2 page Case Study
Posted: 9/7/2012
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National Asset Direct Asset Management Firm Uses Hosted Desktop Solution to Reduce IT Budget by 50 Percent

To trim costs and boost flexibility, National Asset Direct (NAD), Inc., which helps support investment fund acquisition and management, needed to improve the performance and manageability of its desktop environment. After adopting the dinCloud Hosted Virtual Desktop solution, NAD has slashed its operating costs by 50 percent.

Business Needs
Extreme volatility in the real-estate market has sparked heavy demand for the proprietary debt management services and tools that National Asset Direct, Inc. (NAD) provides. To shield against future turmoil in the real-estate and financial sectors, NAD executives are continuously searching for ways to trim operating costs. John Madrid, Chief Technology Officer at National Asset Direct, Inc., has applied this approach to the company’s IT function. “We’re always looking for ways to drive down infrastructure costs, and still provide our people with the tools they need to stay productive,” says Madrid.

For several years, NAD worked with a private hosting services provider that supported the company’s thin-client operating environment. This solution enabled NAD employees to easily access their virtual desktops from any thin-client system at any office location. However, remote access was a challenge. Employees could access email from outside the office via Microsoft Outlook Web Access. But internal system access to productivity tools, network file shares, and specialized business applications, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP for accounting and FICS MortgageServicer, was limited.

Executives had long recognized the enormous potential of using a virtualized environment and hosted desktop approach to reduce hardware costs, support workforce flexibility, and bolster business continuity. However, based in large part on their previous experience, they wanted to revisit their existing implementation. As the company began growing, system performance and scalability issues increased, which would often result in business operation disruptions. In the event of service interruptions, or on days when weather events prevented travel to the office, employees attempted to work from home. “We used a terminal services configuration to enable staff to remotely connect to our network,” says Madrid. “But we often ran into performance and capacity issues that made it difficult for people to get work done from outside of the office.”

Solution
To keep infrastructure costs low, increase internal management control of its IT systems, and support productivity from anywhere, leaders at NAD investigated the market for a new hosted desktop solution.

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* After moving to the hosted desktop solution from dinCloud, we’ve realized a significant cost savings—reducing our overall technology spend by 50 percent. *

John Madrid
Chief Technology Officer, National Asset Direct, Inc.

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Executives considered several alternatives including solutions built on a variety of technologies, such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and the IBM cloud platform. In 2011, En Pointe Technologies, an IT consultancy and value-added reseller of Microsoft solutions that had worked with NAD in the past, introduced the company to a cloud services provider called dinCloud. Based in Los Angeles, California, dinCloud is a member of the Microsoft Partner Network that specializes in providing desktop and server virtualization services. “It didn’t take us long to realize that the dinCloud Hosted Virtual Desktop (dinHVD) service was the turnkey solution we’d been looking for,” says Madrid. “It exceeded our requirements for performance, ease of management—and best of all, price.”

dinCloud used vWorkspace from Quest Software, a solution designed to simplify the deployment and management of desktop virtualization technologies, to transfer NAD user account information, business data, and applications, and virtualization servers and storage to the dinCloud environment—all with minimal impact to business. dinCloud worked with NAD to move 200 hosted desktops to its dinHVD solution over a three-day weekend. By relying on the advanced consolidation tools from Quest Software, the dinCloud deployment team helped NAD reduce its server holdings from approximately 50 to 30.

The dinHVD client systems, which run the Windows 7 operating system and Microsoft Office Professional 2010, are delivered through the Remote Desktop Services capability in Windows Server 2008 R2. From any Internet-connected computer, tablet PC, or mobile device, employees can use their network logon credentials to access all of the applications they need to do their job. NAD takes advantage of online administrator tools to manage these systems and deploy applications with greater ease.

Benefits
With the dinCloud Hosted Virtual Desktop solution, which delivers a high-fidelity Windows 7 desktop experience together with Microsoft communication and productivity tools, NAD has experienced the following benefits:
  • Reduced monthly IT operating costs by 50 percent. By adopting the dinHVD solution, NAD has reduced its monthly IT service subscription costs. NAD has also lowered its monthly IT operating budget by reducing its server holdings by 30 percent. “After moving to the hosted desktop solution from dinCloud, we’ve realized a significant cost savings—reducing our overall technology spend by 50 percent,” says Madrid.

  • Increased workforce productivity. NAD employees can access files and applications from practically anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected device, and work more efficiently. IT staff can create user accounts and provision applications in less time, so employees gain faster access to the tools they need to do their job. Based on increased system availability, improved remote connectivity to the corporate network, and simplified delivery of business applications, employees save a substantial amount of time each week.

  • Enhanced IT control. NAD has used the combination of web-based administrator tools and managed services through its dinHVD subscription to reduce its IT support burden, while gaining peace of mind from enhanced control of its infrastructure. “We work closely with dinCloud to manage all of our virtual desktops and servers giving us complete visibility into our environment at all times,” says Madrid.

  • Greater operational flexibility. Through access to the dinCloud hosted environment, NAD enjoys greater agility. “Having the ability to quickly move business operations from one location to another without the usual overhead of moving technology, enables our business leaders to expand and contract operational units in order to take advantage of the rapidly changing market,” says Madrid. “Now, for our staff, work isn’t a place we go, it’s what we do to meet the needs of our clients, anytime, anywhere.”

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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 250 employees

Organization Profile

National Asset Direct (NAD), Inc. specializes in helping investors in the real-estate market manage and service real-estate related assets. The company has offices in San Diego, California, and New York.


Third Party Software
  • dinCloud Hosted Virtual Desktops (dinHVD)

Software and Services
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2010
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Vertical Industries
Professional Services

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
Cloud & Server Platform

IT Issue
Cloud Services

Languages
English

Partner(s)
dinCloud En Pointe Technologies Quest Software

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