Timtraco is a small business manufacturer of ladies' handbags. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the company has around 50 employees. With design facilities in Hong Kong, manufacturing facilities in China and customers around the world, its executives are required to travel frequently for their work.
Beginning in 2006, Timtraco deployed Citrix XenApp® and Citrix Access GatewayTM in order to control remote user access to corporate applications. However, as time went by, the needs of the company's many remote workers grew. When the company planned to deploy an MRP (materials, resources, planning) solution, it was clear that travelling executives would need to be able to access the solution from wherever they happened to be. Timtraco initially looked at providing remote access via a firewall VPN solution, but found it slow, unstable, and unable to meet its needs.
Timtraco decided that desktop virtualization was the answer and began evaluating the available solutions. After a short trial of VMware View, they chose Citrix® XenDesktop®.
Timtraco turned to Citrix's channel partner Ingram Micro, a Hong Kong-based systems integrator, to implement XenDesktop. The implementation process was complete in about two weeks. Once complete, the company's remote users were able to connect a range of client devices from Android and iOS smart phones and tablets to Macbooks and Windows notebook computers to access email and MRP applications from anywhere.
Timtraco's executives need to travel all over China, and sufficient bandwidth is not always available. The smaller form factor of XenApp and XenDesktop, compared to other solutions, was therefore an important consideration.
"We knew that if we were on the road, we couldn't count on very high bandwidth all the time," said F.H. Pang, General Manager, Timtraco Ltd. "We found that the more efficient sessions offered by XenDesktop made for a better user experience all around."
The company also had concerns about the security of its data, since many public networks in China offer inconsistent or poor performance. Timtraco also had to consider the possibility of the loss of important and potentially confidential information in the event that a client device was lost or stolen. But the combination of XenDesktop, XenApp and Access Gateway allayed these concerns by enabling remote users to access everything they needed without having to download any of it to their mobile device.
"Having a single point of log-on with Access Gateway, and virtualized applications with XenApp, allows us to control user access without our company data ever leaving our Hong Kong datacentre," says Ivan Kan, IT Manager. "We have the best of both worlds – anytime, anywhere access, and total peace of mind."
Among the company's off-site users in China and its mobile users on the road, there is a consensus that Citrix is easy to use, benefiting their daily work. The need to work remotely on videos and animations – mainly CAD/CAM applications – meant that the company stood to benefit considerably from WAN optimisation offered by Citrix Branch Repeater®.
"Due to the nature of our work, we needed more than just a remote use capability – we needed a smooth remote user experience," said Pang. "Citrix offers unparalleled ease of use for any mobile user on any mobile device. This benefits our daily work tremendously."
The company estimates that its many mobile users have experienced an increase in productivity of up to 50 per cent. The process of deploying new applications is straightforward, without the need for administrators to tweak each new application individually or reconfigure individual remote end-point devices. This centralization, made possible by XenDesktop, also streamlines the backup process considerably – potentially a logistical headache if corporate data was dispersed among different users and devices in different locations.
"The productivity boost can only be described as tremendous, and if I had to put a figure on it, it would be at least 50 per cent," said Pang. "Just imagine if we needed to troubleshoot across all users and end-points every time we deployed a new application, or if we had to configure third-party back-up solutions. The beauty of Citrix is that you set your IT environment once, and then all corporate applications simply piggy-back on it.”
"It's as though we are working with only one system, one solution… and almost as if we had only one machine. This simplicity and ease of management leads to significant time saved, which is the biggest driver of the productivity increase we've experienced."
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