Desktop virtualisation rollout slashes ICT costs by 85pc

24 Mar 2011

An IT project that involved the storing of Ace Express Freight’s desktop environment on a central server rather than on individual physical devices has slashed IT administration costs by 85pc, including savings in energy costs and carbon footprint.

The project has completely transformed Ace Express’s IT administration function with the bulk of resources now spent on strategically-important project work, which drives competitive advantage and improves business performance.

Ace Express Freight, twice winners of the Deloitte Best Managed Companies award in 2009 and 2010, provides extensive road, sea and air services from offices in Ireland, the UK and the Far East.

“With over 10,000 jobs processed each month, it’s clear that IT is a mission-critical function for us,” explains Michael Tracey, interim executive, Ace Express Freight.

“In essence, technology enables us to collapse down the number of non-value transactions within the organisation, while simultaneously providing our customers with the information they need on time every time.

“For example, digital signature capture at point of delivery incorporates auto emailing our customer service with any delivery-related issues. We could see that the approach recommended by MJ Flood Technology would answer our technology challenges and help transform the IT function from a cost centre to one which would add real value to the organisation,” he adds.

Desktop virtualisation in action

Desktop virtualisation essentially decouples the operating system, applications and user data from the underlying PC hardware and centralises delivery of these from a core server.

“We chose VMWare View for this project as it allows Ace Express to centrally automate and manage delivery of these components to their users for increased control and huge cost savings,” explains James Finglas, managing director with MJ Flood Technology.

“Desktop security policy can also be set centrally through role-based administration and this completely locks down the desktop, mitigating IT security risks by preventing users from copying data to external drives or memory keys.”

The company’s 60 users enjoy a consistent and powerful desktop experience based on HP technology.

Thin client devices were deployed as part of the project and deliver significant reductions in power consumption.

“We calculated power savings on the thin client devices of between 75pc and 80pc in comparison with traditional PCs,” comments Tracey. “That gives us a payback of three years on these devices alone. The reduced power consumption also supports our ‘green’ policy and significantly reduces our carbon footprint.”

“Following a rigorous selection procedure, we chose MJ Flood Technology,” Tracey explained. “They had the experience, technical expertise and track record of successfully deploying these technologies for other organisations.”

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