Case Study: Martin’s Properties Picks Parallels RAS Over Citrix

Parallels RAS has an easy-to-use interface that delivers a high degree of sophistication. The biggest benefit of switching to Parallels RAS is the cost-effectiveness of the overall solution.” ~ Paul Nicholson, Financial Director, Martin’s Properties (Chelsea) Limited

Martin’s Properties uses Parallels RAS to securely publish applications for remote access. Parallels RAS ensures a good level of future-proofing each time the servers are upgraded or replaced.

Company Overview

Martin’s Properties (Chelsea) Limited is a leading investment, asset management and property development company in the United Kingdom. The company was set up by the Martin family in 1946. After moving their electrical business from Guildford to Chelsea, the family bought a house in Sydney Street where they let out rooms. A second shop was opened in King’s Road in 1956 as business profits were reinvested into more property. In the last six decades, the company has quickly grown beyond recognition.

Headquartered in Chelsea, London, this leading real estate company has developed several local landmark properties including Whitelands House and 199-209 King’s Road. The company has received several awards and recognition from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for the 199-209 King’s Road development. Being the landlord and the manager of properties it owns, Martin’s Properties is able to provide a high class customer experience.

The Challenge

Martin’s Properties had originally implemented Citrix Access Essentials, the Citrix entry-level offering, to virtualize on-premise servers and remotely publish applications. The software was installed on a virtual server and was in place for several years. The total cost of ownership was quite low and CAE was very efficient in delivering published applications for remote access.

However, the main hassle operationally was with upgrading the CAE software. Locating the correct patches was time consuming. The software architecture was quite complex, so troubleshooting event log messages took a long time. It was also impossible to purchase further user licenses. Updating and managing CAE was not as straightforward as it should have been. In addition, it was impossible to install some of the newer applications that needed to be published on the version of Windows Server on which CAE was installed.

The preference initially was to replace CAE with Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) Fundamentals. However, as Citrix had withdrawn long-term support for XAF by then – the full Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) product was the only realistic option; it was deemed that this would be far too complicated and expensive to install.

The Solution

After a thorough search and testing of candidate solutions, Parallels RAS was selected. Applications remotely published via Parallels RAS include Microsoft Office, the corporate intranet and the company’s line-of-business applications such as property valuation, project management and accounts. There are twenty concurrent users out of which seven rely regularly on remote access. Nonetheless, Remote Desktop Services, RAS Portal and HTML5 Gateway are the important features used by the company. VMware is the virtualization platform used.

With Parallels RAS, the company is able to publish all the newest applications needed by the business. It is also proving extremely easy to upgrade Parallels RAS server software. In addition, Parallels RAS is more straightforward to configure and to manage than CAE. The software has seen two full version upgrades, both of which were easy to perform.

Parallels RAS has a very easy-to-use interface which is initially fairly intuitive. It delivers a high degree of functional sophistication. After each version upgrade was applied, the interface became even better. On the rare occasions that they were needed, the technical support team was very helpful. They understood the issues quickly and gave timely advice.

Key Benefits

Martin’s Properties realized an immediate benefit with cost-effectiveness of the overall solution. Operational efficiency was significantly improved. The software ensured a good level of future-proofing each time the servers were upgraded or replaced. The easy-to-use interface offered a high level of sophistication. The quality of the support and ease of applying patches and upgrades was a welcome bonus.

About Martin’s Properties

Martin’s Properties (Chelsea) Limited is a leading UK property development company that has earned a great reputation in the real estate sector. The company offers a range of services including property development, asset management, investment management and property rentals.

The Martin Charitable Trust is the philanthropic facet of the company, a charity set up in 1984 by the Martin family. The company makes positive contributions wherever possible, especially to manage environmental impact.

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