Learn how a global enterprise organization deploys, manages, and cost-optimizes Azure Virtual Desktop company-wide with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise quickly and easily.
Kaplan is a global provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools, and businesses. Founded in 1938 in Brooklyn, NY as a test prep company, Kaplan now has operations in nearly 30 countries and serves one million-plus students and thousands of educational and corporate clients. It’s known for expanding access to education and pioneering digital learning technologies. In addition to prepping students for high stakes exams, Kaplan offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and helps universities enroll new international students, build online programs, and create new career readiness programs for students.
Kaplan’s Metis business is a leading provider of data science skills training for individuals and businesses. Kaplan is also a leading provider of professional instruction for licensing exams for attorneys, physicians, and nurses. Kaplan’s IT team works constantly to ensure access and productivity for all its users.
Responsible for all end-user computing for Kaplan, the Technology Services team is comprised of desktop services, desktop engineering, service desk and identity and access management for Kaplan’s teams throughout North America. In particular, the desktop engineering portion of the team maintains their complex and vital virtual desktop environments.
The use of virtual desktops has been part of Kaplan’s business continuity blueprint. The IT team’s goal is to keep widely dispersed users running despite myriad complications, natural disasters, power and connectivity or other technical issues.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a substantial increase in the number of users needing to work from home in a secure environment. From the onset of public health restrictions in March of 2020, Kaplan’s IT team prepared for the challenges to come by seeking options for secure remote work. This need for flexibility also necessitated rapid deployment of a scalable technical solution. “We had to fast-track the ability for people to work from home in a secure environment, so we scaled up virtual desktops,” said Chad Marino, Executive Director, Technology Services, Kaplan North America.
This included the remote use of company-issued laptops connecting to Kaplan resources through a VPN or virtual desktop. The company’s call center -which primarily used on-premises desktops– were able to use personal computers through virtual desktop technology.
When IT leadership was looking for the best way to implement its virtual desktop plans, they reviewed several alternatives, including Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). As a Microsoft Azure customer, Kaplan knew that AVD was well-suited to their needs. While very familiar with its usability strengths, the team was also focused on managing costs. The ability to easily scale to the users’ peaks and valleys was an important factor in this regard.
In choosing the most effective solution in terms of AVD deployment, management, and cost-optimization, Kaplan reviewed many options. With recommendations from Microsoft, combined with their own research, the Kaplan team held a “bake-off” pitting Nerdio against a similar product on the market.
“We were blown away by Nerdio Manager for Enterprise’s capabilities in our demo. Our internal team was excited to show off all it could do,”– Chad Marino, Executive Director, Technology Services, Kaplan North America.
Nerdio Manager for Enterprise has exceeded expectations as Kaplan’s chosen solution. Its enterprise-level features supply the automation, management, scalability, and cost optimization that are critical to the virtual desktop initiative at Kaplan. Nerdio offers keen insight into how the system is working: how many users are connected, statistics around CPU utilization, latency, and login times, which are all extremely valuable as the Kaplan team manages the enterprise’s virtual desktop environments.
“From a pain-point perspective, Nerdio Manager for Enterprise’s auto-scaling is a key functionality. We couldn’t have done what we needed to do without that,” Marino said.
“We’ve never had the kind of visibility we get with Nerdio,”– Chad Marino, Executive Director, Technology Services, Kaplan North America.
“Our Nerdio team has been great as we continued our evaluation and we scaled this out to a large number of users,” according to Marino. “We wanted to make sure it could do everything we needed; solid automation without administrative headaches. And again, the cost was so important. We wanted to make sure we could turn on machines when we needed them and turn them off when we didn’t – without the constant involvement of our IT team,” he continued.
Nerdio Manager for Enterprise can save enterprise organizations up to 75% on Azure compute and storage costs through its advanced auto-scaling capabilities. Download the application today from the Azure marketplace and begin a free 30-day trial: nerdio.com/nerdio-manager-for-enterprise
Find Nerdio in the Azure Marketplace: nerdio.com/nerdio-manager-for-enterprise