Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS, offers a variety of benefits for businesses of all types.
However, DaaS solutions, which replace physical PCs with virtual desktops hosted in the cloud, can be particularly beneficial for companies that specialize Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO. From simplifying regulatory compliance and security needs to cutting costs and more, DaaS helps BPO providers operate more profitably while also gaining an edge over competitors.
To prove the point, here are five reasons why BPO providers should replace their employees’ physical workstations with cloud desktops delivered via a DaaS platform
1. Reduce internal overhead
To operate profitably, BPO providers need to minimize their own overhead. Efficient operation is critical for ensuring that BPO firms can offer outsourced services at lower prices than their clients could achieve if they implemented them in-house. The more time and money BPO providers spend managing their own business processes and infrastructure, the less effectively they can deliver outsourced business services to their clients.
DaaS helps keep BPO providers’ internal processes lean and mean by eliminating the need to maintain expansive fleets of physical PCs. With DaaS, businesses never have to worry about upgrading physical hardware, replacing a failed hard drive or not having enough IT staff available to keep track of all of their PCs. When desktops are virtualized, they can manage all of their desktop environments from a central location — the cloud — and deploy or decommission desktops at a moment’s notice.
For BPO companies seeking to streamline their internal processes, then, DaaS offers a compelling solution, especially given that operating costs related to computers and maintenance and upkeep represent a significant portion of BPO overhead.
2. Offer more services
When you can roll out a new desktop environment quickly and can update desktop software centrally, it’s easier to deploy new types of outsourced services. Instead of having to install a new application on every physical PC in your fleet in order to support a new type of offering, you can update your machines centrally from the cloud. And if you need more cloud desktops to support a new service, you can deploy them instantly, instead of having to acquire and set up physical hardware.
Given that offering “a diverse range of services allows companies to gain a competitive edge in the market for business process outsourcing,” according to Grand View Research, the ability to leverage DaaS as a way to offer a large and diverse selection of services is critical for BPO companies’ competitive success.
3. Meet compliance rules
Regulatory laws that dictate how and where digital data may be stored, like the GDPR, HIPAA and CCPA, complicate the ability of BPO providers to manage consumer data (like addresses and phone numbers) for their clients. This is because regulatory requirements may mandate certain data security protections for personal data that are difficult to implement across a fleet of distributed PCs. Regulatory laws may also require that data be stored in a certain geographic region (such as the one where a BPO’s clients are based) that may be different from where the BPO company is based.
DaaS makes it easier to adhere to these compliance rules by providing BPO companies with unparalleled control and flexibility over how they store and manage their clients’ data as it flows through employee workstations. Not only does DaaS nullify security risks (and, by extension, compliance requirements) related to the physical loss or theft of desktops, but it also provides BPO companies with the option of hosting their entire desktops on servers located in a specific geographic region, even if their employees are based in another region.
For example, if a BPO provider’s client needs its customer data to reside in the United States but the BPO itself operates from call centers in India, DaaS provides the ability to host desktops on servers located in the United States, while still making them available through the cloud to employees based in India. That’s a powerful advantage from a compliance perspective, and one that BPO providers simply can’t achieve using traditional PCs.
4. Build a scalable business
To offer compelling outsourced services, BPO companies must be able to deliver those services faster than their clients could implement them themselves. They must also be able to scale services up and down quickly as their clients’ needs change.
DaaS helps BPO providers achieve these goals by making it fast and easy to roll out new desktops, as well as to scale down the size of desktop infrastructure quickly when service needs decrease. As a result, BPO companies that use DaaS can quickly bring employees online or offline in order to accommodate their clients’ needs.
To put this advantage into context, imagine a BPO contact center with a client that suddenly announces a product recall, resulting in a sharp increase in call volume. With DaaS, the BPO company can instantly deploy the desktop environments it needs to support the rise in calls. This would be much harder to do if the company relied on physical desktops that had to be purchased and set up before they could be used to handle higher volume.
5. Improve security
Security remains an “ongoing struggle” for BPO companies, according to ComputerWeekly, which also notes that a poor reputation on the security front can hamper the ability of BPO providers to land clients in places like the United States and Europe.
DaaS can’t solve every IT security challenge that BPO providers face, but it can significantly improve some aspects of security. By centralizing desktop infrastructure in the cloud, DaaS makes it easier to monitor and audit desktops for malware and other threats.
