Blog May 31, 2019

Best Practices for XenApp Administration

If your business has ever struggled with streamlining a remote workforce, organizing a multitude of employee devices with software updates and installations, or wished you could see greater productivity from your team, you’re not alone. These are genuine pain points for business owners around the world, from small businesses to multi-national brands. Fortunately, there is a solution that can address these issues and relieve their burden on your organization.

Enter Citrix XenApp, the application virtualization system for companies who need an effective and agile solution. Let’s dig deeper into the ins and outs of XenApp, why your business needs it, and identify the best practices for implementation and administration.

The Benefits Of Citrix

Citrix and XenApp have a vast number of benefits that can give your business the upper hand over competitors who aren’t using these systems. To begin to understand the importance of Citrix as a business tool, let’s start with a few stats:

  • Nearly 80% of employees cite flexible hours and remote access as the reason for increased productivity.
  • Rapidly offering new apps to users’ desktops offers 90% time savings compared to using conventional installation methods.
  • If you’re not making your apps available on any device, you should be. 64% of Americans report using personal devices for work purposes.
  • Apps that run in the XenApp datacenter versus on single devices can reduce client/server transaction time by up to 300%.

It’s hard to ignore these numbers that reveal the needs of modern businesses. The global business landscape is fast-paced and mobile, and solutions must be agile to keep up.

Citrix offers users a host of impressive benefits that any business can get behind. Some of the top advantages of Citrix’s application virtualization software are:

  • Time Savings

When key enterprise applications are accessible through XenApp, businesses can avoid the time and resource depletion that IT departments face from constant manual desktop installation, maintenance, and updates.

When using XenApp, individual computers require less personal attention and IT professionals can make broad-stroke changes to applications without the need for physical device access on an single-employee level.

  • Geographic and Time Flexibility

Whether you are a multinational corporation or just have a few offices in different regions, you understand the complexity of keeping your employees software well-run and efficient. With XenApp, your team can be in a single office, operating on various job sites, working remotely, or in any other non-traditional location, and they will have instant access to any of your applications, anywhere, and on any device.

This type of flexibility helps build business with autonomous employees who are empowered to work in a way that is most productive for them.

  • Device Agility

Using XenApp, it doesn’t matter if your employees have identical desktops or are up to date with the most recent OS. Since your employees use their company computers as well as their own tablets and smart phones to access work data, it’s next to impossible to implement and regulate across-the-board installations and updates. Rather than running your IT department into the ground, XenApp allows you to deliver your applications to any employee, regardless of the OS or device type.

  • Simplification

It’s safe to assume that nearly every business shares a common goal of making their IT systems easier to use, especially for the average user who doesn’t have a background in software engineering or cloud computing. With the XenApp virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), you can rest assured that your hosting is streamlined via the use of a single server giving access to hundreds of users at the same time.

Citrix does the heavy lifting and behind-the-scenes hosting work so that your IT department can focus on growing new ideas, not on maintenance, upgrades, and installations on individual devices.

  • Other Benefits

The advantages of Citrix are too numerous to list each one in detail. To round off the list above, some additional, and equally important, pros of using Citrix for your business include things like license consolidation, secure third party access, and better-than-installed application speed.

XenApp in Use – A Case Study

More than 400,000 businesses are using Citrix solutions today, and for good reason. One such organization is UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). UNESCO needed an agile solution offer access to SAP software in a way that worked with their diverse locations that included 65 offices around the world.

UNESCO, like all businesses, had goals of increased productivity and streamlined operations. UNESCO first began by testing Citrix as a potential solution. They were pleased with the initial results and began to dive deeper into Citrix’s offerings with their XenApp application virtualization software.

UNESCO’s System Administrator, Ayekoro Kossou, recognized the need to reduce administrative costs and local IT resources while increasing the security of remotely accessing central data.

Kossou was happy to praise XenApp’s benefits by saying:

“With XenApp, we offer our users the best possible working conditions, regardless of their position and where they work. All UNESCO users can now easily and securely access our information system from the office or elsewhere. The prospects are favorable since we are able to adapt more easily to any increased load.”

“Meanwhile, we have reduced our administrative and maintenance costs through virtualization of our servers. We now have a more reliable and efficient system, without burdening our budget,” he adds. “Finally, we gain valuable time on server management: before, manual configuration of one server could take half a day. Today, this time is practically divided by three. We are more responsive and have more time to devote to more strategic tasks.”

The ability for employees to work from home, share documents in real time, and work collaboratively despite geographic location are just a few of the additional ways that XenApp has allowed UNESCO to take advantage of application virtualization for the benefit of their global operations.

Citrix Best Practices for XenApp

Working with Citrix enables your business to enjoy seamless IT operations, helping your employees to focus on doing their jobs, develop new ideas, and collaborate on growth and expansion strategies. To foster this type of dynamic work environment, Citrix XenApp achieves ideal results when implemented with these best practices cited from the Citrix VDI Handbook:

  • Create a Goal

Give your team a reason to adopt application virtualization. When you have a business plan behind your XenApp implementation, your team has a goal to work towards and a purpose in deploying the new system.

  • Implement With a Methodology

The Citrix VDI Handbook outlines the methodology for integrating XenApp using these steps:

  1. Define
  2. Assess
  3. Design
  4. Deploy
  5. Monitor

Each step is a critical rung on the ladder in setting up an application virtualization system that works for your business. The best way to guarantee a successful XenApp launch is through a carefully thought out plan.

With this methodology, your team will create a business case for using XenApp, assess the current digital environment to determine your priorities (such as scalability, mobility, etc.), design your infrastructure to meet those priorities, configure your new system as planned, and perform regular maintenance and monitoring to continue success.

  • Work with an Experienced Team

A seamless integration of XenApp requires pairing with a strategic partner that can guide your planning and implementation. No matter how skilled your IT team is, working with a Citrix cloud services provider ensures that the XenApp best practices are followed and that you can achieve optimal results for your business.

At Connectria, we have been that partner for hundreds of organizations around the world. Our pre-built solutions allow you to launch XenApp quickly, affordably, and efficiently. Our experts will guide your launch process so that your business can immediately start enjoying the time and cost savings, security benefits, and increased productivity advantages that Citrix offers.

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