FTFa

FTFa is an interdisciplinary unemployment insurance fund with approx. 140,000 members. FTFa cooperates with 60 trade unions, which provides in-depth knowledge of the members’ professions and industries. In addition to unemployment benefits and early retirement benefits, FTFa offers free job and career counseling and salary protection. FTFa has approx. 170 employees.

 

The Challenge: Rigid and Expensive Outsourcing of Citrix Operations

FTFa had left the operation of its Citrix environment to a major Danish outsourcing partner. “When I came to FTFa 7 years ago, the operation was managed externally and far from optimal,” CIO Peter Meleschko explains. “The basic operation worked to a wide extent impeccably, but, for instance, change requests were expensive, and handled very rigidly. Furthermore, the quality in troubleshooting was poor.”

“And in addition, a part of the IT department – the service desk staff – was reduced to a dispatch office where the employees’ sole function was to forward the many requests from our users to our outsourcing partner. This did not correspond with my employees’ professional self-understanding,” Peter Meleschko explains. Therefore, in 2012, FTFa made a decision – partly to reinsource the responsibility for the IT operation, and partly to build a new data center from scratch.

“We only had very few applications running in our own server room, so building a brand-new data center was a demanding task. For this reason, I contacted Lean-On, who I knew from earlier projects, where they had helped our outsourcing partner, when there were Citrix issues, they were unable to solve on their own.”

 

The Solution: Citrix on Optimized Hardware

During the establishment of the new data center, Peter Meleschko’s overall benchmark was to provide the users with an outstanding experience. It became Lean-On’s role to create a data center that could really perform, based on their experience and leading practice on how a Citrix environment is best supported and optimized, through the best choice of hardware. “In fact, they completely tuned the hardware down to firmware level, in order to create the best foundation for the Citrix environment. In addition, we virtualized just about all our servers,” Peter Meleschko explains. The new solution with Citrix XenApp 6.5, went into production by the turn of the year 2012/2013. It was a big change. “The users experienced a huge improvement,” Peter Meleschko said enthusiastically. “Our new environment had an outstanding performance and was completely reliable. The service desk tickets fell by 75 percent over a period of eight months!”