Thomas Eggar LLP Enjoys a Secure Mobile Workspace
Thomas Eggar LLP, a top-100 U.K. law firm, simplifies IT management, lowers costs and delivers a secure and stable mobile workspace with Citrix XenApp.
Professional / Public Services
- Enabling simpler IT management
- Reducing IT costs using existing PCs and new thin-client terminals
- Providing worker flexibility with a secure, mobile desktop
across its six offices.
The challenge: simplifying complex software requirements Thomas Eggar was typical of many growing, multi-site, multi-discipline law firms. It had evolved a complex estate of often incompatible software applications to support the needs of different parts of the firm. As Paul explains, “Often the legal profession appears to be behind the times when it comes to technology and that’s largely because of the difficulties in integrating essential applications.”
Typically, a law firm runs a large document management system that must interoperate with a practice management system and separate case management systems, each highly specialised to meet the specific needs of different areas of law. Data must flow freely between these systems. Centrally held documents must be accessible by the practice and case management systems. The vendors of these systems are often at different stages of upgrading their products so that different systems may have different desktop requirements. Paul explains, “One of our practices needed a special case management system that would only work with a certain version of Adobe Reader. The rest of the firm’s systems required a different version. That’s typical of the level of complexity we have. When you multiply that up by Tax and Trust and Property and all the other unique requirements we have, desktop management gets very fragmented and messy.”
As a consequence, Paul’s team had to manage a wide variety of PC desktops, each tailored to specific needs, across the firm’s offices and employees. This placed a considerable overhead on the IT team.
To complicate matters further, Thomas Eggar was about to merge with another law firm. Overnight, on the evening of the merger, Paul’s team would need to provide 74 new staff with a fully integrated Thomas Eggar desktop, while also merging the two firms’ practice management, finance and other administrative systems.
Security, of course, was a critical concern. While Paul and his team needed to simplify IT management, they had to maintain the security of confidential documents and records.
The solution: delivering a single, centrally managed desktop to any device
|Case StudyThomas Eggar LLP is a top-100 U.K. law firm operating across the south of England. Founded in 1881, the firm offers an award-winning private client practice, a property practice and a commercial practice with specialisation in sectors including retail, financial services, manufacturing, sports and leisure, and technology, media and telecoms (TMT). Thomas Eggar has an annual turnover of £37 million. Head of IT Paul Serkis is responsible for providing effective IT systems and services to the firm’s 500 employees, partners and directors
Paul and his team started to explore ways to simplify the firm’s desktop software
“Perhaps the biggest benefit has been showcasing what’s possible. The Citrix solution has enabled us to look forwards. I can’t express how much this solution has opened our eyes to different ways of working.”
Head of IT
Case Study requirements. They evaluated a number of potential partners before selecting Citrix Gold Solution Advisor Thintech Ltd. Thintech proposed using Citrix XenApp to deliver a single, secure desktop image to all users, on any device and in any location. With XenApp, applications and data could be centralized securely in the data centre and a single desktop image delivered to all users. System administration would be managed centrally, reducing cost and improving security. Applications with specific platform requirements (like the case management systems) could be run on separate virtual machines and delivered seamlessly to any user with the appropriate access rights.
“Thintech was very good,” says Paul. “The team came in, held our hand and helped us through the period of change in a controlled manner. They helped us establish the necessary processes and policies in advance so that we avoided problems. Essentially, what we have now is a single ‘fat build’ of a desktop image that we can deploy anywhere.”
Key benefit: enabling simpler IT management
Just as Paul’s team had the Citrix desktop ready,
Thomas Eggar’s imminent merger with Pritchard Englefield was announced. The IT team had just one evening to provide Pritchard Englefield’s staff with a working Thomas Eggar desktop. “The timing was perfect for us,” explains Paul. “Our Citrix desktop was ready and we deployed it immediately to Pritchard Englefield’s existing desktops and laptops. It went very, very well.”
Since then, the XenApp virtual desktop has been rolled out to almost everyone in the expanded firm. It gives users secure access to their familiar Windows apps and desktop while vastly simplifying support and management needs. “If we had continued with the individual desktop approach, we would need another couple of staff by now,” explains Paul.
Key benefit: reducing IT costs using existing
PCs and new thin-client terminals Thomas Eggar has extended the life of existing desktop and laptop PCs by delivering the virtual desktop. Because applications now run in the data centre instead of on the user’s device, PC hardware does not need upgrading to meet system requirements of updated or new applications. Paul explains, “In 2012/13, my PC replacement budget was around £90,000. In
2013/14, it was down to just £40,000 and in
2014/15, we’ve spent nothing!”
As well as breaking the PC hardware replacement cycle, Paul’s team has been deploying costeffective Wyse thin-client terminals into hot-desking areas. “A PC and docking station costs us around £650 to £750 each, but a thinclient terminal is only £150,” explains Paul. “And management is simpler, too.”
Key benefit: providing worker flexibility with a secure mobile desktop “Perhaps the biggest benefit has been showcasing what’s possible,” says Paul. “The Citrix solution has enabled us to look forwards.” Particularly in the London office, Paul has seen employees handing back their laptops, preferring instead to use thin-client terminals in the office and secure, two-factor authentication to access their virtual desktop from home. “They don’t like carrying laptops around. Now, they simply carry their security fob and log in wherever they like.”
