RapidScale prides itself on moving computing to the next generation. The Irvine, California-based technology company offers cloud computing solutions—from desktop and line-of-business applications to disaster recovery services—to organizations of all sizes and industries. It increasingly focuses on working with large telecommunication providers that want to extend their range of services to include IT as a service.
RapidScale found itself in the enviable position of having expertise in a booming area of the technology industry, but the demand for its services caused challenges of its own. Provisioning new customers was time-consuming—it could take weeks to get a customer up and running on RapidScale cloud services because the company handled its provisioning and setup manually. In addition, RapidScale wanted to provide easy self-service capabilities to customers to lessen the burden of the company’s help-desk staff and make it possible for customers to immediately take care of routine tasks such as password resets.
When it came to providing white label cloud services to telecom providers, RapidScale knew that it needed to find a way to make the process straight forward, while still tailoring the services to each telecom provider’s environment and needs. “Our white label business requires scalability, supportability, and simplicity,” says Randy Jeter, Chief Executive Officer at RapidScale. “We needed a solution to help us manage large-scale customers in a way that minimized headaches and maximized opportunities.
RapidScale considered a number of cloud management solutions, but it soon decided on Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager. “We saved a lot of money by choosing a solution that we could implement ourselves, one that was really built for service providers,” says William Hiatt, Chief Technology Officer at RapidScale. “A key deciding factor in selecting CloudPortal Services Manager was that it was so easy for everyone to use, with out-of-the-box flexibility and functionality that a competitor’s solution just didn’t offer.”
The company implemented CloudPortal Services Manager and, after conducting client testing and branding, began to initialize rollouts to customers. “It’s so much simpler to provision new customers now: we use built-in tools to create the customer account, import the customer’s user list, and provision multitenant services directly in Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager with a click of a mouse,” says Hiatt.
RapidScale uses CloudPortal Services Manager to handle all Active Directory provisioning, as well as services for file management, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint Server. “The number one business application suite comes from Microsoft, so it was imperative to us that our partners have a strong relationship with Microsoft,” says Jeter.
The company has eight major services running through CloudPortal Services Manager, and it anticipates adding more, such as custom voice applications. “The unlimited number of services that we can plug into and manage with the Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager environment is one of the things we love most,” says Jeter. “And the SDKs and APIs that come with it make it a far more extensible solution than others on the market. We view Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager as the foundation of everything we do moving forward.”
RapidScale customers have been quick to take advantage. For example, a Florida-based hospice service knew that requiring more than 600 in-home caregivers to go to the office to input patient data was costly and time-consuming. The company needed a secure environment that would make it easy for in-home caregivers to enter data into the system remotely. However, installing and maintaining the necessary infrastructure would be difficult for the company’s three-person IT staff.
Instead, RapidScale migrated the customer’s applications to a hosted environment that includes CloudPortal Services Manager so that IT staff members can easily add services and manage users themselves. Now caregivers use tablet PCs running Citrix Receiver to input patient data in real time, while protecting patients’ privacy rights. Caregivers spend less time traveling back and forth to the office, and the company even cut its overhead costs by reducing office space that was needed solely for data entry.
For RapidScale, using Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager means easier administration, improved customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. It also enables nearly limitless business growth because RapidScale now can establish successful partnerships with enterprise-class telecom providers looking to expand their services to customers. “White labeling is essential to continuing our accelerated growth trajectory,” says Jeter. “We consider Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager a critical differentiator for RapidScale because it not only helps us manage and scale to support growth, it also spurs that growth with new customers such as telecom providers.”
Today, a new RapidScale customer can begin to use cloud services right away, which pleases customers and makes a positive revenue difference for the company, “We need only 15 minutes to fully provision customers rather than several weeks, which Is a huge improvement because we can go from an order to an invoice so much faster,” says Jeter. “Our time to billable revenue rate is 70 percent faster now than when we provisioned without Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager.”
RapidScale now has a single platform that it can use across all its applications in private cloud, multitenant, and multiuser white label scenarios, which significantly reduces management complexity. “If we had to integrate all the different standalone support methodologies we need—from bandwidth to router monitoring—it would be way too complicated,” says Jeter. “The only solution out there today that makes business sense from our perspective is Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager. We can take this one platform and expand it to meet a range of customer requirements, including those of telecom providers.” When RapidScale introduces CloudPortal Services Manager to prospective telecom providers, they are impressed that it is such a holistic, highly controlled environment from both a licensing and management perspective.
As a customer service-driven company, RapidScale is passionate about its customers’ user experience, which is one reason why it has been so please with its cloud management solutions. “By using Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager, we can resolve customer issues far more quickly and maximize end-user productivity,” says Hiatt, “The end-user experience is dramatically improved, as is our value proposition because now we can offer full turnkey services—a lot of providers have traditionally struggled to do that quickly, properly, and securely.” For example, if a customer’s end user needs a password reset, RapidScale can instantly authenticate each caller using built-in security questions.
RapidScale and its customers conserve costs with CloudPortal Services Manager. “With a non-custom, compatible ecosystem lie Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager, we see cost savings in terms of development time because we have API interfaces and an integrated portal management system that we can brand for telecom providers,” says Jeter. “Its complete hierarchy and supportability right from the start represents enormous savings, in large part, because there’s no custom development necessary.”
Perhaps most important, RapidScale uses CloudPortal Services Manager to differentiate itself and provide a compelling sales story to prospective telecom provider partners. “A core element of our 300 percent growth projection is the Citrix CloudPortal Services Manager and its mobility enablement,” says Jeter. “We finally can offer telecom providers a software solution that truly delivers what they need.”
Acerca de Citrix
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