Daymore and City of Loviisa have been in collaboration for a few years. In an interview with IT Manager Marko Perttilä he talks about the implemented solutions and how has it been working with Daymore.
Citrix solutions eliminated the need for VPN connections
City of Loviisa uses Citrix quite actively. A few years ago, health care application Pegasos had issues with their VPN connections. The hardware and operating systems had come to the end of their cycle which made VPN connections work irregularly. The Solution was found in the Citrix Cloud and Virtual Apps and Desktops Service with resources published from Loviisa’s own data centre.
A lot has happened since the Pegasos pilot project for Citrix. Loviisa has implemented further Citrix solutions, such as VDI work stations for administrative and health services.
Functional tools for remote work
Citrix-based virtual desktops were created for administration employees as well as health care professionals – especially making remote work easy and secure. There are different solutions based on different needs, but the concept and the base is the same. Due to the network architecture user groups are separated, but the solutions have been created using the same tools. Both solutions are governed through Citrix Cloud with the same mechanisms. Support and maintenance do not differ, but solutions have been tailored for specific use cases.
Citrix licenses are used in three usage scenarios. Most of them are in active use, but there are some in reserve to apply when and where needed. Usage has clearly gone up in the spring when most administrative employees started working remotely. There has been a lot of feed back and employees were very happy with the new virtual desktops. They no longer need to worry about their own computer settings, software or applications or the dreaded VPN.
The sudden move to remote work went smoothly in Loviisa, since they were able to just expand existing solutions to a larger user group, although they had to deploy much quicker than planned.
However, IT is not always smooth sailing – Pegasos had a new issue this year. Due to the application versions chaining up and platforms having different versions of Windows, Pegasos as an application was offline for a while. Daymore came to the rescue quickly, infrastructure was updated and the whole set up was systematically checked. Thus, it was ensured that a similar problem would not arise again. However, users were able to access Pegasos through virtual desktops, so Daymore and Loviisa had the luxury of thoroughly correcting all issues and not making hasty so-and-so fixes. The application is now running smoothly.
What are the next steps for City of Loviisa?
– In IT-administration we have been very satisfied with the development of Citrix solutions. Users are able to work more efficiently and support and maintenance is much easier. The next step for development is to focus on security and implement MFA, which is already planned and scheduled, says Loviisa’s IT Manager Marko Perttilä. – So far, we have not had large security issues, but we have had some phishing attempts through e-mail, trying to get to our user logs. We have reacted to these issues by constant monitoring and using certain tools, but MFA will enhance our security tremendously and eliminates the need for separate tools, Perttilä continues.
– We have been researching and planning for a larger implementation of Citrix solutions, such as thin clients for public access computers in recreational use, such as libraries. The pandemic made us prioritise some actions, but before that we had already planned what we could do and identified several user scenarios, says Perttilä. – Since our remote work solutions were already set, we now have had time to plan for new possibilities, which we can implement immediately when we return to normal.
Daymore and Loviisa together
– What differentiates Daymore is their expertise and ability to create solutions to difficult problems. The have a deep understanding of customers’ issues and know which tools work best. We work in tight collaboration in development and implementation, says Perttilä. – In the scenarios where quick responses and solutions are needed in system failures or other issues, help arrives rapidly. Excellent know-how, agile way of operating and a solution driven process makes it great to work with Daymore, Perttilä praises.
– Our projects are quite challenging and complicated. We are in constant discussions in planning and developing platforms – our latest project was to expand to remote work solutions. We already have three different, well thought out development projects planned with Daymore, says Perttilä.
– Daymore is exceptionally good in solving issues, especially in remote working, which of course are current issues with everyone, continues Perttilä. – I highly recommend Daymore’s toolbox and a partnership in Citrix solutions with them.