Virtual Experience

Optimized for Windows 10 and Office 365, across device and location types. 

Rapid Scalability

Readily scale virtual solutions, and streamline infrastructure management.

Cost Containment

Use existing licenses to optimize spend, with cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Built-In Security

Secure applications and data with identity controls and proactive threat detection.

Our Client

Our client* is a full-service architecture firm in the Northeast, specializing in educational, commercial, and residential design projects. They are also experts in planning and feasibility studies, historic preservation, interior design, and construction management. Their designers work primarily in AutoCAD and Revit software, producing complex models with a lot of rendering. To meet these heavy computing requirements, their design team relied on robust and expensive laptops that were so heavy that they were not easily portable. iCorps has been working with this client for many years, providing fully outsourced IT and a suite of managed services, and knew that moving them into Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) was the logical next step.

Supporting Remote Employees with Windows Virtual Desktop

At the start of 2020, our client began moving to the Azure cloud. They migrated to cloud applications such as Teams, Outlook, and OneDrive, as well as layered security tools via Microsoft Entra ID (Formerly Azure AD) and multi-factor authentication. We wanted to create a virtual solution that would support their design team while also optimizing their Microsoft 365 E5 subscription. With Windows Virtual Desktop, our client could:

  1. Run the latest versions of their software

  2. Support concurrent users, an ideal set-up for collaborative design teams

  3. Provide seamless integration with Microsoft 365 Apps in a familiar desktop format

  4. Apply the right access controls to users and devices with Microsoft Entra ID Conditional Access

  5. Reduce licensing and infrastructure costs by using eligible Windows or Microsoft 365 licenses

  6. Quickly get users up and running with limitless scale and full automation based on business needs

  7. Establish predictable monthly IT spend per employee, reduce the cost of end-user devices, and only pay for what they need

Designing a WVD Pilot Program

Our virtualization team began by creating a Windows Virtual Desktop pilot program for six members of their design team who were working on a shared project. Each designer received a dedicated virtual machine to access AutoCAD and Revit. Over the course of the pilot, our consultants tested additional software and rendering, which had been a longstanding pain point. Before the WVD pilot, designers would use a dedicated machine to process renderings. However, since the firm has four locations, they had to relocate the machine for large-scale projects. Not only was this process inefficient, but they were also paying for a machine that sat idle 80% of the time. With Azure, they could turn up a WVD during the rendering process, then turn it off when no longer in use. 

Our client was thrilled with the pilot program. Employees could collaborate seamlessly in the office and from home, easing the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on their workflow. Our cloud consultants are now in the process of building 15 virtual machines for the rest of their design team and orchestrating the migration of on-premise project data into the cloud. We're reconciling content across their offices - four file servers with very different directory structures. This involves reorganizing content while on-premise so that there will be a better structure in place once migrated to the cloud. We're looking to build on the robust cloud file server created during the pilot program, allowing for easy access to architectural data through the WVD.

Optimizing Spend with Azure

Our client continues to optimize spending through Microsoft 365. With Windows Virtual Desktop, they can retire expensive and compute-intensive devices for thinner endpoints with a longer shelf life. Their team can now use AutoCAD and 3D rendering programs while interfacing with other vendors on shared design programs without massive memory demands. With their Microsoft 365 E5 subscription, they have extended identity and threat protection with integrated and automated security to help prevent cyber threats. Once Windows Virtual Desktop has been rolled out, they will implement audio conferencing and calling capabilities via Cloud Business Voice for further optimization.

*Name has been redacted for privacy.

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