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Better end-user experience with virtualisation

Caroline Ng | April 29, 2013
ABN AMRO regional IT team’s new end-user environment project has gained much recognition from its global counterparts. And the initiative was selected as one of CIO Asia’s CIO 100 2013 top projects.

Running at half virtualisation capacity, Sibiet believes ABN AMRO is one of the most virtualised banks in Singapore as the average standard is virtualisation at one third of capacity.


BYOD Factor

In line with ABN AMRO's strategy towards virtualisation, the EUC project has also spurred bring-your-own-device (BYOD) expansion. "Ultimately, in six to nine months time, I would like to see 30 percent of our front office users to BYOD into the office and when they go off premise, they can also have access to all the tools they need through the same user interface," says Sibiet.

The IT team can now deploy VDI to any device brought in by the end-users. This means that the current Blackberry-based infrastructure will be replaced by the desktop virtualisation-based system.

The initiation of BYOD to replace the Blackberry infrastructure has resulted in a gradual deployment of a secure VMware's VDI based solution on any device used by end-users.

The management of applications is now an automated and centralised affair thanks to desktop and application virtualisation. Software updates and security patches can be executed without affecting end-users, a benefit that line of business users like Lee from Private Banking is now enjoying.

Sibiet estimates that travelling users and offshore development teams are now witnessing a 70 percent improvement in desktop performance. Additionally, upgrades to the business continuity planning system can be carried out by "just one click of a button".

"Compare today to a year ago, the number of software incidents at desktop level has decreased 80 percent. The patching cycle has reduced significantly to the degree that we are able to do patching cycle overnight, resulting that the users are less impacted by having software pushed to them continuously," says Sibiet.


Future Plans

With increased performance and reduced costs, Project Launcher has earned the Singapore team much envy within ABN AMRO's global network. This is the first region within the bank to be swiftly migrated to the Launcher built infrastructure.

So much so that the team in Singapore - headquarters for Asia Pacific region - is currently providing consultancy to colleagues in the UK and US to follow the footsteps of Project Launcher. In addition, the Singapore team has been chosen to provide resourcing for a branch set up in Brazil and for another upcoming office in India.


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