Established in 1979, IVG Hospitals provides compassionate care to pets and their families through a team of accomplished veterinary professionals using the most advanced medical solutions available. Headquartered in Woburn, Mass., IVG has three hospitals in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire.
Technology plays a critical role in IVG’s mission to provide the highest level of care to its clients’ pets. The company had invested significant resources in improving its infrastructure, including its servers, network and datacenter, but found that maintaining consistent performance while controlling the costs of its front-line PC operations remained a problem. “The desktop problem had become our largest strategic planning issue and it needed to be solved,” says Ames Prentiss, CEO of IVG. The company needed to address three key issues: eliminating downtime across its distributed hospitals, reducing PC support issues, and creating a secure infrastructure resilient to malware, corruptions and other traditional PC issues.
IVG worked with Citrix partner Technium Consulting to find a desktop virtualization solution that could meet its demanding criteria, including fast performance over a WAN, centralized management and full disk encryption to aid compliance with privacy laws. Competitive server-based desktop virtualization solutions fell short of the hospital’s performance needs while requiring large additional investments in servers, storage and networks. By creating local virtual desktops with Citrix® XenClient®, IVG could meet all of its needs—at less than one-tenth the cost of competitive solutions. “Citrix XenClient provided the only solution without compromises—the highest productivity for users, full management and control for IT, and the lowest total cost of ownership,” said Michael Joseph, president of Technium. “From both a technology and team perspective, XenClient is the best solution available by a wide margin.”
XenClient has enabled IVG to transition to a desktop service model with central PC management, remote helpdesk and recovery. In the past, a support issue may have taken down a PC for days or weeks, greatly impairing productivity in IVG hospitals. XenClient has eliminated most issues through the use of ‘golden’ images, which can be thoroughly tested before being published to users. Any issues that do occur, such as malware or application corruption, can be resolved with a simple reboot, or through the solution’s built-in remote help desk. The only time a desk-side visit is required is when there is a true hardware failure. In this event, the company can deploy a replacement machine with all of the user’s files and settings in a matter of minutes. “By using XenClient to transform our Desktop-as-a-Service model, we have reduced user downtime to nearly zero, maximizing employee productivity. This has increased the hands-on time our doctors can spend focused on the needs of their patients and clients,” says Prentiss.
The centralized management system and self-recovery capabilities of XenClient have helped IVG reduce its PC support and administration needs by 75 percent. In one recent example, an IT administrator rolled out a fix for a legacy application with Windows® 7 compatibility issues in minutes—not the weeks that previously would have been required. “XenClient has enabled our IT team to direct its energies towards more strategic initiatives for the organization. It has also increased our flexibility and agility—for example, when launching new hospitals, we can deploy computers in a fraction of the time it would ordinarily take,” says Prentiss.
IVG now uses XenClient as its standard platform for provisioning desktops in new hospitals and driving IT growth initiatives while maintaining centralized control. The solution also helps IVG fulfill its commitment to green initiatives, including reducing its carbon footprint. For example, XenClient enables administrators to establish power-saving policies such as monitor dimming, LCD power-off, sleep/stand-by mode and battery life extension for mobile users. As new opportunities emerge across IVG’s locations, XenClient provides a cost-efficient, reliable and well managed platform for growth.
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