows, Linux, Apple and Android) and transfer sessions between devices.
The most striking result of this project, implemented in partnership with PCS Group using Citrix and Praim solutions, is the reduction of recovery times: “In the past, it took around three days to get a PC back up and running,” explains Tonnetti. “Now, thanks to the combination of Citrix/Praim solutions, it takes just two hours in the event of software problems and one day for hardware issues.”
With remote assistance, SUSA’s central IT department can intervene in real time to configure terminals or resolve users’ operational issues, even from 300 miles away, without relying on third-party software. Thanks to Citrix and Praim technology, endpoint hardware issues do not result in data losses, as this is all stored in the central system. “We are also now able to centralise user data backups, meaning we can restore information in the event that any important documents are accidentally deleted,” concludes Tonnetti.
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is leading the transition to software-defining the workplace, uniting virtualization, mobility management, networking and SaaS solutions to enable new ways for businesses and people to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, mobile workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. With annual revenue in 2015 of $3.28 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 400,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
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It used to take three days to restore a client. With Praim and Citrix technology, this now takes around two hours in the event of software problems and one day for hardware crashing issues.