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Conexus, Saskatchewan’s largest credit union and Canada’s sixth largest, offers members a complete range of financial solutions including credit union banking services, financial planning, investment, real estate, mortgage brokerage, personal and general insurance. With over 118,000 members to serve across 46 branches, the credit union’s 1000 employees are kept quite busy. Recognizing that their staff and sales professionals are their most valuable resource, the credit union’s IT department works hard to efficiently serve their fellow employees. Looking to make the user experience personal, predictable and easily manageable, Conexus turned to the leading provider of user virtualization technology: AppSense.
The Conexus IT department is constantly looking for ways to improve the end-user experience and make their fellow employees more efficient in their virtual environment. Therefore, when staff members began experiencing long delays logging onto their desktops the credit union started research on third party solutions that would work in conjunction with their 60 server Citrix environment. After performing due diligence on a handful of vendors, Conexus chose AppSense based on their superior features and functionality. However, they asked for a solid proof of concept (POC) first before making a full commitment. According to Chandra Nauth-Misir, senior application administrator at Conexus, "the POC went great – our logins were reduced from minutes to seconds!"
In action, AppSense User Virtualization enables standardized desktop environments to be fully personalized without the need for burdensome profiles or complicated scripts. Desktops can be easily standardized, but there is also the flexibility in the software to allow for personalization. Personalization includes such items as desktop look and feel, application menus and buttons, language and screen resolution settings and much more. AppSense actually allows personalization data to be treated as a separate component, but still delivers quickly and efficiently via standardized desktops that significantly reduce management costs. Nauth-Misir notes that "we have been using AppSense User Virtualization for almost three years now and it is a very stable platform. It gives us a great deal of control over our desktops and makes them much easier to manage and keep in compliance."
Another powerful capability in the AppSense User Virtualization Platform that Conexus has deployed is Resource Management. This capability allocates CPU, memory and disk resources to applications and users and optimizing how user actions are processed, resulting in extremely fast application response times while optimizing computing resources. Conexus will be putting the software to good use when they rollout their Web-based banking system that is very memory intensive. Nauth-Misir recalls that "AppSense did a great job of limiting memory usage without degrading system performance."
When it comes to centralizing the management of user profile data, AppSense excels, but no matter how intuitive and powerful the software is, it still requires technical support. "The software is very solid, but the few times that we have contacted AppSense’s help desk, they have been very responsive and knowledgeable," asserts Nauth-Misir. He concludes that "the control and management capabilities that we get with this platform are excellent. We view AppSense as a true partner for the long term and highly recommend them to other credit unions."