Your Housing builds Citrix cloud to improve communications

The not-for-profit Your Housing Group has updated its IT infrastructure with a major cloud-based Citrix deployment.

The group, which comprises of both housing associations and companies, provides and manages 32,000 homes across North West England.

Citrix, with partner JMC IT, has replaced the existing infrastructure - which included Novell servers and a GroupWise email system - with centralised databases and Microsoft Exchange Server, as well as a Citrix platform comprising Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp, CloudBridge and Citrix Receiver for 1,200 users.

Two office-based data centers were migrated to a pair of fibre-linked dedicated hosting centres with the compute power split between them, with full real time data synchronisation to ensure full disaster recovery capability.

CloudBridge load balances bandwidth to thin clients, enhancing performance and further cutting cost of ownership.

The Group now has a robust and very flexible infrastructure, delivering application access from any device in any location, said Your Housing.

Senior management and departments have a centralised system with improved group-wide communications and collaboration. And contact centre teams and local offices enjoy having up-to-date information based on reliable business tools and common databases, said the Group.

Andrew Giles, director of ICT at Your Housing Group, said that daily operations are more effective: “With data centralised and Citrix Receiver delivering it to any device, our employees get information when and where they want."

Giles said: "Software applications are securely delivered to all designated teams and are easier to use. Information sharing that was so difficult before has improved beyond measure."

The department has slashed the cost of onboarding new offices and IT resources. For instance, a new operations centre in Warrington was commissioned in days, rather than the weeks previously needed.

Giles said: “We’re saving massively on software licensing, hardware and system support resources. Before migrating to the cloud our IT support team had to spend a lot of time rushing around the North West to update or restore different office PCs.”

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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