MoneySupermarket.com is using a virtualised desktop and laptop environment to improve the productivity of its analysts.
The price comparison site wanted to offer staff greater working flexibility in a secure way, and turned to Citrix to deploy its XenDesktop system which supports virtualised applications.
MoneySupermarket.com head of infrastructure engineering Neal Garman said: "We ensure we treat our customers’ data with absolute respect. But we wanted our people unshackled from their desks.”
For a Citrix pilot scheme among the company's 500 staff, the firm's 20 customer insight analysts were selected as they were heavy users of customer data.
The team, based in the company’s new London office, often needs to run complex database queries and analysis jobs that take several hours to complete.
The virtual desktop is hosted in the company data centre and is available to the analysts on their laptops.
The analysts can now set data-analysis jobs running when they leave the office and pick them up where they left off when they get home.
The team’s London office now operates a hot-desking and “clean desk” policy. Each desk is equipped with two screens, keyboard, mouse and docking station. Employees keep any paper and personal belongings in locked, mobile cabinets.
The policy aids both security and business agility. Employees move places about every six weeks to collaborate on different projects and to get to know one another better, said Garman.
He said: “XenDesktop has been a real business enabler for us. We have been able to deliver flexibility without compromising data security or jeopardising customer trust.”
Staff use XenDesktop to access not only office and collaboration tools but also the internet and social media sites through a “secure channel” that separates web surfing activity from sensitive data held on their machines.
MoneySupermarket.com is now looking to expand its trial of XenDesktop across the organisation in order to offer wider flexible and remote working.
To introduce a universally consistent desktop, Garman’s team intends to use Citrix XenApp to stream legacy applications, rather than needing to re-write all applications immediately,