DaaS also allows BPO companies to decommission the desktops of former employees quickly. That’s an important step toward improving security given the high attrition rate in the BPO industry and the tremendous risk associated with failing to revoke former employees’ access to IT environments. With physical PCs, a BPO company would have to send support staff to the computer and remove a former employee’s accounts manually in many cases. DaaS makes it possible to revoke the employee’s access to his or her cloud desktop or even take the entire virtual desktop offline instantaneously, which is a cleaner and simpler process.
Success in the BPO industry requires the ability to offer a range of services, respond quickly to changing client needs and meet strict security and compliance, all while keeping operating costs in check. DaaS helps BPO providers meet all of these challenges in a way that physical PCs can’t. In turn, DaaS helps ensure BPO profitability, even in the face of the ever-growing competitiveness of the industry.
Remote working is no longer optional as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has pushed global organizations to quickly adopt the new ways of working. As the focus shifts from office cubicle to the comforts of home for work, employee productivity, seamless communication and collaboration, accessibility to enterprise applications, and data security emerge as the primary concerns for most organizations. Organizations will have to choose the right technology that is sustainable, secure, and scalable to adapt to the changing needs of businesses in the long-term. Here’s an infographic that shows the major trends in workplace technologies.
The ongoing pandemic is unprecedented. This has opened the pandora’s box for globally thriving economies, and a lot of effort is being put by Governments across the world to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus by both mandating social distancing and ensuring complete lockdown except for the essential services. Since early February, most organizations had already started adopting precautionary measures and implementing the obvious sanitization measures at workplace. However, as the spread intensified, they moved to impose travel restrictions and encouraged work from home in alignment with the Government advisory. Keeping their workforce safe from asymptomatic spread during this time has been the utmost priority for all organizations, and the only way to achieve this is by encouraging their workforce to work from home while keeping their businesses up and running. Organizations will need to adopt a right technology that is sustainable, secure and that supports their workforce need for communication and collaboration while keeping them productive.
Adopting People first approach
Even before the lockdown was declared in India and other geographies, most of our global customers reached out to us discussing their business continuity plans to deal with the situation and keeping their workforce safer. The key concerns for them, in enabling work from home for their workforce, focused on ensuring data security, seamless accessibility to data, enterprise applications availability, and smooth communication and collaboration. As an industry recognized, cloud hosted desktop solution provider, we empowered businesses with a fully managed desktop solution that allowed them to leave the pain of design, implementation, and management to Anunta, while they could focus on core business during these times. Our solution helped them to have cloud hosted work systems up and running in a few days and become scalable in minutes. Since February, many more new organizations have reached out wanting to keep their businesses operational, secure, and productive at the same time. The new customers have added new users across varied use cases to the virtualized environment. We have seen over 50% increase in the addition of new use cases to the cloud desktops environment during the crisis. Our customer support teams have been working tirelessly in enabling both existing and the newly onboarded customers in these challenging times. We thank them for their leadership and extraordinary efforts.
Why Cloud Desktops over VPN
To ensure business continuity, organizations must choose between cloud desktops and/or VPN. With the significant increase in hacking incidents during COVID lockdown, data security is a prime concern for CIOs, while their workforce work from home. Remote workers connecting to corporate networks via VPN have become increasingly vulnerable to targeted virus or malware attacks due to lack of enterprise firewall and security policies. Though VPNs are the lost cost option available, they are not bullet proofs against cyberattacks and are easier to hack in a remote work environment.
Another key area concerning organizations currently is, how to keep their workforce productive? How to provide them the same experience when accessing business applications while they are working from home? The answer to this lies in adoption of cloud hosted desktops. Our cloud desktops come with 24×7 comprehensive helpdesk and single point of accountability for all end-user performance issues. With application brownouts and downtime factored in the solution, end-users have very high application availability and remain productive at all times. We have seen over 90% session logins to the cloud desktop environment across most of our customers during the ongoing time. This is significant as employees adapt to the new work environment and our solution is proving to be the right technology infrastructure to keep them productive with superior user experience. Additionally, the financial year end witnessed a significant increase in the sessions as many of our financial services customers could execute their entire complex cycle of their year-end closing transactions from the comfort of their homes using cloud desktops.
For PCI, HIPPA, HITRUST compliant workloads, cloud hosted desktops are perfect as the possibility of data leaks or theft is eliminated completely. As data cannot be downloaded on endpoints, the risk of data loss is nullified. Further the known vulnerabilities can be patched without disrupting end-user performance.
