Everyone needs an affordable, safe, and sanitary place to live. Thanks to Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA), more than 17 000 people in the Toledo, Ohio area have just that. But as their federal budget dwindled, LMHA needed a creative way to stretch themselves to better serve people, not aging IT infrastructure.
So instead of investing in expensive new servers, LMHA turned to the cloud. Specifically, using Citrix Cloud1 to deploy and unify virtual app and desktop services onto Microsoft Azure Government. The Citrix Cloud enables customers to manage and securely deliver services from the cloud that unite the Citrix product portfolio. “Citrix Cloud offered us exactly what we wanted,” says Craig Patterson, who consulted with LMHA. “We got XenApp and XenDesktop2, XenMobile and ShareFile, all rolled into one.”
Now their employees can spend more time out in the community, working with people face-to-face. They use secure tools and data on any device, from wherever they are. And residents can apply for housing from anywhere, instead of having to wait in line at a physical office.
“Mobility is not only affecting our staff and people, but now we’re touching the community,” Patterson says, “And it’s a broader community.”
Getting off hardware and into the cloud
For LMHA, moving IT operations out of their on-premises data center and into the cloud was a primary objective. By switching to Citrix Cloud, LMHA no longer has to own or manage servers, which has lifted a huge burden off their IT team (and their budget). So they can now focus on their real mission, which is helping people.
Plus, when you work in housing, it’s good to be “disaster proof,” as Patterson puts it. Even if a natural disaster affects their physical building, their data is safe in the cloud. And their employees can be right where they need to be – out helping residents. “Business continuity is an important benefit of Citrix Cloud,” added Patterson.
Employees are on the streets, not stuck in the office
Before they switched to the cloud, LMHA employees spent too much time in the office filling out paperwork. But they really needed to be out on the streets, working with people face-to-face.
So LMHA adopted the Citrix Cloud XenApp and XenDesktop2 Service to deliver virtual apps and desktops. Now, employees work where they’re needed, on the devices they choose. They show houses, make repairs, and check up on residents, all while having access to the tools and data they need. And they can rest easy knowing if they misplace their device, their clients’ private information will stay secure.
Residents embrace new mobile services
While LMHA employees can go out more, their residents can now stay in. Thanks to secure forms that come with XenMobile3, residents can apply for housing online from home. They no longer have to go to a physical office, which can be a challenge for older or disabled people. “There used to be a line around the block,” says Patterson. “We don’t want to see lines any more.”
At first, LMHA worried that many of their clients might not have easy access to the internet, or that they might not be willing to share personal details online. But the numbers speak for themselves. The day LMHA launched their online applications – as early as 1 a.m. that morning – people over 70 started applying for housing, from as far away as Hawaii.
1Citrix Cloud is an easy, flexible way to manage your apps and data in the cloud. Find out more about Citrix Cloud.
2 100 million users around the world rely on XenApp and XenDesktop to access apps and server desktops from any device, over any network. Apps and desktops are stored in the data center to protect sensitive data. Find out more about XenApp and XenDesktop.
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