KPN could not fulfill requests for applications as quickly as demand necessitated. By using Microsoft Application Virtualization to eliminate application installations and conflicts, KPN improved application delivery by 200 percent. Employees,
who could now return to full productivity immediately after their computers were reimaged, were much happier with IT services. KPN also simplified application lifecycle management and improved compliance.
KPN, a Dutch telecom organization based in The Hague, the Netherlands, is renowned for reliable, anytime-anywhere communications. It was challenged with providing an enhanced-quality experience in its internal desktop computing environment, which included
a large and complex business application landscape. The company wanted to deliver more timely service to its 31,000 employees.
Because of potential application conflicts, it could take up to three weeks to go from application request to delivery. KPN had to spend time testing for compatibility and—after applications were production-ready—assigning the applications to individual
devices. “Employees complained about the lag time. They expected a faster turnaround,” says Dave van Meer, Manager, Architecture Workspace and Operations at KPN.
Returning employees to full productivity after their computers were reimaged was time-consuming. The corporate policy was to reimage problem computers rather than spend days troubleshooting issues, so KPN often reimaged several hundred devices a month. During
large-scale migration projects, those numbers sometimes reached 800 to 1,000 a month. Although each reimaging took only about two hours, workers often had to reinstate application requests and wait several days before their business applications were reassigned
to their computers and available for use.
Installing different versions of the same application side-by-side could cause conflicts, and affected migrations. Employees were unable to revert back to the previous application version if they experienced issues with the new one. They had to struggle
with steeper learning curves and, sometimes, unstable upgrades.
Keeping track of all applications installed on 30,000 KPN computers was a challenge. As a result, about 10 to 15 percent of the approximately 1,000 applications that KPN managed risked being over- or under-licensed, exposing the company to potential compliance
issues and overspending.
KPN knew that it could resolve its key application issues by using Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) to run applications without installing them. It had already started using App-V for Remote Desktop Services in its server infrastructure with
great success. In October 2009, when Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) came to market with enhancements that simplified and accelerated publishing of virtualized applications, KPN decided to deploy App-V 4.6 in its desktop
environment. “By eliminating application conflicts and assigning applications to users, App-V could help speed software delivery and improve management. We were eager to use it with our desktops,” says Herman van Drie, Technical Consultant at KPN.
||With App-V 5.0 and Virtual Application Connection, we can deliver even highly complex applications to employees in one-third of the time that was required with installed applications.”
| Herman van Drie
Technical Consultant, KPN
KPN quickly upgraded to App-V 4.6 SP1. The IT team virtualized about 200 applications and deployed the App-V client on 30,000 desktop computers. Then in October 2011, the company joined the Microsoft Technology Adoption Program for App-V 5.0. KPN wanted to
take advantage of the Virtual Application Connection feature, which the IT staff can use to package applications separately and connect them when they need to interact. KPN also wanted to use the Virtual Application Extension feature to enable non-virtualized
and virtualized applications to communicate, and enhanced reporting to improve licensing and compliance.
KPN deployed the beta version of App-V 5.0 along with the beta version of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 in its production lab—an operational environment used by 1,000 professional services workers. It plans to put App-V 5.0 into production
for 31,000 users when System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 becomes publicly available. It will also use App-V to aid deployment of the Windows 8 operating system by reducing the amount of application compatibility testing required.
By using Microsoft Application Virtualization, KPN accelerated application delivery, boosted employee productivity, and made it easier to manage the application lifecycle.
Delivers Applications 200 Percent Faster
By switching from installed to virtualized applications, KPN reduces the need for extensive application compatibility testing and decreased publishing time. Instead of taking up to three weeks to go from application request to deployment, it took about
one and a half weeks, a 200 percent increase in delivery speed. By upgrading to App-V 5.0, KPN expects it can reduce the process even further, completing it in just one week. “With App-V 5.0 and Virtual Application Connection, we can deliver even highly complex
applications to employees in one-third of the time that was required with installed applications,” says van Drie.
Using Virtual Application Extension helps speed packaging time. “Before, if virtual and local applications had to interact, KPN developers spent up to three days creating a workaround to enable communication. With Virtual Application Extension, it happens
seamlessly, saving developer and packaging time,” says van Drie.
Enhances Employee Productivity
KPN workers no longer have to wait several days for critical business applications to be published after their computers are reimaged. Because virtual applications are assigned to users, they are instantly available when employees log on to the network.
Employees also experience easier migrations because they can run old versions of applications alongside newer ones and switch between the two.
“Now that we use App-V, not only do employees get applications faster, but they also return to full productivity immediately after we reimage their computers. They are happier with our IT service,” says van Meer.
Improves Application Lifecycle Management and Compliance
Reporting enhancements in App-V 5.0 make it easier for KPN to create custom reports to monitor real-time application usage. “By virtualizing more of our applications and using App-V 5.0 reporting capabilities to track exactly who is using which applications
and how much, we’ll be able to better allocate licenses and ensure compliance,” says van Meer.
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