Emerging Technology
  
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Coming Soon to Serve Your Computing Needs – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Coming soon to serve your computing needs –Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI!

The majority of Meadowbrook associates currently access systems through Meadowbrook Citrix via a Thin Client device or PC/Laptop. This Citrix environment was implemented over 8 years ago and achieved over a 2 million dollar hard cost savings for the company. Needless to say, technology has moved on and so shall Meadowbrook’s desktop technology.

VDI will bring numerous benefits to our associates. It is a Windows 7 environment, just like most home computers. It fully supports audio and video along with Internet Explorer 11. From an IT perspective it is much easier to support and maintain and it has significantly improved security integration functionality which is critical for the protection of the company’s customers and data. The most exciting benefit for all users is the mobility aspect of VDI. VDI is supported across almost all platforms, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Mobile Phones and Tablets. It is a stateless system. What this means is that your session exists in the data center and the same session can be brought up across multiple devices. A user can be working from the office, go to lunch and bring up the exact session on their iPad, then go back to the office and get the same session again on their PC. The session can then be brought up after hours at home and the user does not lose any work.

Mark Thomas, Program Manager, Minnesota Managed Claims worked closely with the IT VDI Implementation team assisting with the conversion of the associates in the Bloomington, MN office in late September, 2015 had this to say about VDI. “It was probably one of the least problematic, most efficient conversions I have witnessed. The addition of the MS Office 2013 suite alone was worth the efforts of conversion. The other items, such as Lync/Skype, more intuitive and seamless login steps and an obvious speedup of processes were very welcome. It should be stressed that the experience is remarkably similar to simply firing up a standalone Windows 7 laptop or desktop. For those users that are in the Concept One environment, the new way of accessing C1 is superior.”

“I figured if any user was going to experience difficulties, it would be me. I found the adjustment easy, the speed fantastic and the mobility a real plus for a person who works in as many different locations as I do.”

Mark went on to say, “and maybe to re-emphasize the term ‘seamless’, the ability to “CTL-ALT-DEL”, secure, walk away from your new VDI Device and go home or

elsewhere and logon through the VDI web client is fabulous. Not having to save/close every application is a real timesaver. It has changed the entire access to everything I need to do my job – and so far, for the better in every instance.”

Jim LeRoy, Senior VP of New Business Development, Minnesota Managed Claims, asked to be included in the initial testing and deployment of VDI, commented,
“I figured if any user was going to experience difficulties, it would be me. I found the adjustment easy, the speed fantastic and the mobility a real plus for a person who works in as many different locations as I do.”

Mark wrapped up his comments, “It was interesting and exciting in March to be on a four month old cutting edge VDI platform, accessing Meadoworld to read the March edition of the Fosun Times and note the repeated references to our commitment to mobile technology!”

On top of all the benefits VDI brings to the end users, it also will save the company a significant amount of money. The implementation team along with accounting department did a complete analysis and calculated the ten year cost savings to be $5,825,444.00. VDI is the desktop technology that all associates will be using if not already. Stay tuned for VDI to replace your desktop soon.

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