Modernised Application Management for Cloud Migration and Remote Learning Empowerment

Canterbury Christ Church University

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SUMMARY

Customer: Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is a public university based in Canterbury, Kent, England, and has grown rapidly with several locations and 15,000 students.

Challenge: Their application delivery and management held them back from migrating to the cloud, plus many limitations made critical updates and patches time-consuming and complex.

Solution: Liquit Workspace with Liquit Release & Patch Management was deployed, allowing CCCU to migrate to the cloud, deliver applications, deploy updates and patches seamlessly, along with many other advantages.

Results: While still in process, the expected measurable outcomes for CCCU include total cost of ownership (TCO) savings, greater flexibility, reduced service desk issue resolution tickets. And very importantly, the solution results in happy end-users.

A core tenet of Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is the “passionate belief that education changes lives.” As remote learning took on accelerated importance, this leading UK university needed a better way to deliver and manage applications to educate and mould future generations of leaders.

Today, students at universities around the world depend on technology to live, work and play. Higher education administrators aim to provide the best experience. After all, the best tools attract the best applicants. At the same time, university and campus operations need to run as efficiently as possible, including the delivery, management and constant updating or patching of the essential applications students and staff need. Adding to the challenges and complexity has been the rapid acceleration of remote learning due to the pandemic.

At CCCU, IT administrators understood the need to modernise their application delivery and management
capabilities to continue to offer students, teachers and support staff a technology environment that made
remote teaching and learning easy and seamless. Plus, they understood the power of the cloud, yet their current application platform was holding back their mission to move away from on-premise and transition to the cloud.

The search for a modern, flexible solution

The current stack of technology at CCCU lacked the flexibility to support student devices, integrating modern
technologies like Windows Virtual Desktop and Cloud applications in a single-pane-of-glass portal. So, in early
2020, CCCU began looking for a solution to modernise workspace and application delivery and deployment to
their end-users.

The goal was to bring a more modern and flexible workspace to students and employees. IT administrators
were looking for the ultimate hybrid environment — a mix of a uniform desktop delivery to end-users with onpremises solutions like SCCM, Intune, WVD and native applications.

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CCCU looked at several application management solutions in their search, including one that specialised in the
higher education sector. They found that the other solutions either didn’t offer all the anywhere operations
capabilities the university needed, or the investment was too high to implement the required results.

After extensive research, CCCU determined Liquit offered the capabilities they needed with a costeffective pricing structure and a pilot phase that would give them confidence in the solution and also speed deployment. “We needed to make sure Liquit was best of breed,” says Andy Powell, Head of Infrastructure. “What we found was that it ticked off all the boxes we wanted to tick.

Liquit provided support during the pilot phase that proved to be invaluable as well. Other advantages that met
their needs included:

• Easy path for migration to the cloud — Via the Liquit connectors
• Trouble-free deployment — Especially with new application updates to the endpoints
• Capabilities to speed new releases to market — Saving the IT team time and effort
• Cost-effective, all-in-one solution — Everything from just one single license
• Dramatic lowering of TCO compared to other solutions — With more flexibility and options

CCCU IT department gets “Unsung Hero” award

In November 2020, Liquit was implemented in the form of a browser-based CCCU App Store that delivers over 100 of the most popular applications for students to directly download onto their own device for free.
Liquit connects to App-V, WVD and deploys traditional (legacy) applications from a one-stop-shop for the endusers.

The users can select their own applications from the portal, and Liquit will fully deliver and deploy these
applications to the end-users without any additional interaction. The goal was “IT like water from the tap.” Liquit helped the university to achieve that with a one-stop, seamless and easy experience for students. With the Liquit solution in place, CCCU was able to save money while adding flexibility and agility to application delivery — especially critical advantages as higher learning institutions worldwide struggle to remain solvent and aim for as close to business-as-usual during COVID-19.

Once deployed, the university offered students easy and customised access to all the applications via a free app
store portal, which included a clean workspace with Liquit Smart Icons that they could click for their selected
applications. The results for the students were very positive. Students were highly satisfied with the new app
environment they now had access to, which also helped them get more studying and homework done.

The entire CCCU IT department worked tirelessly to successfully deploy this solution. Gareth Stears,
Head of User Experience, IT, at CCCU, was particularly instrumental in meeting demanding deadlines
to ensure a smooth rollout and adoption of the solution, working weekends to add applications. In
fact, the CCCU IT department was recently awarded the “Unsung Hero” award by the Students’ Union
for their work on the easy application access and the app store.

Clearly, the students at CCCU agree. Sarah Waters, a third-year student in Business Management, says: “The
new Student App Store is an absolute game changer! It’s so much easier now to access the software I need all
in a single place.” Meanwhile, psychology postgraduate Phil Jackman, says “Studying at home is much more
enjoyable now that I don’t need to go searching around for the apps I need.”

“Liquit will allow us to strip out the number of fixed desktops,” says Andy. “Now we don’t have to worry about the size of hard drives in laptops, and we can begin to reduce hardware expenses overall. With Liquit, we can address these issues, lower TCO, and move our infrastructure forward with flexibility and agility. Most importantly, it delivers the best experience for our students.”

Benefits by the Numbers

90% reduction in IT time and effort
50% decrease in Total Cost of Ownership
2 days is all it took to migrate to the cloud