Vmed, the administration business of Liberty Health and one of South Africa's top medical administrative service providers, has successfully implemented VMware View including VMware VDI.
As part of the greater Liberty Health model, Vmed specializes in providing cost-efficient administration to medical schemes, private health insurers, health maintenance organisations, corporates, multi-nationals and Governments within South Africa and other global emerging markets.
Christo Groenewald, head of consumer experience at Vmed, says: "Our business required faster desktop client service and flexible deployment, Vmed (the 'V' representing "Virtual") needed a solution which would allow us to be innovative in the deployment of our business service model. In our line of business, speed to market and customer satisfaction are the defining ingredients for success.
"Through VMware View, we were able to create a flexible virtual desktop infrastructure which allows for rapid deployment and transfer of priorities and workloads within a fast-growing organisation."
VMware View's seamless integration into Vmed's environment allowed its core business application, Medware — a web-enabled software system which allows processing and data capture across South Africa and Africa – to function effectively and efficiently on desktops whithout being corrupted by external, non-essential applications. This standardization has added to the ease of manageability Vmed now has.
"VMware has provided outstanding support to Vmed and with NHA Technology Services as our IT partner, we have found the introduction of VMware View into the Vmed environment to be seamless. We did not experience any disruption of productivity during the take-on phase and this in itself is a true testimony to the stability and the ease of integration into our IT environment," says Groenewald.
"The benefits to our business have been substantial," he says. "VMware View allows us to deploy a desktop in minutes to any of our operations in Africa. Thanks to View, our focus on supporting business in fast-growing markets can be achieved in the most timely and cost-effective way. The use of VMware View provides a stable platform for the controlled and predictable management of the NHA systems. This ensures Vmed's productivity through continued best business practices and processes."
By implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure Vmed has seen the following results:
* ROI – Vmed estimates that the three year ROI will exceed VMware's expectations of around 400%. TCO -VMware has proved far more cost-effective than a physical rollout because the company now only has to maintain a small number of servers, as opposed to hundreds of individually configured PCs. In addition to this, based on capital and operational expenditures such as power and cooling costs, Vmed will save an estimated R10-million over the first three years of the implementation.
* High Availability (HA) and Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS) – Unscheduled downtime can now be mitigated as VMware HA migrates applications seamlessly to the most appropriate available resource, enabling business continuity and enhanced productivity. VMware DRS means that backups of large data sets can be completed much faster as resources within the environment can be allocated where and when they were needed.
* Individual non-persistent desktops – This allows users to ensure that each individual change made to specific files would not be lost, enabling the end user to modify their information as needed. However, the virtual machine itself could be reset if needed for a new user.
* Ease of desktop management – Vmed has removed all applications that are not essential to business needs, and can now secure sensitive data behind the firewall. Provisioning desktops to new users now takes just 15 minutes instead of the 48 to 72 hours taken previously. Vmed now has several hundred virtual desktops and aims to double this over the next year.
"VMware View is a flexible solution, giving companies the control needed to secure their desktop environments, without any impact on individual productivity, and help ensure specific tasks are completed as effectively as possible," says Chris Norton, regional director: southern Africa at VMware. "Increasingly, companies in South Africa are embracing the benefits of standardizing not only their server environments but also their desktop infrastructures on the industry-leading VMware platform."