Statsbygg offers practical and functional premises for state enterprises, and realizes social policy goals in relation to architecture, planning interests, cultural heritage and the environment. The administration of 845 employees organize, plan and carry out about 160 major and minor projects at any time, of which 20 to 30 major projects complete each year. Statsbygg has long used Citrix to ensure the most efficient operations and give employees secure and stable working tools.
"Our entire delivery model is built on Citrix and Microsoft. This combination provides the most practical way we can provide working tools for employees throughout Norway. The way we've designed the solution enables us to rationalize operations and can offer and deliver working tools in the most flexible and user-friendly way, "says Hanne Flostrand, deputy director of the finance and administration department.
Moving to thin Dell clients has ensured high administrative advantages and cost savings. 35 people work in the IT department, 13.5 on IT operations. Dell servers are the primary standard in the server room.
Statsbygg interact extensively with engineers and architects around advanced models and calculations, software is becoming more complex. Thus, developments set greater demands for cost-effective ways for the processing and delivery of heavy 3D applications without the user experience being affected. Many businesses that have experienced major operational and cost benefits with Citrix have looked to virtualize the heaviest applications to take full benefit. It was this IT technical nut that Statsbygg wanted to crack.
"With Citrix, we can deliver services to users' own terms in the most timely and cost-efficient way for the IT department. Aber has been the heaviest graphic application as it has not been possible to deliver from the data center. This applies 3D applications, visualization, blueprints and CAD tools that have had to reside locally on users' workstations, "says Hanne Flostrand.
With help from Citrix specialist First Point, the project was initiated in autumn 2013 and was finished in 2014. The project was run in conjunction with an upgrade to the new XenApp version. The technical solution based on Citrix and Nvidia ensures that the most bandwidth-intensive applications are available anytime, anywhere. The IT department can thus handle all applications in the data center rather than on each workstation. Employees and external parties such as architects and engineers have access to the drawings and models they need, wherever they are located.
Statsbygg’s was the first such solution in Norway. The agency is convinced that they will not regret the choice.
"We know this is profitable, but it is of course too early to quantify. The benefits come with less administration, greater flexibility, easier access and the hours we save on each workstation every time a program is installed, upgraded or changed, "says Hanne Flostrand.
These new capabilities make it easier to work, regardless of time and place in future projects in Public Construction.
"Employees can work from home and experience a totally new flexibility. We will also test the possibilities for delivering heavy applications to devices such as tablets. Applications that previously required dedicated graphics cards to start are now much easier to make available, and shipments to the individual farms can increasingly be made quickly available. We also get more efficient use of consultants in that they can safely reach the systems of their clients," says Hanne Flostrand.
Statsbygg swear by Citrix NetScaler as a bouncer to their systems and traffic management. The solution handles many technical challenges and enables Statsbygg to purchase and manage many heavy heterogeneous standalone solutions from many different providers.
"NetScaler solves a lot for us. We use the solution to authenticate and secure all online traffic in and out of the data center. It also increases the speed considerably on service delivery, especially around the SharePoint-based systems. We have had NetScaler so long that we've become a bit spoiled. The platform solves a great many tasks and frees time otherwise spent on heavy manual processes, "says Hanne Flostrand.
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