Whittlebury Hall hosts numerous corporate events every year. (photo: Whittlebury Hall)
Whittlebury Hall hosts numerous corporate events every year.
16.03.2018, 15:30

Case Study: Windows-based Property Management App on iOS

Whittlebury Hall & Spa switched to virtualization solution, Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS), to empower its sales team by providing mobile access to a Windows-based property management application on Apple® mobile devices.


After struggling with Citrix XenApp hich was slow to load and difficult to manage, the hotel and venue operator selected the more user-friendly solution provided by Parallels RAS. Today, Whittlebury Hall has streamlined access to all relevant hotel data and Windows-based management applications from any device, anywhere.


The Customer

Based in rural Northamptonshire, UK, the award-winning Whittlebury Hall Conference & Training Centre, Hotel & Spa opened in 1999. Whittlebury Hall excels in conference, training, and meeting facilities for up to 500 delegates. It boasts 20 principal training suites supported by 28 fully serviced syndicate rooms, six spacious meeting rooms, an executive boardroom, and three secluded private dining rooms. The hotel employs over 400 staff and offers 254 double bedrooms, including five individually designed suites.


The Whittlebury Hall sales team uses a mix of both Windows-based laptops and Apple iOS iPhone and iPad devices. To perform their work, the sales managers need to use the property management application Agilysys Visual One PMS to manage their client base, add enquiries and bookings, and perform other daily tasks. Additionally, the sales managers require access to the property management application from a variety of device interfaces when they're in other parts of the hotel or travelling for business, including reception laptops and iPhone and iPad devices.


Before switching to Parallels RAS, Whittlebury Hall relied on Citrix XenApp. However, neither the sales managers nor the IT department were satisfied with the solution. The sales team complained because loading virtual applications was very slow and accessing hotel data from mobile devices wasn’t particularly easy or intuitive. Furthermore, the overall virtualization solution was quite difficult to manage, requiring a large time investment from the IT team. Over time, the Citrix solution became more and more complicated to manage and use; the IT team decided to look at other options to provide their virtual application delivery solution.



The Solution: Improving employee productivity with a Native-Like Experience on Apple iOS

Whittlebury Hall decided to implement Parallels RAS. Unlike competitors at Citrix and VMware, Parallels RAS is the only solution that enables Whittlebury Hall sales managers to use familiar native touch gestures on both the iPad and iPhone. With Parallels RAS, their employees can finally be truly productive on mobile devices.


Today, sales managers using the Parallels Client can access all the hotel’s relevant data from any device, anywhere—no matter where they are in the hotel or traveling in the world.

Jeremy Stafford, Whittlebury Hall's IT Coordinator, describes the client as "fantastic", before adding he hasn't "found anything that doesn’t work".



Key Benefits: Simple, faster deployment and significantly quicker End-user application loading over the network

The first key benefit of Parallels RAS is that it was quite straightforward to install and deploy. With streamlined installation wizards, Parallels RAS significantly reduces the time spent by IT on setting up the solution. After it was installed on their network, IT coordinator Jeremy Stafford said that Parallels RAS was “ready to use within an hour.”


Furthermore, employees were thrilled with the switch to Parallels because it meant less time waiting around for applications to load. According to the sales managers, Parallels RAS loads applications in “less than 3 seconds.” The employees are very happy that Parallels RAS is able to launch Visual One PMS faster than Citrix Receiver.


Parallels RAS not only provides a superior virtualization solution, but it also costs less to run than Citrix. Whittlebury Hall was able to save a lot of money by using Parallels RAS compared to Citrix XenApp.


“Parallels RAS was very easy to deploy; it took much less time than Citrix XenApp”, adds Jeremy.


About Parallels RAS

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) is a streamlined, comprehensive solution for virtual desktop and application delivery. The Parallels solution makes all the necessary virtualization components readily available—at no extra cost—right after the easy-to-perform installation. Moreover, virtual application and desktop management is consolidated into one centralized dashboard interface, which means the whole solution can be managed from a single pane of glass.


End-users of Parallels RAS enjoy an incredible native-like mobile experience. Parallels is the only virtualization solution that allows end-users to use familiar touch gestures while accessing Windows desktop applications across any mobile device or platform.


The ICT industry's premier vendor assessment tool, IDC MarketScape, placed Parallels Remote Application Server as a “Major Player” among the top virtual desktop and application delivery solutions. Read the IDC report here. 


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