CAAF Northeast improves services to users with Citrix desktop virtualization

CAAF Northeast provides services in the field of taxation and supports public institutions in the calculation of the requirements of access to social benefits. The Agency operates in Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia and has its headquarters in Mestre. The services are offered through 12 affiliated companies in the Northeast that deliver tax services directly to citizens. Each company covers the province with an average of 12 local branches, totaling more than 400 offices, more than 1,000 branches in approximately 400 communities. Partner companies permanently employ about 280 people and over a thousand at the deadline for the tax return. The Agency annually assists about 800,000 citizens (employees and retirees, as well as workers with non-standard contracts) for a total of over one million of benefits paid. CAAF Northeast and affiliated companies are certified UNI EN ISO 9001/2008 since 2002. In addition, the CAAF CGIL Northeast and affiliated companies have the UNI EN ISO 9011 certification Corporate: 2008.

The needs of CAAF Northeast

The CAAF Northeast Information System was developed internally in the regional headquarters of Mestre, Venice.
CAAF Northeast needed to centralize the delivery of application services for tax return and for all other services provided to its 800,000 customers, distributed through infrastructure outsourced to more than 10 provincial offices, with expensive management and maintenance costs.

The goal was to centralize the entity infrastructure into a single site by optimizing the use of energy, resources and management and at the same time making it much safer than many IT offices located throughout the area. The main needs of CAAF Northeast in terms of business were to increase service availability and centralize the management of IT infrastructure to better rationalize purchases and expenses.

CAAF Northeast chose desktop virtualization, overcoming initial doubts concerning time and costs, to support the device, to guarantee reliable functionality and better performance for users than ever before.

The reason for choosing Citrix

Citrix was chosen because it is the brand with the most experience in virtualization and can offer greater assurance of reliability in the management of virtualized client, thanks to its protocol (HDX) that provides the best performance for connections, especially over wide area network.

Recognized market leadership of Citrix in three areas: application virtualization, desktop and application delivery networking.

  • Ability to integrate with a virtualized server infrastructure that already exists in CAAF and produced by another vendor with a complete reuse of existing investments
  • Possibility of having an approach tailored to each type of user, while keeping all within a single, integrated virtualized desktop, in order to simplify management.

The experience of Citrix in device management provides a guarantee of end-user satisfaction higher than that of other competitors. Thanks to Citrix it has been possible to centralize the service offering to all users and to other operators, such as accountants and associates. Also, the ability to connect to applications and resources not being connected directly in CAAF, but through the modes of desktop distribution via the web.

CAAF Northeast also needed a solution with a down time (time of lack of service) as low as possible that could guarantee a higher availability, in fact one of the elements that led to the choice of Citrix was scalability of the solutions.

The project, implemented by CAAF with Infonet Solutions, involved the construction of a platform that leverages virtualization technology to ensure business continuity to the 10 local governments that provide services to citizens. Currently six physical servers are hosting 110 virtual servers, located at two data centers at its headquarters in Mestre and connected together to increase the level of security and data availability.

As for virtual desktops, its processes, data and applications are now hosted on central servers rather than on the company's local PC memory, taking advantage of the processing power of the server farm of the organization.

Specifically CAAF implemented XenDesktop, XenApp, NetScaler Citrix Access Gateway, involving all 1,000 users.

The project started in February 2010 and has been operational since January 2011.

Features of the solution implemented:

  • Independence from the physical hardware that is the PDL
  • Reduction of at least 50% of the time required for activation, maintenance and recovery of the PDL
  • Definition of custom Virtual Desktop User / Groups
  • Possible introduction of massive thin client (with Linux)
  • Reduce the cost of purchase and maintenance, maintained over time.

The results of CAAF

The implementation of Citrix solutions has led to considerable advantages for CAAF Northeast in terms of stability, reducing down time and ease of upgrading systems. Since it is no longer necessary to go to the area to carry out their update, instead it is possible from one central point with the simple upgrade in an hour, to perform the update to all 1,000 clients, adapting programs very quickly for the frequent regulatory and tax requirements.

With the new virtualized infrastructure, CAAF Northeast has simplified the procedures for management and control of information systems, favoring continuity, and achieving a significant reduction in operating costs information systems, which leads the staff of all affiliated companies.

The new standardized platform also enables more efficient management, with significant savings in time and resources. Virtualization has simplified and centralized management and control of information systems, leading to a reduction in operating costs, an improvement in the use of the service and a reduction in the time of reactivation.

CAAF has created a Private Cloud extremely safe and reliable allowing 1,000 workers of 12 provincial companies to access to their desktop and the applications. The operator can be connected via a simple Internet connection from its PC or ThinClient business, from its home PC or notebook.

With Citrix desktop virtualization we have achieved important results in terms of simplification of IT management, rationalization of costs and improvement of services provided to users.
- Antonio Squillace

General Director

CAAF-CGIL Northeast

About Citrix

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This is probably the first major event in Italy for the CAAF management of virtualized systems. Thanks to this ambitious project in collaboration with Citrix, we achieved a substantial cost savings in maintenance and management of the infrastructure of our affiliated companies, exponentially improving the quality and safety of services offered.
- Antonio Squillace

General Director

CAAF-CGIL Northeast


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