Citrix Systems and Indiana University announced today that IU has chosen Citrix as a preferred partner in helping the university deliver and support virtual technologies for its approximately 100,000 students, faculty and staff. The partnership effectively creates a “Personal Cloud” where users can access applications and data as an on-demand service — anytime, anywhere, and on any PC, Mac, tablet or smart phone.
Using Citrix XenDesktop® with FlexCast™ technology, IU will be able to extend a broad range of applications and data to faculty, staff and students as a secure cloud-based service regardless of their location. In turn, the IU community will have access to licensed software and data storage at any time, on any device – whether a laptop, desktop, tablet or smart phone.
The implementation, code-named IUAnyWare, comes as part of IU’s phased initiative to establish a new model for personal computing in higher education, and provide desktop virtualization to increase operational efficiencies, reduce desktop support costs and increase accessibility and security of user applications and data. The IU initiative will utilize Citrix XenDesktop to deliver a personal computing environment as a cloud service, and Microsoft SharePoint for localized cloud storage. The benefits IU expects are:
- More efficient and innovative use of human and fiscal resources
- Better and expanded service to students, faculty and staff
- Extended life-cycle of current equipment
- Greater opportunities for software licensing efficiencies
- Greater security and disaster recovery
- Greater flexibility
“Citrix XenDesktop is helping us transform the way we deliver and support personal computing devices and applications,” said Sue Workman, associate vice president of support at Indiana University. “The IU IT staff is spending an large percentage of support hours just maintaining, patching and upgrading hardware and software at these multiple locations. Staff can be utilized for higher-level activities in IT, and in teaching, learning and research. Virtualization allows us to more effectively use IT to support the university’s educational mission by allowing our users to get access to resources wherever they are and from whatever device they choose.”
Workman added that the higher education community is increasingly demanding the flexibility to connect to university resources whether on campus, at home or using a smart device elsewhere. Students will gain access to the same software packages on their machines as they have in campus computing labs, and faculty and staff will have access to software and files wherever they are in the world. With the ability to deliver multiple types of virtual desktops to its user population, IU will be able to ensure that users have access to their desktop and apps to complete coursework from any device. The university required this type of flexibility that also scales on the back end.
Indiana University has multiple campuses and nearly 100 labs, some of which are shared with students from other universities and community colleges. IU manages systems in these labs and is able to deliver appropriately licensed software directly to the individual student. Indiana University’s first step in the phased rollout is delivering virtual applications to a brand new Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence facility in Columbus, Ind., where joint ventures are underway with other local universities in support of certification and degree programs and workforce training. Once lab environments are up and running, IU will continue incorporating additional users with the aim of delivering upwards of 200 applications to university-, employee- and student-owned devices.
“This project is part of a major initiative to rethink the way we are delivering IT services to all of our users, and to be able to reduce desktop support needs and deploy those resources to more strategic initiatives. Citrix has been a key contributor and enabler of our goals. We are looking forward to working with Citrix to roll out virtual desktops and applications across all of our users university-wide,” said Workman.
“Indiana University is taking a very important step in transforming desktops and applications into a leveraged, on-demand personal cloud service. Traditional desktop computing is expensive and time consuming to support, especially for university campuses where new applications and desktop images are required every semester. Additionally, students and faculty are demanding greater flexibility in where and how they work, given the variety of locations they need to be during the day. XenDesktop is helping the university to lower support costs, increase device support, and ultimately enable virtual work styles for all faculty, staff and students,” said John Fanelli, vice president of marketing, Enterprise Desktops and Applications at Citrix.