With Citrix virtualisation, users view and work with their apps and data over the network rather than having them installed locally. Sensitive case notes, client data and other
Case Study information are secured in the data centre and employees can access them from home, a client’s office and even in court. If a laptop, tablet or other device is lost or stolen, sensitive data remains secure.
“I imagine in the next two years, we won’t have any corporate-owned laptops in the firm. Everyone will access the Citrix desktop from a personal or thin-client device,” explains Paul. “Virtualisation also puts us in a good position to look at full cloud-computing solutions in the future. It gives us a lot of flexibility.”
The success of the XenApp solution has encouraged the firm to consider other ways of extending flexible working. Thomas Eggar is evaluating a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Paul’s team is considering Citrix XenMobile® for mobile device and app management, and Citrix XenDesktop® for delivery of other types of virtual desktops, to further extend the staff’s mobile capabilities. Paul can also see the potential for lower real estate costs in the future, as more employees work flexibly from home or in a hot-desking environment. “I can’t express how much this solution has opened our eyes to different ways of working.”
London Borough of Merton to realise vision of flexible working for 1,750 council employees
The London Borough of Merton has announced that itis deploying Citrix technology to reduce costs and provide staff with a flexible working environment. Implemented by IT consultancy Thintech,the UK Citrix Partner for Capita, the solution not only allows staff to access critical applications from any location via any device, but will also enable the Council to potentially become a shared desktop provider to other London councils.
Merton Council’s workforce is greatly dispersed, with many individuals either being positioned offsite or moving from location-to-location as and when needed. With the UK Government pressurising the public sector to meet efficiency quotas and reduce costs, the Council approached Citrix technology as a solution to the costs associated with maintaining a PC estate spread across various locations.
As such, Merton Councilis deploying Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop technology, supplied by Thintech,to offer a range of desktop virtualisation technologies via the Citrix FlexCast model, including hosted shared desktops and client-side virtualisation. Used in combination with Citrix Receiver, XenApp and XenDesktop willallow Merton staff to benefit from Bring-Your-Own-Device schemes, using Android, iPhone and iPad devices to access work applications, documents and rich-media on the move, as if they were in the office. The Council’s use of Citrix NetScalerwill also allow employees to access a cloud-based internal network where server-based resources and personal desktops can be securely stored.
The project, currently in its advanced stages, is being deployed across a PC estate of 1,750 users. Once the project is complete, the benefits will extend to a 2,000-strong user base. The Council then plans to become a shared services provider, allowing other councils to merge theirIT infrastructures with that of Merton’s to reap the benefits of virtual computing technology.
Richard Warren, Head of IT Service Delivery at London Borough of Merton said: “Since implementing Citrixsolutions through Thintech, we’ve been able to ensure that our staff haveaccess to the information they need wherever they are, whatever the device they use. We have also achieved significant efficiency savings through the initiative by consolidating office resources, meaning that we now needfewer office buildings available for our staff to hot desk from. By consolidating our sites, not only have we saved money on office space, we’ve also been able to reduce the management overheads associated with running the PC estate.
“The flexibility this technology provides truly allows Merton to become a forward-looking local authority at the forefront of innovation, and allows us to subsequently share our technology with other authorities.”
“The challenges Merton were faced with – high administrative overheads and a dispersed workforce – are not uncommon within the public sector but are easily solved by the flexibility of virtual desktops,” said DavidBibby at Thintech.“The solutions are easily managed and will also allow the Council to simplify their existing network infrastructure so that the IT department can focus on the core network.”
“Desktop virtualisation is a technology that provides much more than vital cost efficiencies in a time of economic pressure,” said James Stevenson, Area Vice President, Northern Europe at Citrix. “Merton Council can now provide its employees with the tools they need to get the job done, wherever they are. The flexibility, mobility and productivity experienceoffered via cloud services technology means that the Council can run a slicker, streamlined operation that other authorities can follow.”
About London Borough of Merton
Visit Merton Council’s web site for further information http://www.merton.gov.uk/
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) transforms how businesses and IT work and people collaborate in the cloud era. With market-leading cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and more accessible for 260,000 organizations. Citrix products touch 75 percent of Internet users each day and it partners with more than 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2011 was $2.21 billion. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
East Kent Services deploys Citrix virtual desktop
East Kent Shared Services has issued Citrix mobile workspace technology to organisations to reduce operational cost and increase collaboration.
The organisation provides shared services to Canterbury city council, Dover and Thanet District Councils, and organisations such as East Kent Housing and East Kent HR Partnership. It has around 1,500 IT users…
Medway Council delivers better for less
Medway Council serves a population of 270,000 in Kent, United Kingdom. The council’s geography is 50 per cent rural, 50 per cent urban and embraces a wide demographic range. Like most local governments, Medway has faced financial constraints following a reduction in central government funding. Head of ICT Moira Bragg runs a team of 60 that supports the council’s estate of over 100 separate locations. She explains, “Most local authorities are looking for ways to transform their services. At Medway, we have a programme that is looking for ways to drive efficiency: doing things better, but more efficiently. That includes working more flexibly to reduce the number of properties occupied by staff.”…
KENT COUNCILS ON COURSE TO SAVE £2.7M SHARING SERVICES
Three Kent councils have opted to share services, deploying Citrix as they try to save £2.7m over four years.
Canterbury, Dover and Thanet District Councils will share Citrix mobile workspace technology via East Kent Services (EKS), their shared services provider for customer services, income and payments, to boost IT savings by 42% more than originally conceived