Daughters of Charity rolls out virtualised IT to 300 workers

8 Jul 2011

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The Daughters of Charity Service has completed the rollout of a Citrix desktop, server and application virtualisation solution. This is providing applications and desktops to 300 employees around Dublin.

The Daughters of Charity Service has been providing services to people with intellectual disabilities and to their families since 1892.  With 1,000 employees in Dublin, the Daughters of Charity Service provides a number of different residential options and community-based services to its service users.

The Citrix solution, supplied by Data Solutions and implemented by Unity Technology Solutions, a Citrix Gold Solutions Advisor, has delivered such simplicity and ease of deployment that it is enabling Daughters of Charity Service to make significant savings in terms of IT resources.

The centralised delivery and management of servers and desktop applications using Citrix XenDesktop, XenServer and XenApp has enabled the IT department to save time and money, and allows the organisation to concentrate funding on improving client care. 

“The diverse clinical needs of people with intellectual disabilities require a multifaceted workforce which includes direct care and support and multi-disciplinary teams,” Thomas Mac Ardle, IT manager, Daughters of Charity Service, explained.

“It is essential these employees have 24 x 7 access to the most up-to-date applications such as client records, treatment notes and access to email to collaborate with colleagues.”

"The Citrix solution allows us to provide a consistent experience for all of our employees, no matter where they are logging in from. They are not tied to being in one location and have the same icons presented to them, regardless of how or where they are logging in. They are never in doubt about what actions to take."

All of the Daughters of Charity Service’s most critical applications are run on Citrix XenApp, such as its HR and payroll, client reports and its main communications tool, Microsoft Office.

The Daughters of Charity Service is also testing a new electronic client record system. This will eliminate the large amounts of paper records and will create highly accurate networks of information for its diverse teams. The simplicity with which this can be deployed using Citrix will remove all the time and pain from this process and any issues can be easily fixed from one location.

Daughters of Charity Service/Citrix case study 

Unified communications

“The main role of the Daughters of Charity Service is as a caring organisation for people with intellectual disabilities and while IT is essential to deliver an effective service, it is not its primary function,” Niall Gilmore, country manager, Ireland, Citrix Systems, explained.

“Implementing virtualisation technologies has enabled them to reduce the cost of IT, as well as the time it takes to manage it. As a result, it has been able to direct resources to where they are needed most, in the care of its clients.”

The service also plans to provide Skype to all clients to make the cherished contact with families easier. Skype and Citrix recently announced a strategic partnership which will expand Skype’s business offerings by providing powerful collaboration features for organisations of all sizes to set up and hold video meetings. As Unity is a leading voice and unified communications partner, the ability to integrate both the voice and data requirements for Daughters of Charity Service will be hugely beneficial.

“We looked at the latest Citrix Technologies, such as XenDesktop and XenServer, to leverage the existing Citrix environment at Daughters of Charity Service to make it more efficient and easier to manage for their IT staff,” explained Paul Sullivan, business development manager at Unity Technology Solutions.

“Through this project we can see how desktop, server and application virtualisation can be used to help organisations and users at every level,” Sullivan said.

“Seeing what the Daughters of Charity Service is planning to do, particularly in terms of the electronic client records and video conferencing, demonstrates the tangible business benefits this technology can offer.”

Photo: Thomas Mac Ardle, IT manager, Daughters of Charity Service; Niall Gilmore, country manager, Ireland, Citrix Systems; and Paul Sullivan, business development manager at Unity Technology Solutions

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com