Leading law firm Mills & Reeve employs nearly 550 lawyers and more than 900 staff in total across six UK offices. The firm has featured in the Sunday Times’ Best 100 Companies to Work For, 14 years running—a record for a law firm. Key clients include HSBC, The University of Cambridge, and ARM.
User Workspace Manager
Removing the IT manual overhead associated with virtual desktop rollouts
In line with expansion and a merger with another practise based in Manchester, Mills & Reeve started deploying desktop virtualization using Citrix. Prior to migrating to VDI, the firm used traditional Windows desktops with roaming profiles in the office and Citrix XenApp to provide home-based access to a limited number of core applications. It proved successful for flexible working but required a huge manual effort to update and patch. With a major OS upgrade, it would take IT an hour of set-up time per user. For full adoption of XenDesktop virtual desktops, IT would need to automate as much of the user profile setup as possible, and would need a method of maintaining user data between sessions.
Benefits to Mills & Reeve
DesktopNow works alongside Critrix XenDesktop
The Mills & Reeve IT infrastructure team set themselves an aggressive goal of four weeks to instal Citrix XenDesktop across the merged Manchester office. Aware that Ivanti could dramatically cut their rollout times by easing personalization, file, and application needs while ensuring IT policy adherence, the team first deployed Ivanti DesktopNow.
Switching 100 users successfully on day one
Within a week, IT built integrated logon scripts that would set up the user from scratch, and deployed automatic profiling and standardised settings that would launch automatically when applications opened. As planned, 100 users were switched successfully the first day, with the remaining 800+ staff in the other UK locations switching over the next six months.
Reducing complexity and manual efforts
Says IT’s Andrew Anthony, “We knew we had an aggressive rollout schedule planned for the new desktop delivery model. For our deployment, up-front usage of DesktopNow reduced the complexity and our manual efforts significantly. It worked by seamlessly applying the necessary settings to user profiles and applications at logon with IT only required to set up the back-end user accounts.”
Increases in staff and lawyer productivity
Logon times for individuals have been reduced from several minutes to one minute, allowing staff and lawyers to focus on billable client liaison. Each time users log on they are transported instantly into their own familiar environment, personalised with their desktop and delivering the saved files and applications needed to be productive immediately.
Reining in roaming-profile issues
Past roaming profile issues were particularly challenging, especially where replication issues were frequent or user names were challenged due to pressures on the underlying hardware. Frequently, shortcuts simply didn’t appear or items saved on the user desktop the day before were only partially replicated, causing an influx of calls into the IT service desk. DesktopNow eased the burden on the IT service desk.
Stable, simplified software upgrades
Previously, IT had to uninstall the application and the associated templates in different document formats across laptops and PCs. The impact of moving to Office 2010 was a classic example of the IT resource savings. Using DesktopNow, IT simply created the master image and then it was provisioned, applied, and updated automatically at logon across 900 users—a process that would have formerly taken months.
Real-time view of the Citrix environment
A secure management interface at the backend gives IT a real-time view of the Citrix environment, using Ivanti scripts when required to analyse and understand user logon behaviours. This helps the firm plan for future growth and maintain compliance. The easy-to-use DesktopNow GUI enables IT to create and customise policies without complex coding.
“Life is infinitely simpler”
Andrew Anthony concludes, “Life is infinitely simpler using Ivanti to run hand-in-hand with our virtual desktop deployment. Today everything is centralised, controlled, and provisioned with ease. I wouldn’t embark on a virtual desktop deployment without it.”