Forthright Technology Partners has been named a finalist in the 2016 Citrix Innovation Award for Partners program. This prestigious award is open to Citrix partners that have designed and delivered a solution that provides significant business value to the customer. The winner will be announced at Citrix Summit 2016, to be held Jan. 11-13 in Las Vegas.

partner award“The award is designed to recognize innovative and transformative projects that leverage Citrix solutions to help customers succeed,” said Steve Zoberg, VP of Operations, Forthright Technology Partners. “The solution must also provide a measurable business impact in solving the customer’s challenges.”

Citrix has recognized Forthright for the architecture and deployment of a global application delivery solution for Royal Caribbean International. When Royal Caribbean engaged Forthright in 2012, it had different versions of Citrix XenApp in each of its data centers, branch offices and call centers. The company operated multiple Citrix farms in several data center locations but they were not integrated.

After assessing the client’s infrastructure and objectives, Forthright designed and deployed a new Citrix environment in Royal Caribbean’s new primary data center with failover to a secondary data center. The solution features several tools, including NetScaler, that provide a robust, consistent and predictable user experience. Application load times improved significantly and applications could be launched regardless of their location, without any decrease in performance.

This provided 2,000 employees worldwide with ready access to key applications and gave Royal Caribbean the flexibility to migrate hundreds of apps to the new data center. By hosting desktops and browsers from two centralized U.S. data centers, the company also avoided Internet restrictions imposed in China while saving millions in infrastructure costs.

The company’s call centers were another focus of the project. Royal Caribbean desired to use third-party service providers to scale its call centers to support thousands of additional agents seasonally. Forthright deployed Citrix Cloud-Bridge devices in sites around the globe in order to optimize traffic through Royal Caribbean’s two consolidated data centers. This eliminated the need for an additional data center by leveraging third-party service providers, and enabled the introduction of work-at-home programs and extension of the environment to mobile users and employees in shipyards and on ships. The CloudBridge technology also provides caching and acceleration capabilities that improve the user experience in locations with limited bandwidth and high latency.

Forthright isolated applications within the XenApp environment for PCI compliance. This enabled Royal Caribbean to enforce its policies related to credit card data by restricting copy, paste, and transfer of such data to noncompliant applications and desktops. The solution also reduced the scope of PCI compliance audits, saving time and money.

Applications and data that were local to a particular site had to be synchronized and migrated to the central data centers, and several hundred users cut over to the new environment at once. Royal Caribbean had just invested in a PC refresh for all major call centers so moving to terminals was not an option. Forthright used Xen-Client to enable the company to utilize existing PCs with a great user experience and ease of management.

“This has been a multi-year labor of love, and there are additional projects on the table as we move into 2016,” Zoberg said. “We are delighted to be considered for the 2016 Citrix Innovation Award for Partners but, more importantly, we are proud of the business benefits we’ve been able to achieve for Royal Caribbean.”

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