Citrix AppDNA accelerates application migration, saving 620 work-days

Vertex provides business process outsourcing and customer management outsourcing in the UK, North America, Australasia and India, employing close to 10,000 people. Each year, it supports over 50 million customers, processes 28 million payment transactions valued at £1.7 billion, and handles 24 million inbound calls and one million outbound calls.

Understanding the real challenge

As part of a global IT infrastructure improvement programme, Vertex was planning to upgrade its Citrix-based applications and needed to solve application compatibility issues to be certain that all the applications would continue to run smoothly post-migration. Recognizing the benefits of using a specialist solution early in the planning stage, Vertex selected Citrix® AppDNA™ application intelligence approach to provide application testing, remediation and overall application compatibility for the transformations.

Vertex was migrating 350 Citrix-based applications - including some heavy-duty financial services systems and Microsoft Office - from Citrix Presentation Server™  to Citrix XenApp™. The applications were running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and most applications were web based, designed to run on Internet Explorer 6. The eventual plan was to move to a standard Windows 2008 environment with Internet Explorer 8 or 9.

Vertex had to be confident that after the migration, the applications would continue to run exactly as they had before. All 350 applications needed to be profiled to understand the impact of the Citrix migration. This would enable the organization to establish the time and expertise required to undertake any necessary remedial work. In turn, this would ensure application readiness and help tailor a trouble-free migration.

Recognizing the enormity of this challenge, Vertex knew that it would benefit greatly from a solution designed specifically for application compatibility. An automated application testing and remediation solution, used in the planning phase, would ensure that the time and effort required for the migration by the Vertex application specialists would not distract them from providing vital customer support.

AppDNA provides a sophisticated approach

David Burns, global head of enterprise architecture at Vertex had previously used AppDNA application intelligence software with great success. Following some tests, Vertex took the decision to purchase the solution: “In all my years of working as an IT decision maker, buying AppDNA was the easiest product selection decision I’ve ever had to make. There is nothing else on the market that offers such a sophisticated approach to establishing how to prepare an application for a migration, and it consistently delivers.”

What does success look like for Vertex?

The two-person Vertex team used the AppDNA automated application testing capabilities and in only 40 days established the extent of remedial work necessary. Of the 350 applications, mostly web based, 72% were compatible with the new Citrix XenApp platform; 16% needed minor remediation; and 12% needed more in-depth remediation. “Without AppDNA, this pre-migration profiling task would have taken a 5-man team of application specialists at least 140 days,” explained Burns. “The AppDNA solution has effectively saved us 620 work-days, delivering a time saving of 89%.”

The Vertex team’s goal was to execute the migration as quickly as possible, and minimise the impact on operations. Its use of AppDNA enabled the application compatibility phase to be completed sooner than scheduled, which in turn allowed the physical Citrix migration to start sooner, accelerating the project. “The entire migration project was shortened by approximately three months, thanks to AppDNA. The AppDNA solution not only shortened the application compatibility phase but also instilled confidence that all remedial work on the applications had been successfully undertaken,” noted Burns.

Vertex has also realised cost savings. “These time savings have generated a 32% cost saving for this Citrix migration project,” commented Burns. “The AppDNA solution has more than paid for itself during this project alone.”

Future plans

Moving forward, Vertex intends to use AppDNA strategically, to assist with application readiness for future migrations, desktop transformations, upgrading legacy environments and to profile new customers’ applications. “I know I can rely upon AppDNA to drastically reduce our risk of failed migrations,” added Burns. “The solution will provide us with accurate information about our customers’ applications, also enabling us to be more accurate with our pricing - ultimately helping us to win and retain more business.”

About Citrix

Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leading provider of virtual computing solutions that help people work and play from anywhere on any device. More than 250,000 enterprises rely on Citrix to create better ways for people, IT and business to work through virtual meetings, desktops and datacenters. Citrix virtualization, networking and cloud solutions deliver over 100 million corporate desktops and touch approximately 75 percent of Internet users each day. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2010 was $1.87 billion. Learn more at

©2012 Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix® XenAppTM and AppDNATM are trademarks or registered trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Key Benefits

  • Reduced initial phase by 620 work-days, equating to 89% time savings
  • Reduced entire project time frame by three months
  • Delivered 32% cost savings
  • Reduced risk of failed migration
  • Improved pricing, helping to win and retain more business

Applications Delivered/Migrated

  • Citrix AppDNA
  • Citrix XenApp
  • Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 6, 8 and 9
  • Microsoft® Windows® 2008