Liquidware Labs Solutions Lets Arbitration Forums Achieve Superior Desktop Efficiency and Security
Arbitration Forums Inc. (AF) is the largest U.S. provider of arbitration and subrogation services with a membership of more than 4,700 insurers and self-insured organizations who utilize the services of highly trained arbitrators to resolve claim disputes. Annually, AF members file more than 510,000 arbitration disputes and 770,000 subrogation demands collectively worth over $5.5 billion in claims. Regional field arbitration managers (FAMs) log in to a central AF “hub” to record detailed accounts of demands and responses in electronic document-sharing that not only facilitates review and the subrogation process but keeps the information confidential and secure.
AF’s IT Operations group set out to exploit virtualization to manage desktops more efficiently and reduce time spent on patching, maintenance, upgrading and troubleshooting their desktop environment. The organization decided to design pools of disposable desktops composed from four or five base images tailored to the various functional areas in the organization. AF adopted the VMware View platform running on Cisco UCS servers supported by NetApp and EMC storage. User profiles are managed by Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity.
ProfileUnity addressed some very specific requirements in terms of handling Microsoft application data, Internet favorites and other user customizations. AF also needed the ability to lock down and control desktops from a central control panel standpoint, and ProfileUnity provided this as well. The IT team experimented with VMware ThinApp to stream bigger applications to keep them out of base images, but they found that their plugins prevented it. Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity handled their application-linking needs perfectly. ProfileUnity’s management of user profiles and data with non-persistent Horizon View desktops transformed the organization’s desktop maintenance activities. Another benefit realized by the organization is that ProfileUnity migrates many of the users’ customizations while leaving behind unauthorized software, files or other unapproved relics, based on a schema designed in-house. Because their desktops are so well managed, Arbitration Forums was able to put a sophisticated desktop recovery strategy into place, which now offers superior backup and recovery protection for their desktops on par with all other IT systems.
As a result, Arbitration Forums spends significantly less time on desktop refreshes and configuring physical desktops for staff and can now provision fully functional desktops for their FAMs quickly and efficiently. In addition, FAMs report that the VDI desktops provide better user experience and performance, without mishaps that would lose data or other work product. And having a solid Desktop DR strategy in place has gone far to reassure organization members that AF can secure their records and data with topnotch protection.