The Royal College of Physicians

RCP Masters "Hot-Desking," Eliminates Roaming Profiles and Folder Redirection by Using Liquidware ProfileUnity

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP), based in London, UK, is a not-for-profit institution that has been supporting and representing physicians for nearly 500 years. The RCP's mission is to improve standards of healthcare worldwide by offering education and certification programs to provide physicians with the knowledge and skills to stay current in best-practices medicine. To that end, the RCP employs a staff of highly experienced and credentialed researchers who produce a wealth of information resources for clinicians. These resources include a wide range of clinical evidence-based guidelines, audit reports, publications, toolkits and more. The RCP oversees accreditation programs and certification programs for physicians who wish to practice in the UK.

As the RCP's staff grew, the organization was challenged to provide agile computer resources without expanding the budget. In addition, a key objective was to ensure that the valuable work produced by their researchers was centrally stored and protected from loss with scheduled backups. The organization had experimented with roaming profiles to enable the sharing of physical desktops, an approach called "hot desking" which allowed multiple users on the same machine. In addition they applied folder redirection in an attempt to safeguard and store their research. Both of these approaches proved unsatisfactory. Over time, roaming profiles bloated and became corrupt, and without a means for applying policies that would restrict the types of files or documents could be saved, folder redirection also resulted in an overload problem. In addition, Group Policies applied to the profiles took a significant time to load. The result was overly long or stalled logins, with users sometimes having to try several times before they could get into the workspace.

The RCP began looking for a solution to solve all these issues – and found it in Liquidware ProfileUnity. The solution provided a simple, straightforward replacement for roaming profiles and folder redirection. Because ProfileUnity provides a high level of granularity to configure profile portability and to pinpoint specific parts of the Registry, allowed the RCP to tailor profile management precisely to their needs. Ensuring that users were experiencing a familiar personalized hot desk and had instant access to their files, ProfileUnity made high performance a reality at the RCP, enabling the organization to save the cost of acquiring more space and additional PCs to support expanding staff. In addition, by applying granular policies and the Folder Redirection feature within the solution, files and documents were not only stored safely and on time, but the RCP could also regulate what would go to storage.

An additional bonus realized by deploying the solution came when it was time to move from Windows XP to Windows 7, which the RCP did with ease, having already decoupled user profiles from the desktops. The organization is also positioned to easily move to Windows 10 when these migrations make sense, as ProfileUnity offers a universally compatible profile.