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MCM are a creative consultancy comprised of architects, workplace strategists, and behavioural experts. They work with a range of businesses from SMEs to blue chip multinationals helping them to redesign their physical office workspaces.
Professional Services – Creative Consultancy
Azure Virtual Desktop
MCM were on the brink of replacing their old, onsite server and moving to a new premise. Then, just as the project was nearing completion, the pandemic hit, and they had to make an abrupt change to their IT. The MCM team needed to work 100% remotely meaning they needed access to their data from any device and from any location.
This also needed to happen quickly as the current IT was posing a huge drain on productivity. Designers were using their 3D imaging software via a VPN to log into their office desktops which was unreliable and created extra work from an IT support perspective.
Firstly, MCM needed to decide if they wanted an onsite server and network refresh, or a cloud Windows Virtual Desktop solution with some key factors requiring careful consideration:
• MCM work on complex designs with large files and applications that require high performance technology
• MCM had a second subset of users that needed a more basic setup; everyday Microsoft 365 applications like Outlook and Excel
After considering the above, BCN suggested a migration to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environment. This would allow multiple desktop profiles to be created and assigned depending on what individual users need.
Firstly, there was the question of whether these heavy-duty 3D design applications would integrate properly into the new virtual environment and perform as fast as normal. Also, it was hard to know how different user’s internet connections would impact their performance and interaction with the new environment.
BCN provided MCM with a Microsoft Windows 10 virtual desktop. This was available 24×7 and accessible from any device, whilst being protected with full backup and disaster recovery service level targets.
A full proof of concept was carried out over 3 weeks to ensure that the risks mentioned above were checked, highlighted, and addressed. BCN made sure they tested that a virtual desktop infrastructure was performing as expected, particularly for the graphical demands of the CAD applications. Power and standard users each working with an appropriately sized virtual desktop profile took part in the testing, becoming MCM champions for the wider project.
The proof of concept ended up being successful and exceeding the expectations of MCM, so the decision was made to deploy the solution to the entire business. This helped to manage the increased demand of home working and enable greater flexibility from virtual desktop solutions.
The full solution was provisioned over a period of 6 weeks. Timeline was important as the project needed to happen before MCM left their existing office space and moved to a smaller office space nearby.
The results of this solution included:
• Fast and reliable performance for both Power users and Basic users
• The ability to access and work on resource heavy applications remotely without the need for powerful and costly hardware
• BCN can instantly deliver or upgrade application environments in seconds and at scale if required
• The desktop looks and feels the same regardless of the device being used
First and foremost, the team was able to continue working remotely during the pandemic with little to no disruption to the business. There were also a number of further business benefits that the
• Now system updates are quicker than ever. Plus, if there are errors during the update process, rolling back to a previous state is equally quick. This all results in less downtime for users
• MCM managed to save a great deal by avoiding any expenditure on hardware. The new cloud environment also means that the designers no longer have to purchase expensive, resource heavy laptops as the processing is now all done within the WVD environment
• With a remote team, MCM was able to decrease the size of their office and reduce their overheads. They also found that being able to work from any location helped employees to perform better
Tactical Solutions were becoming constrained by their existing environment, a blend of on-premise and data centre based servers and technologies. BCN’s knowledge and experience of both Azure and their applications allowed BCN to design a solution that would provide both the scalability and resilience the business needed.
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