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Posted: 3/7/2013
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Etisalat Lanka Telecom Firm Reduces Reimaging by 90 Percent, Boosts Productivity with Virtualization

Etisalat Lanka wanted to minimize downtime from reimaging computers and reconfiguring settings. By using Microsoft Application Virtualization to eliminate software installations and Microsoft User Experience Virtualization to preserve user settings, it saved hours of employee time every day, which boosts company productivity. IT staff reimages computers in 40 minutes instead of eight hours and the help-desk staff has time for strategic projects.

Business Needs
Founded in 1989, Etisalat Lanka is renowned for advanced, reliable telecommunications services. The Colombo, Sri Lanka-based company wanted to ensure the same high quality for the IT environment that its employees use.

“Our employees must be highly productive so that they can provide the best service to customers. To achieve this, their IT systems must be readily available,” says Sanath Pilapitiya, Chief Technology Officer at Etisalat Lanka.

This wasn’t always possible. For instance, when a computer had to be reimaged, it took the IT staff six to eight hours to reinstall the operating system, applications, and drivers. Then, the employee had to spend about three hours to recreate personal settings. Workers who couldn’t figure out how to do this often called the help desk.

User settings were also an issue at the call center, where 100 employees shared 60 computers. It was common for employees, who were often assigned different computers on different days, to ask the help desk to reconfigure their settings on the new machine. During morning shift changes, when the help desk had fewer staff, it could take an hour before call-center employees were able to start their work day. “We had to increase the help desk size to get workers productive faster,” says Sohan de Silva, Manager of IT Support and Data Center at Etisalat Lanka.

Fulfilling last-minute application requests also presented challenges. “Employees wanted to get their new applications right away, but it often took three hours before we could install one,” says de Silva.

In December 2009, Etisalat Lanka adopted Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) to virtualize applications so that they could run on computers without being installed. “App-V was a dream come true because it helped us to quickly provide applications that workers needed,” says Sudheera Warnasooriya, Systems Specialist at Etisalat Lanka.

* We have a culture of using and delivering innovative technologies. As early adopters of App-V 5.0 and UE-V, we can empower workers with the resources that they need to be highly productive much faster. *

Priyankara Perera
Head of IT Systems, Etisalat Lanka

In March 2012, Etisalat Lanka joined the Microsoft Technology Adoption Program for App-V 5.0. It wanted to use the web-based management feature, which would enable administrators to manage App-V through a browser on any computer. It was also interested in the Shared Content Store feature, which streams applications to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) sessions on demand and points all images to a single cache, eliminating the need to store duplicate copies of virtual applications.

At the same time, Etisalat Lanka joined the Technology Adoption Program for Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), an enterprise-scale user state virtualization solution that delivers a user’s personal Windows experience across many physical and virtual devices and applications. UE-V and App-V are part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack.

“We have a culture of using and delivering innovative technologies. As early adopters of App-V 5.0 and UE-V, we can empower workers with the resources that they need to be highly productive much faster,” says Priyankara Perera, Head of IT Systems at Etisalat Lanka.

Etisalat Lanka used the UE-V template for Microsoft Office 2010 and the UE-V Generator feature, a wizard-based tool for creating user setting templates for different applications, to rapidly build templates for Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop. As of November 2012, Etisalat Lanka had deployed UE-V to 35 help-desk and call-center employees. By July 2013, the company will complete deployment of UE-V and App-V to another 535 employees. At that time, it also expects to have virtualized and created UE-V templates for its 78 applications.

By using Microsoft virtualization solutions, Etisalat Lanka has made workers more productive, decreased reimaging time, and freed help-desk staff for strategic projects while improving flexibility.

Boosted Worker Productivity
Employees can start their work day without delays because their personal settings are always available. “Instead of waiting an hour for settings to be created, call-center employees can get right to work when they begin a shift—no matter what computer they are assigned—and have a consistent experience,” says de Silva.

After computers are reimaged, employees avoid wasting three hours while they reconfigure settings. They are productive immediately because their settings and applications are readily accessible. “Even last-minute application requests can be easily fulfilled,” says Warnasooriya. “Employees no longer wait up to three hours for IT staff to install an application. They simply log on to the network and their applications are there.”

Reduced Reimaging Time by 90 Percent
Rather than spending eight hours to reimage a computer, the IT staff now only needs 40 minutes. “Thanks to App-V, we only reinstall the operating system and drivers. Applications are streamed to employees, so they get back to work 90 percent faster,” says de Silva.

Eased Help-Desk Burden; Improved Flexibility
The help desk receives 20 percent fewer calls a day, now that user settings are preserved. “Because UE-V eliminates calls related to user settings issues, we will be able to double our call-center staff without adding help-desk personnel. Plus, the existing help desk will have more time for strategic projects,” says de Silva.

IT staff also gain flexibility. “With the App-V 5.0 web-based management, we can manage our application infrastructure from virtually anywhere,” says Warnasooriya.

Etisalat Lanka can now initiate its move to a cost-effective VDI environment in its 80 remote customer care centers. “App-V and UE-V make it easier to implement VDI. With App-V Shared Content Store we can dramatically reduce disk requirements for VDI while leaving the application provisioning process unchanged. And with UE-V, employees can work at different care centers with zero downtime, because their settings are immediately available,” says de Silva.

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Solution Overview

Organization Size: 600 employees

Organization Profile

Etisalat Lanka offers telecommunications services to business and residential customers in Sri Lanka. It has about 600 employees.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization
  • Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0
  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack
  • Microsoft User Experience Virtualization

Vertical Industries

Sri Lanka