Hosted desktop solves problems and allows for growth

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UB Plastics Limited is a privately-owned plastic injection moulding company that specialises in the design and manufacture of products for a diverse range of industries including brewing, food packaging and building. The technically advanced ISO 9001:2000 accredited company, in the heart of the UK’s brewing industry at Burton on Trent, uses the latest in mould labelling technology offering up to five colour branding.

Issue

In recent years the company has grown and placed more demands on their IT infrastructure and the business supporting it. Unfortunately, neither proved particularly good for the job and the on-premise solution was becoming increasingly unreliable.

All users were connected to the office server, which had been incorrectly configured and kept crashing. Often users would not be able to access the necessary applications or data and IT support SLA’s were missed, with some problems taking days rather than hours to resolve. The resulting down time was having a detrimental effect on production and prompted senior management to seek a permanent solution, with capacity to meet the future needs of the expanding business.

Solution

As with all such solutions, our involvement started with a discussion of present and future needs of the business with the management team, followed by a complete review of the existing service and a full network optimisation audit. This highlighted all the problems and allowed us to understand the specific needs of the business and develop the most suitable solution.

We determined a hosted desktop environment would not only solve the current issues, but allow the flexibility for growth UB Plastics was seeking. With a hosted desktop solution, users can access their applications and data from anywhere, at any time, with any device. Importantly, access is available even on the slowest of internet connections, or even 3G from a Smartphone if necessary.

The solution designed for UB Plastics, removed the need for backend infrastructure, with only hardware to access the internet required for each user. All the necessary virtual servers, backup and disaster recovery, firewalls and security, storage for all third party apps and a network drive to share between users, is now hosted in our data centre in Tamworth. Our Qcloud hosted desktop solution also includes hosted e-mail and all email security.

We supply all the non-third party software on a Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) basis, which ensures UB Plastics always has the very latest version of Microsoft products, with all the essential updates installed immediately. This approach also allows UB Plastics to increase or decrease the number of users without having to make any significant upfront investment.

Citrix ensures end users can connect to their hosted desktop infrastructure via a simple URL, simply entering their username and password to gain secure access – there are no difficult VPN settings or Terminal Server sessions. Importantly, each user can access the local ports and peripherals of the machine they are sitting at, so printing is no problem, despite using a remotely hosted desktop.

Benefits

Staff at UB Plastics can now communicate and collaborate more easily. Productivity has been helped by the ability for users to log in from any computer in the office, home or out and about, to work with their own familiar applications and data. The new email service with advanced anti-spam filters improves connectivity and frees users from unnecessary administration jobs.

The ability to access the full Office suite of applications via the virtual desktop infrastructure has helped futureproof. When an upgrade or patch is released by Microsoft, we ask UB Plastics if they want it implementing, before we ensure every desktop receives the newest version. This reduces the risk of the business accidentally introducing a whole range of compatibility issues when making the changes to individual machines.

Our team of engineers helped the UB Plastics staff understand the improved capabilities of the new system, helping improve productivity and efficiency.

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