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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Greg O'Connor, Wesley Coelho, Adine Deford, the Editor

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Financial Firm Transforms IT Infrastructure with EMC to Enable Business Growth

Williams & Fudge Selects EMC to Reduce IT Costs; Virtual Desktops Boot 90% Faster

HOPKINTON, Mass., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced that Williams & Fudge, an accounts receivable management firm serving 1,200 colleges, universities and financial institutions, selected EMC® VNX® unified storage and EMC RecoverPoint™ to transform its business operations and accelerate server and desktop virtualization. With EMC and VMware® virtualization and cloud infrastructure technologies, the company has achieved business expansion, improved availability of mission-critical applications including Microsoft SharePoint, SQL Server and VMware Zimbra email; and significantly lowered hardware and support costs while delivering new services to its internal clients.

Customer Benefits:

  • Improved Performance—More than 250 users are able to launch their virtual desktops 90% faster for PCs since Williams & Fudge implemented EMC VNX with a FLASH 1st automated tiering strategy.
  • Instantaneous Response – Since implementing VNX, Williams & Fudge has achieved instantaneous response times for Microsoft SharePoint indexing and search functions while maintaining high performance.
  • Comprehensive Data Protection—Using EMC RecoverPoint and VMware, Williams & Fudge can migrate virtual machines (VMs) to a disaster recovery site 200 miles away in just 30 minutes, and has achieved 100% availability for its critical applications.
  • Increased Efficiency—Williams & Fudge has substantially reduced potential hardware costs and supporting a 200-employee headcount increase—all without additional IT staff.

Customer Challenges and Solution:

Williams & Fudge's business was expanding as demand increased for assistance with collecting receivables on college loans and other debt from higher-education and financial institutions. The firm's previous physical IT infrastructure lacked sufficient scalability to handle the company's growth. It also required significant management resources, which was a drain on Williams & Fudge's lean IT staff.

With the help of EMC Premier Velocity Solution Provider eGroup, Williams & Fudge selected EMC VNX unified storage to transform its business. VNX has enabled the firm to deliver new IT services, such as the launch of a new business unit, to its internal clients. VNX provides Williams & Fudge with a FLASH 1st automated tiering strategy that leverages the EMC FAST™ Suite, along with Flash and high-capacity disk drives. VNX supports Williams & Fudge's Microsoft SharePoint, SQL Server, VMware Zimbra email and custom-built Linux applications.

Williams & Fudge has virtualized 100% of its server infrastructure with VMware vSphere and has virtualized 260 desktops using VMware View. Williams & Fudge relies on VMware vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI) and EMC VSI plug-ins for vCenter to streamline integration between VNX and VMware, enabling faster provisioning and copying of virtual machines, among other tasks.

For disaster recovery, Williams & Fudge uses EMC RecoverPoint continuous data protection and VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to replicate its virtualized infrastructures across two data centers located 200 miles apart.

Customer Quotes:

Phillip Reynolds, Data Center Director, Williams & Fudge

"Our company has more than doubled in size to 360 employees while our lean IT staff of three employees has remained the same—something that wouldn't have been possible without EMC and VMware technology. As our company continues to grow—even two- or three-fold—we're very comfortable that EMC and VMware technology will enable our data center to scale with the business."

"We took a very hard look at another storage vendor but determined it wasn't going to deliver the performance we needed for our intensive SharePoint and SQL Server workloads and, in particular, our virtual desktop workload. Plus, it didn't have the streamlined integration with VMware that makes managing our environment so easy.  EMC was the clear choice for us and we are extremely happy with how EMC has performed."

"We've transformed into a proactive business, ready for whatever comes next. If a new client project requires 50 additional staff members, we have the agility to create up to 50 desktops in no time. For example, we supported the creation of a new division with employees who move to new workspaces every few weeks and need to log in to their desktops from different locations. By leveraging technology as a business enabler, we can rapidly respond to dynamic needs and deliver new services to attract clients."

"With EMC VNX and the FAST Suite backing our virtualized desktop infrastructure, we're getting great performance—even when boot storms occur. It's amazing—just a little flash goes a long way. Our call center agents log into their virtual desktops or reboot in only 30 seconds when it used to take five to 10 minutes for PCs. And because they operate on commissions, enabling our agents to get to work faster contributes to increased revenue for the company."

"SharePoint is the hub of our business operations that connects thousands of documents with our employees for filling out forms, submitting applications, and managing accounts. With VNX and Flash 1st, we've been able to deliver instantaneous response times to SharePoint indexing and search functions. SharePoint performance isn't even affected when the infrastructure loads 250 virtual desktops in 10 to 15 seconds. Unisphere comes with application-specific wizards for SharePoint that make it easy to provision storage and perform other administrative tasks."

"We credit EMC and VMware with enabling significant cost savings. We have decreasing potential hardware costs. The number of help desk calls and overall IT support cost per user also has dropped substantially. Instead of patching and maintaining hundreds of desktops and servers, we simply upgrade a few golden images. Lastly, as a result of the excellent integration between EMC and VMware solutions, we can add virtual desktops and machines, disk drives and applications very quickly and easily."

"EMC's RecoverPoint is one of those technologies that actually lives up to everything it is supposed to be. It has allowed our business to have peace of mind and to have our data backed up off-site with very little time to get the data moved over. The bandwidth reduction is phenomenal. We are doing this across a very small pipe."

"RecoverPoint and VMware SRM enable us to migrate all of our virtual machines from our primary data center to another site 200 miles away in about 30 minutes. Because everything is integrated and pre-scripted, we just press a button and it's done. As a result of having an agile cloud infrastructure, we have achieved 100% availability with virtually zero RPO and RTO's.  I can sleep well at night knowing our data is protected."

Additional Resources:

About EMC

EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing.  Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at www.EMC.com.

EMC, FAST, RecoverPoint, VNX and Unisphere are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE EMC Corporation

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