Customer Extends Citrix XenApp with Unidesk - Projects $3.6M Savings

Posted by Tom Rose on Sep 12, 2016


We're winning enterprise customers since the launch of our new, highly scalable Unidesk 4 platform, which now supports VMware Horizon in addition to Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop. The larger size and scope of these projects, however, puts a much greater emphasis on economic return. You can't blame CFOs for wanting to know how fast Unidesk is going to pay for itself and how they'll save money.

One area of impact that has caught their attention is using Unidesk to better leverage existing Citrix XenApp investments instead of perpetuating costly PC refresh cycles. Here's the situation at one healthcare organization, who plans to save more than $3.6 million by not having to buy 3,900 new PCs.

Today: Most Apps Still Installed Locally on PCs

The healthcare organization, like many Citrix customers, is using XenApp to deliver its most important apps. In their case, XenApp is streaming 6 clinical apps, including their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software, to 2,000 users. The endpoint devices are PCs, with Citrix Receiver installed to access the 6 published apps.

Their remaining 150 applications are installed locally in varying combinations on the organization's 3,900 PCs. Agent-based PC management software is used to package and deliver these departmental and personal apps. It just doesn't make sense to build and configure different XenApp silos to publish these apps, since they are only used by 5-50 users and the app combinations are very diverse.

The PCs are refreshed every 4-5 years, and they are now at the end of this cycle.

With Unidesk: All Apps Delivered Remotely Through XenApp

Unidesk Elastic Layering technology has enabled this organization to completely rethink their app delivery strategy. With Unidesk's ability to attach apps at XenApp session login based on Active Directory user and group membership, they can now deliver all 150 apps to all 3,900 users in whatever combinations they want using their existing XenApp infrastructure. By pushing all of their apps through XenApp, they can end the costly PC refresh cycle.

Let's compare the cost of buying new PCs to the cost of using Unidesk to extend XenApp, using the data that they gave us.

Continue PC Refresh: $5.3M

Here are their costs if they continue with PC refresh:

Cost Amount
Cost of 3,900 PCs

$1,200 for their standard desktop configuration

$4.6 million
Annual maintenance cost of 3,900 PC management licenses

Legacy solutions such as Altiris, BigFix, LANdesk

Operational cost of packaging 150 apps using PC management tools

12 hours per app for machine prep, MSI packaging, and testing
Updating them an average of 2 times a year
Resolving trouble tickets when the agent-based installs don't work

Productivity loss due to desktop downtime

2 hours per user per year as a result of software patching and app conflict issues

Total first year cost of PC refresh $5.3 million

Extend XenApp with Unidesk: Save $3.6M

Here are their costs if they use Unidesk to extend XenApp:

Cost Items Amount
Cost Citrix XenApp

Additional licenses to expand XenApp to all users

Cost of Unidesk

License and first year maintenance

Cost of Citrix NetScaler and infrastructure

Additional server, storage, and network infrastructure to deliver more apps through XenApp

Operational cost of packaging apps as Unidesk layers

30 minutes per app, no install failures because there are no installs, only VHD mounts

Productivity loss due to desktop downtime

Unidesk layer rollback makes undoing bad patches and app conflicts near-instantaneous

Cost to repurpose existing PCs as thin clients

$80 per user

Total first year cost of extending XenApp with Unidesk $1.65 million
Total savings $3.65 million

Even adding the cost of new, energy-efficient zero clients to replace the PCs would still net a multi-million dollar savings.

Citrix and Unidesk Offer Other Benefits

There are other important benefits beyond just the up-front cost savings:

  • Mobility - Users will now enjoy mobile access to all 150 of the organization's apps through the devices of their choosing, instead of just the 6 clinical apps that are delivered through XenApp today.
  • Accelerated App Delivery - Unidesk will enable the latest software packages and updates to be delivered in hours, compared to the weeks required to deliver apps today.
  • IT Flexibility and Agility - Unidesk's ability to deliver the same app packages to different hypervisors and end user computing platforms without re-packaging enables IT to switch hypervisors, migrate to new infrastructures, and integrate new acquisitions who may be using different virtualization solutions.
  • Compliance - Unidesk's faster, more reliable app packaging helps satisfy security and compliance mandates for mission-critical applications.
  • Path to the Cloud - Unidesk’s strategic relationship with Microsoft for managing applications in Azure and Citrix's recent announcement with Microsoft about moving XenApp and XenDesktop into the cloud allows for infrastructure-free app delivery and more cost-effective disaster recovery.

Challenge Us on the Numbers

Do these numbers sound too good to be true? Are you having problems managing applications and images in your Citrix or VDI environment? Let us run the numbers for your organization. Whether you are looking to optimize or expand an existing deployment, or whether you're considering Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft VDI, VMware Horizon, or another desktop virtualization platform, we can build a model using your own data. We'll then share it with you, and work with you to refine it. So what are you waiting for - ask for your own Unidesk Impact Analysis!

Topics: Healthcare, ROI, Citrix XenApp, Elastic Layering

Posted by Tom Rose on Sep 12, 2016

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