"We were already using Parallels Secure Workspace for some other things at Telenet, and the user feedback there was positive every time—so Parallels Secure Workspace seemed like the perfect tool for us to facilitate this. It's just simple."
Telenet/SBS, Mediahuis, Proximus/Skynet and Pebble Media launched a joint national advertising agency under the name Ads & Data as of April 1, 2021. Together these companies own an extensive portfolio of television and radio channels, as well as digital and print media.
Employees of the new Ads & Data needed to have access to files and applications spread across servers owned by Telenet/SBS and De Vijver Media, among others.
At a White Raven IT event, Carlo Grauwels (COE Lead Digital Workspace) learned about Parallels Secure Workspace, which is now being used to combine access to those IT environments through one secure workspace.
One access for IT assets from multiple companies
“Ads & Data is a new company with a new IT stack, but the employees will initially all still come from the merger partners. So, we were looking for a way to give access to different parts of those ‘old’ environments, within one workplace”, says Carlo.
A lot of the applications running at Telenet and De Vijver Media are programs they wrote themselves, so virtualizing legacy applications was a must. During the search and setup, they had two main requirements: usability and security.
"In terms of usability, I and my users have nothing but praise. You just open a browser, log in, and off you go. The environment is already complex for the new employees anyway—imagine having to go from day-to-day working with systems from two other companies—so simplification was really very important. And that's why we chose a solution like Parallels Secure Workspace. "
Ease of use is also a plus for administrators: the rather complex setup that involved bringing together different environments and user groups within one Parallels Secure Workspace environment took a week from installation to completion of testing.
“There was a short lead time to get everything up and running. So, speed was really a must, and I don’t think we could get started at such a pace with any other solution.” Sustainability also plays a role: now that Parallels Secure Workspace has proven its strength for this use-case, it will continue to run for a long time and not be replaced. “We are really using Parallels Secure Workspace as a ‘workstation’, and not as a solution to temporarily facilitate this ‘merger’.”
Of course, security is also very important for Ads & Data: the data must be shielded at all costs from anyone who should not have explicit access to it. “Before we onboard tools, they go through an extensive security assessment process. Our cybersecurity team has a lot of rigorous parameters and tests ready to go to which any new solution is subject, and Parallels Secure Workspace passed with distinction.”
The administrative staff and salespeople who use Parallels Secure Workspace at Ads & Data log in to their environment securely via the browser. This can be done on any device—A&D currently provides managed devices for its employees, but that is not a requirement. Once logged in, they have access to a range of file servers (spread across the parent companies) and virtualized applications—also spread across the parent companies.
"Because of the granular user access management capabilities, we can tune very specifically which users get access to which data/programs, and exactly what they are allowed to do with it. Everything is also audited, so we know in time if something goes wrong."