As a global leader in the financial services industry, ING manages a large and complex Citrix environment. When the company upgraded its level of support to secure Citrix Technical Relationship Manager services, the IT team gained access to a single point of contact who knew the ING environment and who could understand the company’s concerns around privacy and security.
ING is a Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Amsterdam. The company serves more than 48 million individual and institutional clients in more than 40 countries, with a worldwide workforce exceeding 75 000.
The Challenge: Managing virtualization technology in a highly regulated environment
ING has worked with Citrix technology for a number of years. Desktop virtualization enables the bank to cut costs and simplify IT administration—especially important during a period of rapid global expansion. Workers rely on Citrix XenApp technology for virtualized access to specialized business applications such as Bloomberg Terminal, SAS and Loan IQ.
At first, the company relied on conventional support from Citrix, calling or emailing when there was a problem. However, as the company’s Citrix environment grew in size and complexity—much of it due to new security regulations in the financial services industry—it became clear that conventional support simply wouldn’t do. “Every time I called in, I would be talking to a different engineer,” says a system engineer at ING. “That was fine for a lot of issues. But if my question called for specialized expertise in the financial services industry, it could be difficult to find our way to a solution.”
The Solution: Acquiring dedicated support from Citrix Technical Relationship Manager services
When ING migrated to Citrix XenApp 6,5, the company also upgraded its level of technical support by securing Citrix Technical Relationship Manager (TRM) services. The TRM is a designated point of contact who is intimately familiar with the Citrix infrastructure at ING, particularly how that technology interacts with industry-specific applications and regulations. “Right away, our TRM came on-site to see the environment for himself, and he still visits every few months to see what we’ve added or changed,” says the system engineer. “Our migration to XenApp 6,5 was a big project, and we had a lot of questions related to security in particular. Having the TRM on hand made a real difference for us.”
Getting answers from a single point of contact
In the past, when he encountered questions or issues related to the bank’s Citrix environment, he would pick up the phone, explain his situation to an entirely new person, then sometimes be handed off to a more specialized engineer for another round of explanations. That doesn’t happen anymore. “When our TRM doesn’t know the answer to a question, he doesn’t tell us to go to somebody else,” he says. “He proactively seeks out the right support resource. We don’t have to spend as much time navigating all that ourselves.”
Accessing a Citrix expert who knows the ING environment
If the system engineer is having trouble delivering a critical business app, he shouldn’t be spending time telling a stranger about the ING stack. Now with a TRM on the line, he can go directly to someone who’s seen the environment for himself. “Sometimes we have to set things up in a very unique way to satisfy our security requirements,” he says. “When I call the TRM, I don’t have to tell him what we’re doing differently or why. We can skip those preliminaries and get right to the problem at hand.”
Interfacing with an engineer who understands industry-specific challenges
As the global financial services industry continues to adjust to new requirements and regulations around security and privacy, it’s important for him to interface with someone who is aware of those challenges and has experience dealing with them. “Almost all my questions for the TRM are related to security in some way,” he says. “For us, as an IT team at a large global bank, security is always on our minds, but it can be difficult for people outside the industry to really understand that. Our TRM understands, and that makes a difference.”
With ING continuing to grow globally, the company’s Citrix environment won’t be getting any smaller or simpler any time soon. The Citrix TRM will be right there in the future, offering specially tailored support to meet the unique needs of an industry giant.