Table of content Introduction
What is OnlineDesktop?
How does OnlineDesktop work?
What are the benefits for businesses?
Unique selling points
OnlineDesktop and security
Introduction As organisations strive to lower IT costs and provide greater user flexibility, improved customer service levels and enhanced application performance, cloud computing is being heralded as the most cost-effective, flexible and agile method of delivering applications, data and desktop operating environments. Cloud computing sets the stage for a new approach to IT that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they acquire and deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models. OnlineDesktop from Intercept IT is a hosted Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering, delivered on a cost-per-user, per-month subscription basis from Intercept IT’s own bespoke cloud. Supported by Intercept IT’s expertise and experience, OnlineDesktop helps businesses meet the need for cost reduction, whilst maintaining service standard excellence.
“Using OnlineDesktop we’ve cut our annual IT costs by about 40%, achieving more than I ever thought was possible in such a short period of time.“ James Mendelssohn, Chief Executive at MSI Global Alliance
What is OnlineDesktop? OnlineDesktop is a hosted Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering, delivering all an organisationâ€™s crucial application and data needs via Intercept ITâ€™s bespoke cloud. The remote desktop service is available anywhere there is an internet connection. Rather than individual businesses having to manage a costly internal IT system, it has become possible to effectively rent IT as a service, on a cost-per-user, per-month subscription basis. OnlineDesktop allows businesses to simply pay for the number of users and the tailored solution they require. Access to Intercept ITâ€™s flexible cloud computing platform is then made available via any Internet or private network connection providing a secure, fully managed IT service capable of delivering whatever software applications, email and associated data businesses require. OnlineDesktop is a hosted service that has been designed to cater for businesses of all sizes. It includes delivery and management of a Microsoft Operating System, choice of any Microsoft applications required, plus any line of business applications already being used or yet to be introduced.
“Intercept IT’s OnlineDesktop is a superior managed IT solution that has scaled quickly and seamlessly, meeting all our needs. The secure, ﬂexible access to all our data and applications aids productivity, which is helping us expand quickly.” Keith White, Managing Director at CRM
How does OnlineDesktop work? Software applications and associated business data are made available via Intercept IT’s high availability servers which are located in state-of-the-art data centre facilities. These buildings are purpose-built for the hosting of IT equipment, providing unparalleled security, resilience and safe storage of all our clients’ applications and data.
Anytime, anywhere access
Software applications, email, files and documents are accessed by users via a communications link to Intercept IT’s data centres. This link can be a private circuit, a secure site-to-site VPN, or even the Internet. This means that OnlineDesktop can be used from almost anywhere that businesses and staff can get online, using any type of device.
After login, the only communications which actually pass between the user’s PC/device and Intercept IT’s servers are mouse clicks, keyboard strokes and screen refreshes, as it is the servers and not the end-user device which carry out all the data processing. The data size associated with each of these actions is incredibly small and therefore OnlineDesktop operates extremely quickly, even over basic home Internet links.
Authorised access OnlineDesktop users can either log in via Intercept IT’s secure website or, if there is a private communications link, by clicking on a pre-configured icon on the user’s PC, laptop or tablet. By simply entering their credentials, the user is presented with a complete desktop environment, with all of the software applications that they are authorised to use.
Highly secure As no data ever actually needs to leave Intercept IT’s data centres, OnlineDesktop is exceptionally secure. However; to be absolutely certain, all information transmitted is encrypted to the same level used for all online banking.
What are the benefits for businesses? System Updates
OnlineDesktop allows businesses to completely focus on their core activities, without the distraction of running IT. Here are some of the core benefits:
Most companies typically ‘refresh’ their IT systems once every three years and, as a result, operate with extremely out-dated solutions. Equipment upgrades also create severe spikes in capital expenditure. By contrast, the design of OnlineDesktop allows Intercept IT to upgrade once then deploy to all required users. This means that not only does OnlineDesktop always run the latest proven versions of operating systems and other software used to maintain the service, but security patches, hot fixes and service packs can also be seamlessly applied without affecting the user experience.
Anytime, anywhere access
Software License Compliance
One of the major benefits of OnlineDesktop is its flexibility. As there is secure Internet access to the system from almost any browser-enabled device, users can work from any suitable location, at anytime. This provides a wealth of options for homeworking, ‘hot-desking’ and other flexible working environments, all proven to increase productivity and ultimately the efficiency of business operations.
Illegally run software can cost organisations - even small ones - substantial sums in fines and litigation. As part of the OnlineDesktop hosted service, management of all Microsoft licensing, plus any bespoke applications, is included in the monthly subscriptions. Businesses therefore no longer have to be concerned with legal issues regarding software compliance. Intercept IT even sends reminders for license renewals required for any software that its clients may still own.
