Quintiles Embraced VDI for Next-Gen Work Space

July 31, 2012 - 1 Comment

Change. It’s part of how we work, live, and play. Change is inevitable and often feared rather than embraced. However, change could be a catalyst for innovation, a new way of doing things faster and more efficiently. It allows companies to capitalize on opportunities, creating strategic long-term value while also meeting immediate operational needs.

The market is changing and so is the IT landscape. By 2014, more than 70 million virtual desktops will be connected and 90% of organizations will allow work applications on personal devices (Gartner, 2010). Similarly, by 2015, 1.5 billion mobile devices will connect to the network (Gartner, 2011). These transitions add intense burden to the network, from manageability to security, availability, and scalability.  IT leadership often turns to stopgap measures such as getting faster WAN links to handle increased traffic. But that doesn’t solve everything. Organizations that want to propel forward (i.e. be competitive) must change their focus – that is focus not only on bandwidth management, features, and bytes, but also on business agility – giving themselves room to grow. One pharmaceutical services company did that with Cisco Borderless Networks infrastructure. 

Quintiles Interview by Techwise TV at Cisco Live (at 07:52)

As a data intensive operation, Quintiles needed to expedite onboarding of new users at 110 branch sites in addition to securing data access for 300+ home grown applications. Leveraging virtual desktop infrastructure, Quintiles embarked on a journey to centralize data access and accelerate delivery starting with 2,000 employees. That went well and they’re heading towards enabling up to 25,000 employees with virtual desktops.  The results: both operational efficiencies and cost-effectiveness.

“Typically, you always equip your network with capacity to scale,” says Brian Kachel, Director of Global Network Services.  “With VDI combined with WAN optimization, (Quintiles) has room to grow without adding extra servers or storage.” He continues, “At $600 a month for the T1 lines versus $4,000 for the faster links, we even considered the possibility that we might not need the higher-bandwidth links after all.”

Quintile’s VDI (powered by Citrix XenDesktop), built on Cisco Borderless Networks infrastructure (including, ISR G2s with WAAS on the SRE, WAAS Express, WAVE Appliances and ISEs) along with Cisco’s continued commitment in Cisco WAAS, positions Quintiles with a strong foundation to attain the next-generation virtual workspace: unified virtual desktops, voice, and video.

Published case study: Pharmaceutical Services Company Accelerates Virtual Desktops

Other resources:  Brian’s presentation at Cisco Live | Quintiles spotlight slide

For more information, visit: cisco.com/go/isrg2 | cisco.com/go/waas


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  1. Thank you, this is a useful for me!