How MS Amlin Effectively Packaged Applications into an App-V Format

MS Amlin is a leading global (re)insurer, part of the global top-10 insurance group MS&AD, with three main legal entities’ operating in the Lloyd’s, UK, Continental European and Bermudian markets. With a 300-year record and c.3,000 people in more than 20 locations worldwide, the company deliver a quality service for businesses facing the most complex and demanding risks.

THE CHALLENGE

MS Amlin faced the need to package applications into an App-V format as part of the company’s broader migration to Windows 10. The firm had been through two unsuccessful previous efforts to deliver the App-V component of the Technical Transformation Programme, and therefore faced some internal pressure for the packaging effort to be successful at the third time of asking.

The main challenge being faced was that App-V had never been used in this environment, which presented us with a few problems to overcome:

  • Getting the virtualised Office add-ins to work with the natively installed instance of Office.
  • One of our high-profile applications was failing to connect to the database.
  • Some applications we were simply unable to capture, such as AD Users and Computers.
  • We were unable to use ‘runas’ to run an App-V application as another user.
  • We found that apps configured to startup at logon would not start automatically when published after logon on non-persistent virtual desktops.

THE SOLUTION

To assist with the challenges, MS Amlin engaged ORIIUM’s team to deliver application packaging services.

  • The ORIIUM team provided our Office add-ins in App-V format making use of App-V advanced ‘Connection Groups’ and ‘RunVirtual’ functionality so that we could deliver them to the correct users rather than having to add them all into the image.
  • An App-V bug was identified and remediated that allowed our critical business application to finally connect to the database.
  • An innovative solution was used to capture AD Users and Computers into an App-V package, which was an impossible task using regular methods.
  • The team delivered scripted solutions that allowed us to run any App-V package as an alternate user, and for certain applications to auto start immediately after publishing.

THE RESULT

The holistic view of the environment that the ORIIUM team provided for MS Amlin facilitates a vastly superior user experience that marries tech with business needs. By not just approaching the project from a technical angle, the solution also builds in group policies, user needs, and App-V technicalities.

By enabling us to virtualise almost all of our applications, we were able to vastly reduce the number of applications installed into our images and eliminate the need for specialised images for specific applications.

 

“A huge advantage to MS Amlin was that every time a package needed reconfiguring, ORIIUM came up with a solution.The team gave us a solution for every single thing that we asked for, demonstrated skills way beyond that of a normal packager, and went above and beyond the minimum requirements of the project.

I have been exposed to App V for over 10 years, but the sophistication of ORIIUM’s solution delivered the best possible user experience for us – unbelievable! I just had to share a problem, and Dan and the team figured it out meaning that we were never left without a solution. We were so lucky to have this level of skill at our disposal, especially as it was so important for us to deliver this project the third time. We simply couldn’t fail – it was our responsibility to deliver virtualised packages of the highest standard with the optimum configuration for both persistent and non-persistent platforms.

The ORIIUM team were able to achieve this success for us by focusing on the end result. Whilst I have seen other packaging service providers focus on pushing us commercially by trying to charge for tweaks and modifications, ORIIUM focused on the end result for us through their ability to translate technical requirements into our business needs – it was more like a consultancy partnership rather than just an application packaging service”.

Zara Winters
Senior Technical Architect, MS Amlin

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