Linear Pricing, from CAPEX to OPEX OnlineDesktop allows businesses to benefit from an enterprise class IT solution, without the usual spikes in capital expenditure (CAPEX). A linear cost model means that charges for additional users are simply incorporated into subsequent monthly operational expenses (OPEX). Conversely, if staff numbers ever need to be cut, monthly operational expenses can actually be reduced.
Service Levels Unlike most service-providers, Intercept IT’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) provides compensation to customers should the OnlineDesktop platform ever be unavailable for more than 15 consecutive minutes. The longer the down time, the larger the penalty, which means Intercept IT remains extremely focused on maintaining extremely high levels of service availability.
Built-in Business Continuity With OnlineDesktop, all IT equipment and business data is stored off-site in our purpose-built cloud facilities, known as data centres. Disasters at office premises such as fires, floods or power losses therefore no longer impact businesses with the same levels of severity. Moreover, if staff are unable to physically get to the office, they can still continue to work from alternative locations, as business data and applications remain fully accessible.
Predictable Running Costs OnlineDesktop provides predictable monthly charges and enables budgeting to be allocated from operational expenditure. This means that the cost of IT is far easier to budget for and capital expenditure can be put to more effective use in other important areas of the business.
Unique selling points Latest Applications & Free Upgrades OnlineDesktop™ is capable of providing the very latest application releases. When new versions are released, Intercept IT also takes care of all upgrades, patching and maintenance required.
“With OnlineDesktop we now have a highly resilient realtime backup. Our capital costs have plummeted and user productivity has increased. Disaster recovery is seamless, so those hours spent with technical support are now firmly in the past.”
Advanced Data Protection The protection of business data is of paramount importance. Intercept IT goes to great lengths to make sure that business data is replicated between primary and secondary data centres. Disk-based snapshots of each client’s data are also taken and as a final fail-safe, Intercept IT makes sure that everything is backed up to tape each and every night.
World-class Support Intercept IT’s Service Desk is 100% based in the UK and all staff are all full-time employees within the business. As such they all have an in-depth knowledge of what is required to offer exceptional levels of support and service.
Self Service Administration Intercept IT’s advanced control panel puts businesses in complete and total control of their organisations’ and each of their users’ IT needs, enabling the addition, deletion or amendment of users and their individual requirements, such as assigning the applications that they are allowed to run.
Scalable to Thousands of Users
Jocelyn James, Chief Operations Officer at NPC
Intercept IT’s hosted services have been designed to scale to support many thousands of users. Therefore, whether you are a small to medium-sized company or a global enterprise organisation, OnlineDesktop is capable of scaling up or down to meet your specific needs.
The security of our clientsâ€™ data is of paramount importance to Intercept IT and, accordingly, extraordinary measures have been taken and there has been huge investment to protect the integrity of our cloud platform and each companyâ€™s data. As a result, OnlineDesktop is one of the most secure and reliable IT solutions available anywhere in the world today. Top-level security is maintained in three distinct areas:
OnlineDesktop and security PhysicAl security The physical hardware and software used to deliver the OnlineDesktop hosted service is located in two purposebuilt data centres. These facilities provide unparalleled security, protection and redundancy for all IT equipment. Protection starts with security measures to guard against unauthorised access to the buildings, right through to the safeguarding of equipment against fire, flood, power outages and other physical threats.
“EEA rolled out our IT globally using Intercept IT’s cloud service, OnlineDesktop, saving over £150,000 each year. The ﬂexibility of OnlineDesktop means operating in a remote part of South America is just as efficient and easy as if users were in the main London office.”
OnlineDesktop has been designed with data security and integrity constantly in mind, with load-balanced firewalls, multiple layers of antivirus (five levels of scanning in total), right through to intrusion detection and prevention systems. Content filtering systems also apply separate scans to all inbound and outbound email to search for unusual signatures blocking both SPAM (junk email) and possible viruses.
Access security Whilst the cloud platform itself must be protected, a common risk to corporate data is actually from soft threats such as social engineering calls to gain information about users. Callers present false identities in order to obtain data such as user names, passwords and other personal information that would help them gain access to corporate systems. Intercept IT has taken a number of steps to prevent this from happening. For example, the Servicedesk is designed to keep user details safe by storing unique, encrypted information about each user. Similar to banking systems, if a user requires assistance, they are asked for random characters from the information we hold, relating to a security question and the appropriate answer, before assistance is provided.
Hiren Patel, Chief Financial Officer at EEA
About Intercept IT Intercept IT is one of the UK’s leading cloud computing and virtualisation service providers. Since 2002 the company has helped organisations of all sizes to reduce costs, improve user performance and increase business agility by delivering applications and desktops from the cloud. Its flagship product, OnlineDesktop, is a completely outsourced Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering, delivered on a cost-per-user, per-month subscription basis from Intercept IT’s bespoke cloud. Intercept IT works with strategic partners including Citrix, Microsoft and VMware to provide its clients with the highest quality solutions. To date more than 100,000 users have benefited from Intercept IT’s cloud services.
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