Empowering work from home users
In the past few weeks, we have successfully rolled out cloud desktops for multiple customers from IT, ITeS, Financial Services, Banking, Manufacturing and Business Process Management verticals. The cloud desktops have addressed the concerns of customers wanting to empower their users with a solution, that is secure, can be deployed quickly, allow collaboration, and make the workforce productive. Anunta’s cloud desktops takes just a few days to set-up and are available on-demand with 24×7 support. New users across use cases can be scaled up in minutes irrespective of their location and can be customized as per the business needs of organizations. While our support teams have been diligently empowering our customers, we have addressed end-user performance associated tickets within defined SLAs.
Approaches to Business Continuity Adoption
- With Anunta, customers can adopt cloud desktops hosted on any cloud of their choice and be free from the headache of provisioning, configuration, implementation, integration, and management. The built-in disaster recovery with most cloud platforms make them easier to set up new desktops without much investments. Further the centralized management of desktops, makes it easy for IT teams to manage and enhance end-user experience during times of crisis.
- The pay as you go model of cloud desktops means you pay only for what you consume while allowing users to work from anywhere. Organizations can adopt cloud desktops as a fail-safe backup mechanism to keep their businesses running during an unplanned crisis, such as these. All our customers are now operational as in normal days due to the implementation of cloud desktops.
As most cloud providers experience a significant increase in the demand for cloud based solutions during the pandemic, we see cloud desktops as the most viable solution that can enable customers’ across industry verticals, and of all sizes, to remain operational. We are ensuring that the business infrastructure of our customer organizations remain resilient during these times. With the focus on delivering unparalleled end user experience and ensuring workforce productivity, Anunta is enabling businesses with cloud desktops for business continuity.
CEO & Deputy Managing Director, Anunta Tech.
Digital Workplace trends have put IT and HR leaders under pressure to introduce greater End User Computing (EUC) choice including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to attract and retain the brightest and best talent into their organizations. Employees increasingly prefer to use their own devices at work and as a result managing devices and ensuring secure application availability has become complicated and challenging for IT managers. This is making the traditional office infrastructure unsuitable to match expectations of both businesses and end-users and demands a move to a digital workplace that is flexible to address worker and business demands.
A Cloud-hosted desktop delivered “As a Service,” or DaaS (Desktop as a Service) has emerged as a viable and comprehensive solution for enterprises. While DaaS offers hardware and software components for managing devices, it leaves IT teams to struggle with a day to day operational management. However, Managed DaaS enables enterprises to unburden internal operations management of IT infrastructure, thereby enabling IT managers to focus on strategic issues related to business’ growth and profitability. Managed DaaS provides enterprises with an end to end implementation and management of digital workplace while ensuring secure and high application availability and superior end-user experiences.
Managed DaaS, the Digital Workplace Enabler
DaaS deployment and management, typically, is a specialized task requiring complex set of skills and resources. It comes with its own set of complexities in implementation and management such as,
- Provisioning of underlying network architecture & existing resources
- Workload configuration, applications & Peripheral integration
- OS migration & UAT testing
- Adapting group-based policies, governance, compliance & licensing
- Managing TCO and Stringent SLAs
- Virtualized environment monitoring & Round-the-clock support
To address the complexities, it is important for enterprises to Choose a Managed DaaS Provider (MDP). An effective Managed DaaS Provider can address the struggles in achieving quick scalability, managing application compatibility, simplifying varied use cases, improving the application performance, and striking the right balance between flexibility vs. stability.
Choosing the Managed DaaS Provider
It is important to choose a right implementation and management partner in order to avoid frequent business disruptions, increase in talent attrition, decrease in user productivity leading to poor business outcomes. Choosing the right MDP can provide a seamless workload transition and enhance end-user experiences multifold. The following section outlines key factors necessary to evaluate the right MDP:
- Technical Competency
- Focus on Compliance & Security
- Keeping you in business – Backup & Disaster recovery
- End-to-End support
- Price versus Absolute Value
The right MDP should demonstrate competence in rightsizing and resource allocation as per the business needs of an enterprise. The ability to establish a well-structured workload migration process and cloud adoption roadmap are essential factors for evaluation.
A provider with strong cross-domain expertise and experience across leading virtualization technology platforms, network technologies, Cloud platforms, Active Directory, and Server Management capabilities can enable faster rollouts of applications. This can maximize application availability and ensure minimal business disruption.
Post-implementation 24x7x365 monitoring and management are equally critical for the success of any DaaS implementation. Resolving critical end-user issues on priority in conjunction with the enterprise IT will ensure a satisfying end-user experience. The MDP that provides an outcome-oriented SLA will be accountable to address user issues promptly.
