Computing

Another first in digital innovation for SA from PPS

Financial services provider boosts employee productivity and simplifies IT with Citrix virtual apps and desktops, Google Cloud, and partners Siatik and Troye.


Johannesburg, 21 May 2019
Read time 2min 30sec

In line with its strong appetite for digital transformation and innovation, PPS is now the first company in South Africa to have implemented Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to deliver apps and desktops to its employees from a data centre in the Google Cloud.

Citrix VDI is a desktop virtualisation approach in which a desktop operating system (OS) runs and is managed in a data centre. The desktop image is delivered over a network to an endpoint device, which allows the user to interact with the OS and its applications as if they were running locally. The endpoint can be any device on any type of connection, in any location, ranging from a traditional PC, to an iPad or an Android mobile device. With a single management dashboard, Citrix can also enable or disable policies to groups of users.

"We're pleased to once again be at the cutting edge of cloud innovation in South Africa, with the help of our partners, Troye and Siatik. All the key benefits boil down to excellent management and control, based in the cloud," says Avsharn Bachoo, CTO at PPS.

"Innovative IT enhances the employee experience and improves productivity," continues Bachoo. "The Citrix high-definition experience (HDX) provides users with the best possible experience, whether on local networks, mobile networks, or high-latency wide-area networks. Employees have choice and flexibility: they can access corporate apps from any device, meaning they can even use their personal device if they wish. The corporate doesn't have to dictate or prescribe or buy devices. Nor is the user confined to just one device."

Other key benefits of Citrix VDI include:

* Reduced infrastructure costs: historically, when hosting these kinds of workloads on-premises, businesses need to cater for disaster recovery, which doubles costs in terms of hardware. This is mitigated once in the cloud.

* Device cost-saving: corporates do not have to replace employee devices every three to five years.

* Freed-up technical resources: with less hands-on support required for tech management and support, engineering teams are freed up to pursue new innovation projects.

* Security: data is held in the cloud, meaning there is no data on the end device that could be compromised in the event of theft or security breach, and devices do not need to be backed up. There are also no anti-virus concerns.

"Furthermore, we have implemented this using locally available knowledge and skills, and have not had to turn to Silicon Valley," adds Bachoo.

In addition to this VDI implementation, PPS is also among the first in the world to move its access management and authentication processes from an on-premises device using Docker, to the cloud-based Kubernetes container orchestration system.

PPS

Founded in 1941, PPS is the largest mutual financial services company in South Africa. The 78-year-old insurance business migrated its enterprise platform to Google Cloud in under nine months, completely transforming the company, while continuing to be an innovative leading South African insurance brand. PPS has more than 200 000 members who enjoy access to a comprehensive suite of financial and healthcare products that are tailored to meet the needs of graduate professionals. PPS is the largest South African company of its kind that still embraces an ethos of mutuality, which means it exists solely for the benefit of its members. Thus, PPS members with qualifying products share in the profits of PPS Insurance via annual allocations.

Reference to additional Citrix solutions used by PPS: https://www.citrix.co.uk/customers/pps-en.html

Editorial contacts
PPS for Professionals Julie Taylor (076) 294 5332 julie@gunsandrain.com
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