Workspaces – Case Study

Customer

A venture capital backed Insurance Broker whose objective is to acquire other broking business within the UK and consolidate / migrate these onto the group platform.

Challenge

The main challenge was to create a core group wide platform capable of scaling quickly as the customer acquired new businesses whilst remaining secure and easily maintainable. The requirements consisted of the following:

  • Build a secure, scalable cloud platform to support 1,500 users with the ability to scale to more than 3,000 users.
  • Design, build and deploy a virtual desktop within the cloud platform.
  • Manage and maintain the virtual desktop, including role related variants.
  • Integrate the virtual desktop with business applications which are a mixture of On-premise, Hosted or SaaS.
  • Integrate the virtual desktop with a managed print solution.
  • Deploy and manage mobile device management for company phones and tablets.
  • Migrate Group businesses and end users onto the cloud platform.
  • Provide a full (ITIL compliant) service management capability.

What we did

The initial phase involved designing and deploying a virtual private cloud in AWS to host core services such as Active Directory, Intrusion Detection, Microsoft Update Servers (WSUS), Software Deployment, Management Servers, Print Servers and Zero Client Configuration. Within this phase was the design and deployment of the core virtual desktop image, which was built using a default Windows 10 Workspace, onto which Alscient deployed Single Sign On (Okta), Trend (Anti-Virus), Office 365 (Email, Word etc.), Egnyte (Corporate File Share), IE 11 and Chrome (Web Browsers), Web Filtering (Symantec), Print Drivers (Print Management), Business Applications and links to SaaS providers.

The second phase focused on two subsidiaries with approximately 220 users. In this phase Alscient created software packages in Chocolatey to deploy the applications used by insurance broking, risk management, finance, product development and human resource teams within these subsidiaries. The final activity in this phase was to migrate users, their e-mail accounts and files shares to the new environment. This involved building 220 Workspaces and 145 laptops, removing all existing desktops, along with deploying 75 zero client devices across 2 locations. This involved user accounts and permissions being migrated to Okta and AD; email accounts being migrated from a 3rd party hosted exchange server to Office 365 and Mimecast (Journaling); with approximately 3 TB of data being migrated from on-premise file servers to an online SaaS file sharing service.

The third phase focused on the Groups largest subsidiary with approximately 285 users, spread across 6 locations. In this phase Alscient created additional software packages to deploy the applications used by application development, underwriting, marketing, business intelligence and senior management teams. The final activity in this phase was to migrate users, their e-mail accounts and files shares to the new environment. This involved building 285 Workspaces and 165 laptops, along with deploying 120 zero client devices across 6 locations.

The final phase in 2017 was to deploy mobile device management to 250 business use mobile phones and table devices.

Results

In total over 500 users, across 8 UK offices have been migrated to the virtual desktop providing the following benefits to the customer:

  • A managed desktop with approved software only, resulting in very few reported errors.
  • Single sign on across desktop and business applications, with the ability to restrict access based on location and/or device.
  • All data backed up and stored securely in the cloud.
  • The ability to roll out desktop refreshes with minimal effort and no business disruption.