As a crown utility serving the entire population of Saskatchewan, SaskPower relies on a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to provide remote staff with secure access to essential data and applications from practically anywhere at any time. In order to increase security and stability of their VDI implementation, as well as add new features and benefits of employees and customers, SaskPower decided it was time for an upgrade.

Partnering for Success

The Horizon team took the design architecture created by SaskPower and engineered a plan to bring it life, upgrading their VDI environment and migrating users to it. The plan had to take into account SaskPower’s complex infrastructure, hardware limitations, custom software design, and include the integration of third-party hardware and software vendors. Horizon worked closely with VMware to determine the optimal licensing upgrade path based on SaskPower’s past license acquisitions. This enabled SaskPower to upgrade their existing licensing to Horizon 7 Enterprise while saving on the procurement of new licenses. To make it happen quickly and efficiently Horizon worked hand-in-hand with SaskPower and the vendors through every step of the process to ensure transparency, accountability and ultimately, success.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

On such a complex project unexpected challenges are to be expected, but the mark of an experienced team is their ability to turn those challenges into opportunities. On this project one such challenge was found when it was discovered that SaskPower developers could not access their specialized toolsets in the new environment. Our solution: utilize Horizon’s in-depth knowledge of the platform to institute an effective access method that allowed the developers to use a superior protocol to access their tools in the proper environment.

Another solution had to be developed when the increased security in the new VDI install caused SaskPower to lose control of the numerous TV’s that provided real-time data to customers and employees in SaskPower offices. Quickly discovering the issue, Horizon developed a solution to upgrade each client, giving control back to SaskPower.

Creating Value At Every Step

Horizon always looks for opportunities to provide added value for clients by utilizing our expertise to find innovative and creative ways to go above and beyond. For SaskPower that meant optimizing hardware and software efficiencies, implementing advanced management controls and greatly improving security.

The Horizon team:

  • Increased AutoCAD performance by optimizing hardware, allowing engineers greater speed and power in design development.
  • Redesigned the structure of the VDI environment to increase efficiency and provide easier user management controls.
  • Created a custom solution to automatically keep applications up to date.
  • Implemented high-level applications to manage on-demand troubleshooting and preventative maintenance.
  • Improved VDI performance and reduced load on servers while increasing the strength and scope of virus protection.
  • Implemented customized security policies that allow SaskPower to completely control the security levels of all users, the files they can access, and the actions they can take for both internal and external clients (such as contractors).

On Time and On Budget

Experience, expertise and collaboration allow Horizon to create accurate, realistic estimates for each unique project. For the SaskPower project Horizon created a clear and comprehensive plan that was completed on time. For SaskPower, that meant they were able to effectively plan the migration for staff, minimizing their own training costs.

For over twenty years Horizon has been a complete IT solutions partner for enterprise clients. For SaskPower that meant trusting us to upgrade a vital component of their infrastructure. As their IT partner, we managed the intricate and complex project from planning through to implementation, discovering challenges and creating opportunities that allowed us to deliver a solution that exceeded their expectations.

We take pride in providing the same attention to detail and dedication to excellence for each partner and every project, no matter the size.

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