As a recognized specialist in implementing end-user computing solutions, Anunta has implemented some of the most varied use cases across industry verticals. Anunta offers a structured adoption plan with complete ownership of the EUC transformation from discovery and migration to complete stabilization of the environment.
Delivered through its state of the art, highly secure network operations center, Anunta successfully manages 80,000+ end-points for 120,000+ end-users globally while ensuring an application availability of 99.98%.
Focus on Compliance & Security
Due to the dramatic increase in the risk of identity theft and security breaches, enterprises need to adhere to strict regulations, local laws, and protocols.
Managed DaaS providers should ensure compliance with the organization’s security guidelines, local device directives, cloud-related industry mandates, government ordinances, licensing, and group policies. A structured process to proactively implement security measures to prevent malware intrusions, ransomware attacks, data cross-contamination, and hacking will help to avoid any data leaks from the organization.
The MDP should have organized processes to implement security access, define user roles and group memberships for security and compliance during designing of the DaaS architecture.
Anunta implements established protocols and procedures, periodic risk assessments and external audits, KPI measurement, recertification audits and regular surveillance in line with ISMS and ISTM certifications and HIPAA-compliance.
In a newly virtualized environment, factors like patch upgrades, security updates, change management, troubleshooting, and monitoring of cloud desktop environments are critical. The Managed DaaS provider should ensure that these factors are consistently and promptly addressed to ensure consistency in operation and enhanced end-user experience.
The availability of 24×7 monitoring and support by the MDP can ensure the infrastructure is up and running at all times without business disruption. Proactively identifying performance, capacity, and configuration issues with the availability of helpdesk, is necessary to ensure quick resolution of issues.
The MDP should have the ability to manage all incidents and perform Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to prevent recurrence of issues. The MDP should work towards continually to improve performance and minimize the impact of change-related incidents on service quality.
As an end to end implementation and managed services provider, Anunta enables its customers through a metric-driven approach to deliver an unmatched end-user experience. Anunta’s Managed Services offerings include, smart monitoring through its patented AIOps platform – EuVantage, a 24×7 service desk, and a team of experts to deal with incident-, problem-, change-, and patch-management.
Backup & Disaster Recovery
Outages, natural calamities, or data center failures are unexpected issues that adversely impact business continuity. The Managed DaaS provider should implement failover mechanisms, to enable users to work with minimum downtime. The ability to provide Back-up and Disaster recovery facilities will maintain business continuity.
Since end-users use their own devices while working from home or remote areas, the Managed DaaS Provider should empower end-users to work from anywhere and on any device. The MDP should also specify if Backup and Disaster recovery facility is an integral part of their offering. Any additional fee for backup and disaster recovery should be disclosed at the proposal stage.
Anunta’s systems are configured for automatic backup to ensure business continuity avoiding disruption to operations. Anunta incorporates latest BYOD trends, thereby facilitating remote usage using different devices.
Commercial vs. Absolute Value
The MDP should present different pricing models based on number of users and resources utilized such as per user per month pricing or pay as you go model, and fixed cost. When evaluating commercial proposals, enterprises should focus on the potential impact of outcomes like higher application availability, improved service levels, consistency of performance, ease-of-management, and immersive end-user experience rather than the stated service cost.
The MDP should demonstrate complete transparency in presenting pricing vs. absolute value. They should ensure a reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by eliminating associated and hidden costs. The focus should be on converting CAPEX expenditure to OPEX model with an outcome-oriented SLA.
Anunta delivers its customers more than 99.98% application availability and resolves most incidents before they impact the users. Anunta offers productivity-oriented SLAs along with flexible commercial model – Per-user/month or Per Endpoint/Month or Pay as you go.
Taking the final decision
The process of choosing a Managed DaaS Provider should include immense planning and foresight from a long-term perspective. Onboarding the right provider means enterprises can expect a superior user experience with zero business disruption while gaining significant savings on the cost. Enterprise should prepare their own custom checklist based on the criteria discussed earlier in the paper to evaluate a provider that will ensure uninterrupted operations and deliver a superior end-user experience.
Anunta Technologies is a recognized specialist in end to end DaaS implementation and management, and always focused on delivering a great end-user experience. With deep domain expertise, our team of experts designs sustainable EUC roadmaps that solve the unique challenges of your business, opening up a world of possibilities.
Learn more about our solutions and services at https://www.anuntatech.com.