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The Walsh Group Moved HQ with XenDesktop

The Walsh Group

Office Relocation Prompts Citrix XenDesktop Deployment for Accounting, Payroll and AutoCAD Users

  • 1,300 employees distributed across the United States, many of whom are remote employees that spend the majority of their time on a jobsite.
  • IT wanted to consolidate processing power for AutoCAD and 3D modeling while still keep the architects and engineers productive.
  • Move of the corporate headquarters highlighted the need to reduce the overall cost of managing and maintaining the desktop environment.

The Walsh Group

This large US-based general contracting and construction management company performs work in various building, civil, and transportation sectors including heavy highway construction projects, wastewater treatment plants, and large buildings. The company has a total of 1,300 employees distributed across the United States, many of whom are remote employees that spend the majority of their time on a jobsite.


The IT Operations Manager at this company has been an employee for over eight years and was involved in an initial Citrix investment in which Citrix MetaFrame server was used to push out in house developed applications to employees. In his current role, his responsibility is to “find the right solution for the problem,” which had him exploring the prospect of using Citrix XenDesktop to help with a move of the organization’s corporate headquarters. “Cost from a company perspective and ease of use for IT are always top priority with any technology investment,” said this IT manager as he looked at his firm’s spending for traditional desktops, comparing it with what he was quickly learning about Citrix XenDesktop from a local system integrator.

The IT department saw Citrix XenDesktop as an opportunity to reduce the overall cost of managing and maintaining the desktop environment. They wanted to use the office relocation as a catalyst for the Citrix XenDesktop deployment to help simplify the move. New application advancements with AutoCAD and 3D modeling have also led a wave of desktop refreshes to higher end desktop systems—the IT department wanted to find a way to consolidate processing power and still keep the architects and engineers productive.


This company evaluated VMware View, but chose Citrix XenDesktop for its maturity and the IT department’s familiarity with Citrix products. Citrix XenDesktop is initially being targeted for two use cases with very different requirements. The company’s accounting and payroll departments are initial prospects due to the relative simplicity of the applications they require for their daily job responsibilities. The company plans to purchase thin clients for these employees with an initial deployment for 60 users.

The next user group has a more demanding role that requires access to centralized processing power for AutoCAD modeling. It is common for engineers and architects to search around the office for a “fast” desktop that can quickly model a solution for a project, but it can tie up valuable resources for some users. This IT department saw Citrix XenDesktop as a solution that can take advantage of centralized processing power which can be shared by the engineering and architectural teams. The engineers and architects will still work locally but, when they need to run a resource intensive job, they can take advantage of shared blade center architecture located in the data center by leveraging HDX™ 3D.

Citrix XenDesktop was deployed in the data center on a server running Microsoft Hyper-V for ease of manageability. Despite a significant investment in VMware, the company chose not to leverage it for its Citrix XenDesktop deployment due to cost concerns.


The company has fully tested and qualified Citrix XenDesktop for deployment to the initial 60 accounting and payroll employees and will use the office relocation as a launchpad. Once the move is complete, the firm will then target and migrate the rest of the accounting and payroll employees, for a total of 300.

In terms of a cost comparison of traditional desktops versus Citrix XenDesktop, the IT operations manager feels that, “dollar for dollar they cost about the same, but I can extend the useful life of hardware with thin clients and it is easier for IT to manage.” From an energy consumption perspective, the IT operations manager also feels that there are benefits to be gained and the Citrix XenDesktop solution matches nicely with the new building’s LEED green building certification. There is also a cost of time benefit that Citrix XenDesktop can deliver with its HDX 3D and 64bit client technologies, which will enable engineers and architects to leverage a central pool of processing resources for their modeling activities.

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