Delivering desktops-as-a-service

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Information about Delivering desktops-as-a-service

Published on January 17, 2014

Author: Ciscodatacenter



Steria discovered that change is not synonymous with invention after implementing a self-service cloud portal offered by Cisco. Read how a combination of innovative technology, including the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco® Unified Computing System™, helped increase service offerings for Steria’s Workplace On Demand.

Unleashing IT Delivering desktops as-a-service Cisco and Intel® partnering in innovation Steria’s new cloud-based offering reduces desktop deployment and administration time by 80 percent. If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps efficiency is the father. Point being, innovation doesn’t always demand the creation of something entirely new. Delivering known products or services better or more efficiently can also produce significant gains. This was the case for Steria, a prominent IT services provider based in France. Steria leaders had a hunch about the market interest in selfprovisioned desktops, delivered to any device through the cloud. “The desktop-as-a-service offer is not very mature in Europe,” says Eric Fradet, industrialization director at Steria. “So we thought an interesting opportunity would be a sustainable and reliable offer that would give our customers an alternative to the traditional desktop model—especially if we could deliver an innovative enterprise application store with instantaneous provisioning and workplace management.” The company’s research, however, indicated most of its customers felt they had already optimized their desktop computing environment and costs. “Consequently we had to include added-value services to deliver a total cost of ownership comparable to the current one,” Fradet explains, “thereby offering more services for the same price.” Focusing on simplicity and flexibility Instead of new and novel, which usually requires clients to fund the research and development, Steria aimed for simple and flexible. The company found this combination in the Cloud Portal offering within the Cisco Prime™ Service Catalog, a unified, self-service portal where end users can order any application on their virtual workplace. “We wanted a simple, flexible model to download, install, and remove applications on cloud-based workplaces,” says Fradet, “enabling end users to import their workplace context onto any endpoint or device.” • Called “Workplace On Command,” Steria’s new service runs on a FlexPod platform featuring the Cisco Unified Computing System™, Intel® Xeon® processors, Cisco Nexus® Series Switches, and NetApp storage. • Steria worked closely with Cisco Services to conceptualize and build the solution, from business and technical requirements to high-level and low-level designs to implementation and training. “There was no phase where Cisco was not involved,” Fradet states. “Cisco was the prime contractor; more of a partner in the true sense of the word than just a subcontractor.”

Unleashing IT • Steria customers using Workplace On Command are seeing an 80 percent reduction in the amount of IT time needed to deploy and manage desktops. • They are using the service to avoid costly IT rollouts, since new applications can be delivered with no human intervention. • The offering is also extending the lifecycle of customers’ equipment, because it allows new services to be rolled out easily to existing endpoints. And for Steria, the launch of Workplace On Command has marked a watershed. “Cisco Services was so much more than a supplier,” he adds. “At each layer, they worked closely with us to achieve a shared vision. Cisco is a real strategic partner for us.” Complimentary VDI Workshop Sign up for a Cisco Desktop Virtualization Discovery Workshop, at no cost for qualifying organizations, and learn how you can successfully deploy desktop virtualization. Go to “It has changed our position in the market,” Fradet concludes. “Launching such an innovative offer has enabled Steria to increase revenues, gain market share, and improve our profitability. This article first appeared online at, available after subscribing at © 2013 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Nexus, Cisco Prime, and Cisco Unified Computing System are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. To view a list of Cisco trademarks, go to this URL: Third party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. (1309) Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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