Cloud sourcing – €350k deal connects global workforce

15 Sep 2011

Niall Gilmore, country manager, Citrix; Derek Mizak, group IT manager, Mercury Engineering; and Joe O'Reilly, head of IT contracting, IT Force

Engineering firm Mercury Engineering has signed a deal valued at €350,000 to roll out virtualisation technology from Citrix that will connect its global workforce.

Citrix XenDesktop allows Mercury Engineering to share the information needed to manage and support business operations around the globe. It has created an application delivery network that delivers standardised applications to 530 users and 800 client machines on three continents.

The solution, which was deployed by DataSolutions and IT Force, has enabled Mercury Engineering to enjoy savings of up to €500,000 and is expected to pay for itself in less than a year.

Savings include €150,000 in support costs, as everything is centrally supported from one location; network savings of €200,000 with the introduction of Citrix Branch Repeaters; and power savings from implementing virtualisation technology of around €70,000 per annum.

Mercury Engineering is a world-class Irish company specialising in mechanical engineering, engineering management and information technology services for the construction industry.

Recent projects include Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 and the Aviva Stadium. It also supplied the cooling and air conditioning system for a 500-seat showcase stadium which was an integral part of Qatar’s presentation to secure the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Xen and the art of desktop maintenance

Mercury Engineering identified it could no longer effectively support, integrate and efficiently manage projects in diverse and often geographically remote environments based on its existing network. This was the impetus behind Mercury Engineering’s decision to implement Citrix XenDesktop and Branch Repeaters.

Citrix XenDesktop provides high performance access to applications around the clock, no matter where Mercury Engineering’s employees are based. It optimises the group’s IT resources and ensures effective controls at all times, thus integrating the global organisation and keeping costs down.

Using Citrix Branch Repeater, Mercury Engineering can accelerate all desktops and applications delivered to its remote users around the world. As it includes proven WAN optimisation technology, it minimises the impact of latency on application performance and maximises WAN capacity.

“In some locations, the internet is the only way we can possibly connect people,” Derek Mizak, group IT manager, Mercury Engineering, explained.

“We needed to be able to standardise the quality of service for all our users, no matter where they are based. XenDesktop delivers agility so that we can complete projects successfully, on budget and on time.”

Niall Gilmore, country manager, Citrix, said: “With XenDesktop, Mercury Engineering is serving applications to 800 client machines from just five highly virtualised, highly available servers which are centrally located in its Dublin office. All that is needed, no matter where in the world their team is working from, is power and satellite connectivity.”

According to Joe O’Reilly, head of IT contracting, IT Force: “Before Mercury upgraded, its systems ran relatively slowly. This challenge varied by location, but in some, it was painstakingly slow and this made it very difficult for the engineers to work efficiently. Now remote users have the exact same experience when they log into their desktops as users in head office, which in turn makes them more effective.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years