The Viewfinder

Long View delivers and turns a legacy problem into a SaaS solution on Azure in weeks

Long View has been serving commercial enterprise clients since 1999. While we support all sizes of clients, our elite enterprise clients allow us to be innovative in solving some of the largest technology and IT challenges in our industry. The following client story showcases our speed-to-market, Azure depth, and alignment with partners to ensure client success.

This Canadian life insurance company has long been encouraging people to save money in order to retire well before 65. They manage over 1.9 million life insurance policies and their clients include top-tier Canadians.

Prior to 2020, this client’s reseller partners (financial institutions and agents) were forced to install desktop software to explore the best life insurance options for their customers, as well as to govern their portfolio of services. With competitors offering simplified portfolio access, and their sellers, agents, and customers frustrated with the complexity of desktop applications, our client was at risk of losing key accounts.

Our client’s customers demanded a mobile, browser-based, SaaS approach, without the need for desktop applications. Not only had our client’s IT security determined that no third-party applications could be installed or used, in parallel, our client’s IT Dev/Ops teams determined it would take years to redevelop and modernize their applications – at a very significant cost.

While a long-term redevelopment strategy was underway, our Client had forecasted significant lost revenue should they wait. As an interim short-term solution, they examined current cloud options, but determined none could satisfy their short-term immediate need – until they met with Long View.

 


 

Magical Mix: Citrix and Azure

Long View approached this large insurance company and suggested that by using a combination of Citrix Application Delivery technology and Azure Public Cloud – which meet the stringent security, regulatory, and compliance needs they must adhere to – Long View would be able to turn the legacy approach into a lightweight SaaS solution. Our client went from operating as a legacy software and services company to a cloud-based SaaS provider – in only 4 weeks!

Long View was chosen for our experience in delivering services as a cloud provider and our expertise in architecting and implementing Azure and Citrix Cloud Solutions. Long View has productized this combination of Azure Cloud, Citrix technology, and our own managed services to deliver a turnkey solution, providing real value now while reducing the complexity to organizations like this client.

OPERATING LEANER, FASTER, AND STRONGER
With no incremental headcount, Long View deployed an expedited pilot phase to accelerate implementation:

  • Implementation time decreased from 6 months of locked- down desktop validation and certification to an onboarding process of only 2 weeks.
  • Upgrade time decreased from 6 months of validation and certification to a rollout in only 1 week.
  • No additional headcount was required for our client to deliver this application modernization and software-as-a- service solution.

This solution is special, as is provides a layering of value from Microsoft, Citrix, and Long View’s managed service team, to deliver a single framework for application modernization – without the need to have the client architect, understand the intricacies of Azure or Citrix software, or build an operational team to deliver. As we tailor this solution to our other clients of similar size and complexity, we can modernize and easily deploy this fundamentally difficult architecture quickly for the cloud.

With our solution, we can have the client up and running in a matter of weeks, dynamically scale it using the power of Azure, and allow the client to simply consume it as they would any cloud service.

For this client, through the integration of machine creation services, Azure service principals, and automation, desktop pools are created on Azure Infrastructure-as-a- Service. Azure runs the infrastructure, Citrix provides the delivery software, and Long View manages each of the components to ensure availability, performance, and service delivery.

BEFORE – Legacy Approach:
Top customers were questioning our client’s legacy application suite as cumbersome and not secure, which was preventing the client from attracting new customers and losing existing customers to competitors.

The client needed administrator access to all their customers’ desktops. As their customers included large financial companies, this caused problems from a security perspective, as well as ongoing servicing of the environment. Making any changes to a locked-down desktop in their customer’s environment required huge investments in time to certify the solutions for the initial installation and any upgrades after deployment.

AFTER – Modern Cloud Solution:
The application suite is delivered using Citrix application delivery technology with zero installation on the client’s environment. It is centrally managed and delivered securely over the highest-level of encryption through HTTPs. New upgrades can be canary-tested on a pilot application pool, and dynamically spun up using Azure Cloud Platform resources. Once validated, a rolling upgrade can be performed with zero downtime and zero outage to all or selective clients. Upgrades can be managed per client, allowing flexibility without compromise.

The solution is fully managed by Long View’s Managed services, delivering 24×7 uptime with no drain on the client’s resources. The life insurance company now can deliver their intellectual property and value to their customers without the operational overhead of a legacy solution. This is business value!

 


 

“Our company approached Long View to virtualize our software to satisfy the needs of an important sales partner. Long View suggested using a combination of Citrix Application Delivery technology and Azure Public Cloud, which meets the stringent security, regulator and compliance needs to which the company must adhere. Long View turned our legacy technology into a lightweight SaaS solution. Additionally, Long View was able to implement single sign- on to Azure for both the company and our sales partner. With Long View’s services, the company transformed to a cloud-based SaaS offering in less than 3 months. We could not have done it without Long View’s expertise.”

– Director of Information Services for a leading insurance company