- ensuring that employees have access to appropriate technologies to support their work;
- replacing broken or obsolete workstations;
- backups, updates and upgrades.
- employees have access to a fully functional desktop, seemingly indistinguishable from a work environment provided by a laptop or desktop computer;
- a user is presented with a virtual machine running on the server, with its desktop displayed on the user’s monitor, and can control the remote image using the keyboard and the mouse connected to a terminal on the user’s desk;
- no hardware upgrade associated costs;
- improved security with no data dispersion across multiple drives;
- simplified and centralized user data backup.
- VMware Horizon 7 virtualization technology;
- VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).
Weco-Travel, a Central Europe business travel organization and management industry leader improved infrastructure management through virtualization
Several hours spent on preparing and standardizing a new workstation and dozens of hours spent on seemingly simple administrative tasks: day-to-day reality for many Polish companies. Infonet Projekt SA made these processes simple for Weco-Travel.
For the majority of Polish small and medium-sized companies (53 percent to be exact) business trips are part of their everyday routine. Each business trip involves travel arrangements and, once completed, labor-intensive billing, reimbursement, and per diem payments. For many companies this constitutes a major organizational challenge, and, therefore, more and more companies are outsourcing trips preparations to external operators.
Weco-Travel is an international leader in business travel management. The company provides business travel arrangement and cost optimization consulting services, as well as ongoing support and resolution of problems that can occur during or after the trip. The scope of the company’s activities includes airline and railway tickets booking, hotels booking, car rentals, visa consultancy, as well as conferences and incentive trips organization. The service is especially appreciated by clients who make multiple business trips every month and want to optimize their associated costs.
“We operate in the Central European region, but we think globally, thanks to a well-developed system of partnerships and cooperation with many businesses around the world. We aim to optimize our clients’ business travel costs and advise them by leveraging our expert knowledge backed by 25 years of experience, technology, and the business partnerships we have built,” explains Michal Zurek, regional CFO and vice president at Weco-Travel.
Leader through technology
One of the sources of the company’s competitive advantage is its cutting-edge technology that automates many travel-related tasks. At the same time, Polish companies lack the travel arrangement tools and know-how. Because of that, giving its employees access to the right technology to support their work was a priority for Weco-Travel.
“Replacing broken or obsolete workstations was equally troublesome. In reality, it often resembled untangling a big knot”, says Jakub Jonczyk, Weco-Travel IT specialist. “Under such conditions, backups, updates, and upgrades were a real headache for the IT department.”
The solution to the problem was provided by Infonet Projekt SA, an official VMware partner.
Hundreds of virtual desktops
Leveraging VMware-provided Horizon 7 virtualization technology, Infonet Projekt SA implemented VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) at Weco-Travel.
“VDI is an extension of the ‘thin client’ concept that is commonly used in many industries. It is a computer with limited functionality that performs a strictly defined task”, explains Agnieszka Gasiorowska, key clients specialist at Infonet Projekt SA.
With VDI technology, employees have access to a fully functional desktop, seemingly indistinguishable from a work environment provided by a laptop or desktop computer; Practically speaking, a user is presented with a virtual machine running on the server, with its desktop displayed on the user’s monitor, and can control the remote image using the keyboard and the mouse connected to a terminal on the user’s desk;
A standard PC that sits under the desk is no longer needed, so the hardware upgrade cost can be eliminated. Data is not scattered across multiple drives, which greatly improves security. Additionally, user data backup was simplified and centralized. Users can work from anywhere the server can be accessed, e.g. their desks, hot-desks at chosen temporary locations, or even their homes.
IT Systems Architect
at Infonet Projekt SA
A wider desktop
The company went one step further and literally freed its employees from the need to work at their computers. The virtual desktop, along with all the necessary applications, can be accessed from any device, including mobile ones.
Connecting or disconnecting a workstation only takes seconds. The environment is standardized and each new workstation becomes a component of an existing uniform system.
“With no local hard drives, it is much easier to make file backups and to manage access. Thus, even in the event of a total failure, no users will lose their files. It works both ways. A careless employee is much less likely to cause the company data loss as everything is stored on a central server and backed up regularly”, says Pawel Witkowski, IT Systems Architect at Infonet Projekt SA.
Creating a solution based on a virtualized work environment supported by a centralized data center enabled more efficient licenses management and data and applications access management for individual employees.
By minimizing the time spent on maintaining the infrastructure used by the employees, the IT department had more time to develop the internal applications used by the company.
“We got rid of the compatibility problem completely. Each user is provided the latest and most up-to-date version of the application at the same time. And if a problem occurs, the solution is implemented for all the workstations at the same moment,” says Pawel Witkowski.
The implementation also reduced the time needed to install new workstations personalized for individual employees’ positions and to introduce new employees to their duties.
The solution was developed based on VMware Horizon 7 Advance Edition technology as the technical infrastructure responsible for the virtual workstations operation. Creating a storage solution that holds user accounts and business applications was possible by using VMware vSAN. The solution also allowed for data center reconstruction so that all the applications could run effectively and efficiently in the new hyperconvergence model.
“Infonet Projekt SA started by preparing a proof of concept of a fully functional environment on a smaller scale, so we did not buy a pig in a poke. The experts answered our questions factually and competently at each and every stage of our cooperation,” says Jakub Jonczyk.
The solution was met with great enthusiasm by Weco-Travel and there are plans to implement it at other Central European branches as well, such as Czechia, Romania, and Hungary.
“We are satisfied with our cooperation with Infonet Projekt SA. With their innovative technology we managed to solve our problem in a way that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable. At the same time Infonet Projekt SA staff made sure to inform us about the progress at every stage of the implementation to properly train our IT teams afterwards. Therefore, we are entirely satisfied with both the course and the effects of our cooperation,” sums up Jakub Jonczyk.
Weco-Travel has been cooperating with Infonet Projekt SA for several years now. The cooperation began by implementing ITManager software to ensure digital security of the company’s data. It continued with a joint environment virtualization project and, recently, a VDI solution implementation.