Background & Challenges
One of the leading American waste & disposal services management company providing comprehensive waste and environmental services headquartered in Houston, Texas, North America, offer reliable, responsible, and sustainable waste management solutions for home and business.
The customer and VMware were working on a POC engagement to deploy cloud desktops using Horizon on Azure. However, just a week into the POC engagement, the global pandemic disrupted the customer’s production and quickly wanted to implement the Work from Home (WFH) solution to keep their business up and running. As an expert implementation partner of VMware, Anunta was engaged to work along with VMware, Microsoft, and the Customer IT team to roll out the WFH solution across the organization.
The customer already had an on-premises virtual desktop environment on VMware and had implemented security policies for a secure work environment. The unprecedented situation due to COVID-19 had disrupted the business for the customer and they faced challenges in providing essential services like collecting waste and disposal services to the community. The customer wanted to maintain their standard waste collection services and empower their employees with a secure remote work option while ensuring the well-being of their 43,000+ strong workforce.
To maintain regular services of waste and disposal management services during the crisis, it was critical to share regular service updates and alerts with the residential and business community. The employees had to be supported with high application availability to allow sharing of updates and alerts. The Finance group, a critical function, was supporting diverse groups from an accounting standpoint with account reconciliation, and addressing problems related to billing and payments required data-heavy financial applications for timely closure of the accounts. Additionally, the Route Managers and Fleet Maintenance managing the route drivers and ensuring vehicles keep running had to constantly access Schedule Maintenance applications, Computing, and Tracking tools. These user groups had to be supported with high application availability without any downtime to manage the critical business functions smoothly.
Keeping Business Operational:
The named users across use cases had different enterprise applications requirement. They used either web, or desktop- based applications, and were unable to access these due to restricted operations from the office premises.
Based on the urgent business needs, the customer wanted an easily scalable solution that required minimal IT intervention to respond to queries and requests from their residential and business customers.
Securing Customer & Business Data:
As an essential service provider, the customer was dealing with customer data on a regular basis and billing, and payment information. It also collected photos and videos from cameras on the trucks to analyze the waste collection and disposal services. It was key to secure this sensitive information.
There was a need to ensure that the solution prevents security breaches and safeguards sensitive customer data and applications.
What Anunta Did
Anunta enabled the customer’s employees with cloud desktops on VMware’s Horizon Cloud on Azure, as the customer was already on the VMware environment earlier and the transition to the cloud was easy. Anunta validated the design, deployment, and AD connection requirements on Horizon cloud. The team also assessed network readiness, user groups and service accounts, endpoint and peripheral requirements, Horizon cloud components and OS & application licensing requirements, anti-virus policies and provisioning requirements for Azure disk encryption.
Based on the information gathered about the applications, desktops, and user distribution, Anunta designed and implemented Horizon cloud desktops, installed and configured the necessary Horizon agents, configured Windows 10 images, utility servers and integrated peripherals from the on-premise set up to ease day to day operations across all use cases. The Horizon agents were installed and configured across 5 PODs (Point of Delivery) to support a future workload capacity that can be scaled up for 10,000 users from the existing 3000 users. In conjunction with the customer, Anunta carried out the configuration of Workspace One Access and Dynamic Environment Manager (DEM) for different applications to integrate with the Horizon setup. The Access Policy was created to apply Multi-Factor Authentication to specific remote user groups ensuring a secure desktop environment.
Anunta performed user provisioning, systems testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing (UAT) to validate all the functional and non-functional requirements of the environment. Following the successful implementation at 5 PODs, Anunta assisted in the deployment of the sixth POD in the West Europe region. The cloud desktops helped the Waste Management company to enable business continuity within a short period with high application availability and without any business disruption.
- Business Continuity: The cloud desktops enabled ‘Work from Home’ for different user groups and perform the day to day operations. In the unprecedented and challenging time, it ensured providing essential services to the communities while protecting the well-being of the employees with remote working.
- End to End Management: Anunta provided a fully managed desktop solution that included design, implementation, and management of the cloud desktop infrastructure and delivered fully functional cloud desktops.
- Scalability: The solution was easily scalable as per the business needs. 3000+ users were onboarded within 2 weeks of the solution implementation.
- High Application Availability: The different user groups were able to access the business applications seamlessly, which enabled the employees to work in their respective business functions without any disruptions.
- Enhanced Security: The solution enabled the employees to securely access customer data and applications, specific to their user group, without compromising on data security and compliance.
- Cost Efficiency: With the Cloud Desktop solution, there was significant reduction in Capex with upfront savings on hardware purchase.