Reckitt | Azure Virtual Desktop

Discover how we helped Reckitt, a leading global consumer company with operations in 60 countries, setup, test and launch Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) across their global IT estate. AVD has given them the option to replace their legacy solution, cut admin costs, reduces workload for the IT team and provides secure access to apps and files for their users anywhere, anytime, on any device.

‘Working with PowerON was a fantastic experience from start to end. They understood clearly our desire for a fully automated solution, and the product we built is a shining example of how two companies can come together to make innovative, incredible, and technologically brilliant solutions to solve real pain points.’

Paul Haigh, Head of Cloud, Reckitt

Following a successful Modern Endpoint Management project between Reckitt and PowerON during 2020, the PowerON team were introduced to Reckitt’s Head of Cloud, Paul Haigh, in December 2020 to see if we could support in the Azure Virtual Desktop space (previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop at time of engagement).

After consulting with Paul, it became clear that Reckitt wanted to consider leveraging the benefits of AVD in their working environment, but before moving to a deployment phase, wanted to invest the time in assessing how these benefits would translate into their active Azure environment in a secure and controlled way.

“The partnership has gone from strength to strength.”

The PowerON team, having extensive knowledge and experience of helping organisations adopt AVD, created a Statement of Works for a Proof of Concept to demonstrate the recommended approach to achieving Reckitt’s business objectives, and detailed the activities that would be involved.

The project began with an initial workshop to discuss and capture information around user scenarios, infrastructure, host pools, and testing criteria. From there the PowerON consultancy team, working alongside the Reckitt team, carried out activities including creating a custom Azure Image designed around the required software, the creation of a Host Pool using the customised image, and the packaging of applications to bring them into the service.

“…a shining example of how two companies can come together to make innovative, incredible, and technologically brilliant solutions”

With the engagement being an initial Proof of Concept, it was extremely important to caveat every step with extensive user testing and refinement where necessary. The PowerON consultancy team did this by presenting the PoC back to the Reckitt team and walking them through the key user stories expressed in the initial workshop, results were discussed and recommendations made for any additional work that would be required to make the solution suitable for a wider rollout.

Following the success of the initial POC during the first few months of 2021, Reckitt made the decision to expand on the usage of AVD across the global estate, and requested support from PowerON to deploy AVD across their Asia and US regions. Work began on accessing existing infrastructure and discussing the host pool requirements, leading to a successful deployment of AVD to the extent where the legacy Citrix solution could be replaced.

“Working with PowerON was a fantastic experience from start to end.”

Some of the key business requirements for Reckitt were expandability, repeatability and security. PowerON deployed an Azure DevOps backed solution utilising native functionality and blending it with Azure Image Builder and customised automation to ensure that hosts were rebuilt regularly.

This ensured that Reckitt always had the latest software and updates and could scale on demand all while minimising administrative overhead and ensuring an evergreen user experience. Initial feedback from the Reckitt team was that this approach really helped achieve the goal of having a deployment solution that’s as ‘hands-off’ as possible, meaning valuable time can be spent on other business critical tasks, and users can have confidence in the solution.

The project began with an initial workshop to discuss and capture information around user scenarios, infrastructure, host pools, and testing criteria. From there the PowerON consultancy team, working alongside the Reckitt team, carried out activities including creating a custom Azure Image designed around the required software, the creation of a Host Pool using the customised image, and the packaging of applications to bring them into the service.

‘When we were first introduced to Paul and the Reckitt team in December, it became clear very quickly how focused and driven they were in knowing what they wanted to achieve and see when considering AVD as a solution.

From the first engagement with our consultants, the Reckitt team were extremely engaged and collaborative, making for a very efficient engagement leading to a successful reaching of the original business objectives. From there the partnership has gone from strength to strength, and what began as a POC has now become a long-term AVD vision spanning global regions.’

Jonathan O’Grady, Account Manager, PowerON
What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) is a desktop and app virtualisation service that runs on Microsoft Azure. It can quickly allow users to work securely and remotely from anywhere, at any time, on any device.

Benefits include:

  • Rapidly scales up or down depending on needs
  • Reduced admin and upfront costs
  • Secure, flexible end user services
  • Access anywhere, anytime

If you’d like any further info please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on jonathan.ogrady@poweronplatforms.com.

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