As workforces adapt to a remote style of working, employers’ focus has shifted to ensuring their staff can do so as effortlessly as possible from wherever they may be. Einar Dagfinnur Klemensson – Infrastructure and Cloud Architect – Össur, discusses the benefits of partnering with Citrix and Microsoft to deliver an unparalleled experience for its 4,000 employees.
Össur, an innovator enabling ‘life without limitations’, uses Citrix and Microsoft to innovate its IT services, gaining agility, security and best-in-class efficiency.
Recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a technology pioneer, Össur is dedicated to ‘life without limitations’. The business was founded in Iceland in 1971 by prosthetist and amputee, Össur Kristinsson. Today, it has revenues of over US$600 million and more than 100 locations in 26 countries around the globe. This includes dozens of clinics where patients are fitted with and trained in the use of prosthetic limbs.
Össur’s entire IT infrastructure is managed by a central team of just five people, based in Iceland and headed by the Infrastructure and Cloud Architect, Einar Dagfinnur Klemensson. This small department is responsible for IT decision-making and deployment and is augmented by local support staff around the globe.
Össur has made many acquisitions in recent years which led to a complex IT environment. The business wanted to eliminate complexity and provide a single, simplified user experience.
To support its fast-growing business, the Össur team selected Citrix and Microsoft Azure, partnering with UK-based Platinum Plus Citrix Solution Advisor Ultima Business Solutions to deliver an unparalleled experience for its 4,000 employees.
“One of the reasons we chose Microsoft Azure is because it has a longstanding relationship with Citrix. Likewise, we have a strong partnership with Ultima because of the level of trust. We use it to augment our small team,” said Klemensson.
“Simplicity is key,” said Klemensson. “We want our staff to be able to work as effortlessly as possible, wherever they are. That means ensuring they have access to the apps and data they need along with the speed and performance to work effectively.”
The team can innovate in the endpoint hardware they deploy because Citrix delivers a secure desktop to any device. Citrix also simplifies IT management – the team manages only three desktop images for the entire company.
Össur uses Citrix Workspace to provide a single login for staff on any device, wherever they are. Resource-hungry apps like 3D CAD software are allocated the resources required to run effectively, even on mobile devices. Performance is underpinned by Citrix SD-WAN, which optimises network traffic across all available channels to ensure consistent, high performance for users.
“We’re looking to reduce the cost of end-user equipment wherever we can,” said Klemensson. “We’re exploring how we can use mobile phones as a primary end-user device, deploying Raspberry Pi devices and looking at Google Grab and Go Chromebooks.”
Össur works closely with healthcare organisations around the world and has responsibility for protecting confidential patient data. Össur’s products are so advanced; the business even builds the machinery that makes its products. Protecting the business’ intellectual property (IP) is a top concern for Össur and another reason for prioritising security.
“We’re looking at Zero Trust in a big way,” said Klemensson. “We’re securing the endpoint, securing the user identity and we’re looking to be an early adopter of Citrix Secure Internet Access (SIA).”
Citrix security features – like session watermarking and the prevention of screenshots – also help protect confidential information on user sessions. Protecting the business’ IP is a top priority for Össur and another reason it chose Citrix.
Technology to support growth
Scalability is key for enabling smooth acquisitions and also helped Össur scale up when COVID-19 hit. “We have a lot of mergers and acquisitions each year and Citrix helps us a lot because it’s a scalable solution,” said Kaernested. “In the same way, when COVID-19 hit us, it was easy to scale up because we were already in Citrix Cloud. In almost one click of a mouse, we increased our environment by five times, from 250 to 1,800 remote users.
“We have a distributed workforce around the globe and they all need consistent and secure access to our data. We are boosting mobility within our workforce so they can use any device anywhere and securely access our data,” Kaernested continued.
“We want to move everything to Azure and Citrix cloud services. Then we’ll close the physical data centre and we’ll be a cloud-only company. In Citrix, we have the scalable, reliable and secure platform that we need to move forward in our business.”
Importance of partnerships
Gareth Meyer, Ultima Commercial & Operations Director, said: “Ultima, along with Citrix, has been in a position to help Össur deliver a solution in line with its business value of ‘Life Without Limitations’. It has allowed their remarkable team to continue delivering such pioneering innovations and critical support to customers. It’s an example of how technology is a crucial driver for the organisation and a way to provide real value back to customers.
“Citrix is a big part of our strategic technology focus, allowing us to support Össur at all levels by enabling business transformation through technology. The partnership between customer, solution advisor and leading technology vendor is key when building a business strategy with no limitations and to continue delivering innovation,” said Meyer.
Life without limitations
“We’re so lucky at Össur because we have such future-focused people – scientists and engineers – who are evolving new technology and new products for our customers,” said Bjarni Kaernested, Director of IT Operations, Össur. “There’s a lot of smart people working here and that’s inspiring. Össur believes in life without limitations, so we’re inspired to build IT without limitations.”Click below to share this article