With over 30 sites across the city, the German Red Cross (DRK) in Düsseldorf is the one of the largest district associations in Germany. This is where being efficient and productive can literally save lives which is why the staff at DRK Düsseldorf need to be able to work from anywhere. Bechtle found the perfect solution in the shape of Citrix, which allows all 1,500 of the organisation’s devices to be used quickly, securely and simultaneously from anywhere. Together, Bechtle and DRK Düsseldorf implemented a strategy of high availability.
The German Red Cross faces emergencies and unusual situations every day. In Düsseldorf, fast response times are critical, processes have to run smoothly and admin enquiries, for example, have to be answered promptly. After all, the wellbeing of the people of Düsseldorf depends on fast IT which is why staff were constantly frustrated by the length of time needed to long on to their computers using Remote Desktop Service, having to wait anywhere between 90 seconds and 5 minutes before they could finally start work. It was important to find a solution to improve productivity and significantly reduce login times. An ambitious target was set: None of DRK Düsseldorf’s 1,500 staff should have to wait longer than 20 seconds to use their own workstations plus they should be able to work as efficiently and securely as possible from anywhere, no matter which end device they use.
Bechtle suggested to virtualise the DRK IT environment because with the right virtualisation solution, data are only loaded onto computers when they are really needed and the log in processes is very fast. The benefits of the Citrix solution proposed by Bechtle were clear to see. A significant increase in productivity and almost infinite network scalability are a snap with Citrix. Of utmost importance to DRK Düsseldorf was that the highly sensitive patient data they worked with remained secure. Citrix comes with the best security features available today and protects against unauthorised access when DRK employees are working remotely with Citrix ADC (previously Netscaler) which Bechtle leverages to outsource the firewall SSL, IDS and anti-virus tools in accordance with the European General Data Protection Regulation. In order to encrypt all communication and data internally and externally, only a one-time SSL/TLS termination was necessary. In this way, Citrix guarantees that sensitive data never leave the DRK system or their data centre simply being displayed on employees’ computers instead, thus making uninterrupted work from anywhere and from any device a reality. What’s more, logging in never takes longer than 20 seconds no matter how many users are doing so. The system has been designed for up to 600 clients and the data required after logging in is simply reloaded with Citrix making a backup as soon as the user logs off. It doesn’t matter which device the users use to continue their work, it feels like the same session, so DRK employees can log in while at the headquarters, but carry on working from home.
If there should be any issues, Bechtle is DRK Düsseldorf’s reliable partner. running the organisation’s data centre, monitoring operations and keeping an eye on the virtualisation environment. A framework agreement covers all services. In Director (a console for monitoring and troubleshooting Citrix virtual apps and desktops), Bechtle has a tool that quickly detects failed login attempts and can resolve them ensuring that users can work productively and quickly from any device.
With Citrix. DRK Düsseldorf has significantly reduced the time it takes to log in to their in-house system. The time saved can be used more productively and this saw the investment in the virtualisation solution paid off within a year. An additional benefit is that new employees can be very easily added to the system. All it takes is a few clicks and their end devices are ready to go and secure as data are no longer stored locally on the computers meaning DRK Düsseldorf’s IT is always highly available, even when the entire admin team have to work from home as was the case during the coronavirus pandemic.