Virtualization News

Avanade, Citrix Integrate Microsoft Azure and VDI Environments

Avanade and Citrix collaborate to encourage cloud-based IT infrastructure by integrating Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure with Microsoft Azure.

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

Avanade announced the latest initiative in its strategic partnership with Citrix focused on assisting clients taking a cloud-first approach to building digital workspaces for end-users.

Cloud-based infrastructure encourages healthcare VDI adoption.

The latest initiative will use Avanade’s assets and tools from its transformation and managed services to integrate Citrix desktop and application virtualization products with Microsoft Azure and Windows 10. Avanade’s enterprise clients will be able to provide end-users with flexible and scalable virtualized desktop that can be accessed quickly and easily via an organization’s network.

As the healthcare industry continues to transform its health IT infrastructure to include more cloud technology, end-users need to be provided with desktop environments that can easily engage and access information from any device to utilize the full spectrum cloud technology offers.

"At Avanade we help our clients effectively implement digital solutions that improve productivity and collaboration. With this next step in our Citrix relationship, clients can be confident in taking a cloud first approach that integrates one of the best desktop virtualization environments available with a flexible and secure cloud environment," said Rich Stern, Executive for Cloud Services at Avanade.

Citrix and Avanade have previously collaborated on large virtual desktop deployments and application virtualization solutions to provide a secure and modern platform in the cloud along with increased mobile productivity and employee engagement.

"Citrix is focused on enabling customers to securely and effectively move to the cloud. Avanade provides customers with the ability to leverage Microsoft technologies to help optimize XenApp and XenDesktop on Microsoft Azure as well as enhance our Skype for Business and Windows 10 integration capabilities," said Steve Blacklock, Vice President of Global Strategic Alliances, Citrix.

Microsoft Azure is one of the most popular cloud solutions in healthcare which, along with Citrix healthcare IT solutions facilitated by Avanade, could bring a cohesive IT ecosystem between user desktops and a cloud-based health IT infrastructure.

“Virtualization provides huge efficiency and cost benefits by allowing IT to centrally manage, deliver and update complex and rich clinical applications to anyone and any device,” says Citrix on its healthcare virtualization solutions.

“Application and desktop virtualization enhance the efficiency of new IT initiatives such as building a health information exchange (HIE) with other local healthcare providers or offering hosted IT services to affiliated groups, smaller physician group practices or outpatient centers,” Citrix continued. “Virtualization also helps healthcare IT prepare to step up to Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements, which include demands for a larger number of electronic transactions.”

Healthcare organizations currently face challenges when it comes to virtual desktop infrastructure including, HIPAA compliance, data security, disaster recovery, and streamlined clinical workflows.

Virtual desktop infrastructure keeps clinical data safe from hackers because the desktop is only accessed through the end-point device, which means that no data is stored on the actual device — making it more secure by design thus more appealing to healthcare organizations.

Virtualization also works hand in hand with cloud offering a less complex environment for backup and disaster recovery. All data is stored in the data center, so only the data center needs to be backed up, not the endpoint devices themselves.

As clinicians move from room to room, logging into and out of secure desktops costs them valuable time that could be spent with the patient. As cloud becomes a staple in health IT infrastructure, having a unified way to access a personal desktop remotely is a natural next step in streamlining operations.

As more healthcare organizations implement cloud and virtualization solutions, solutions like Avanade are needed to ensure the cloud environments organizations are using integrate correctly with the virtualized desktop environment.

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