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Success Story

Leading Swiss insurance group CSS brings increased operationality, automation, and user experience to over 3200 HCL Notes clients. All thanks to panagenda’s MarvelClient.

CSS Kranken-Versicherung AG Logo
Customer
CSS Kranken-Versicherung AG
Industry
Insurance
Employees
2700
Region
Europe, Switzerland
HCL Notes User
Since 1999

Challenges

IT administrators had to support two separate Notes client configurations on Citrix – one for end-users and another one for developers/system admins.
Reliability issues with non-standard configurations of the Notes clients caused repeated crashes, disrupting the work of employees.
Performance issues with Notes clients led to poor user experience and reduced productivity.
The requirements to work remotely during the pandemic expanded problems with IT support processes.
Increased IT maintenance and support efforts due to recurring issues caused by complex and inconsistent Notes client configurations.
CSS Kranken-Versicherung AG Logo
Customer
CSS Kranken-Versicherung AG
Industry
Insurance
Employees
2700
Region
Europe, Switzerland
HCL Notes User
Since 1999

Results

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Standardized Notes clients via Citrix VDI and Citrix

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Automated Notes Single Sign-on (SSO) in Citrix

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Simplified cross-departmental processes and automated installations

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Improved Citrix performance for all users

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Reduced administration efforts and increased operational efficiency

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Successfully transitioned to an almost completely remote workforce

Mastering the Challenges of Remote Work

The CSS Group, a market leader in the field of basic insurance in Switzerland, has been using HCL Notes/Domino as a company-wide communication and collaboration solution since 1999. The enterprise platform has enabled their employees to work from different offices spread across Switzerland, as well as on the road, and remain highly productive.

Maintaining productivity has become a growing challenge during the pandemic, especially for insurance companies. Whole offices emptied and switched to remote working practices, business and customer meetings were moved into virtual space, transforming the way of working and interacting with each other.

Viewpoint

Communication Software Reliability Issues

You work for an insurance company. Whether traveling to meet with customers or working from home due to the onset of the pandemic, you depend on your HCL Notes client software for your business and customer communications. If that software is unreliable, crashing regularly, then it has a direct impact on your productivity and the ability to perform your job.

Supporting a Dual Client Landscape

The CSS Group has standardized on Citrix to run their endpoint system software for all employee computers. There are two distinct client configurations for HCL Notes running on Citrix, one for regular end-users and a second setup for 250 IT admins and developers. As it turned out, this second image running a virtualized desktop (Xen Desktop) was causing most of the stability problems for the Notes client.
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSS was already struggling with these performance and stability issues of the Notes client running in their Citrix environment. When employees were mandated to work from home, things got even worse and support requests escalated. A solution was sorely needed. After consultations with panagenda, a project team was put in place to perform an in-depth assessment using the MarvelClient solution and implement a fix that could be deployed quickly.

Our thanks go out to panagenda for their support. We got a great solution (roaming, ID vault and installation packages) that allows us to switch back and forth between CSS Desktop and Workplace comfortably. There is no need for a migration.

Marcel Scholl, Software Engineer

Solution Validation Testing

Step one would be finding the best and most stable Citrix configuration to support the Notes client, first on a test farm and then with pilot users. The following four points were addressed:

  • A new Notes client installation based on panagenda’s specifications
  • Performance optimization tuning for computers
  • Implementation of MarvelClient Roaming to improve Notes client startup times
  • Transitioning the data directory to the test farm

Standardized Configuration Proves Successful

During the evaluation testing of multiple configurations, the project team identified a standard setup including dedicated HCL software patches that was completely reliable. The following steps were included as part of the final deployment:

  1. The MarvelClient Roaming master image for the Citrix farm of regular users was adjusted and updated.
  2. A new MarvelClient Roaming master image for the developers was created and set up.
  3. MarvelClient Roaming was set up for all users so that both developers and regular users could roam in both directions.
  4. Another solution from panagenda, SecurityInsider Light, was additionally installed to support the MarvelClient system.

We really appreciated the straightforward and solution-oriented support in finding the cause of the Notes client software crashes in our company. The installation of the Notes v11 client on our Citrix server with the help of MarvelClient Upgrade was very instructive and professional. We consider this installation a great step towards a more professional operation of the Notes client.

Roman Joss, Team Lead

Viewpoint

Communications Software Stability

You still work for the same insurance company; however, everything has changed. You can now depend on your communication software to work reliably. You can manage your customers efficiently, whether you work from home, on the road, or at a company office location. As a result, personal productivity, and employee morale soars.

The Results for CSS Speak for Themselves

Decrease in support tickets

Thanks to the implementation of the MarvelClient solution and the subsequent standardization of the Notes client deployments, CSS’s support time and costs were reduced considerably. The time and money savings paved the way for further collaboration with MarvelClient add-ons including Roaming, ID-Vault, Notes Shared Login, and other packages.

Performance improvement through backup/restore operations during stop and startup

The installation of MarvelClient Roaming reduced the Notes client startup times from the normally sluggish performance.

Standardized clients via Citrix VDI and Citrix

CSS uses HCL Notes exclusively on Citrix, which already reduces the administrative effort for client devices. MarvelClient Roaming allowed for even less admin overhead spent on tweaking startup scripts and finding storage space for client data.

Easily reset user configurations

Any non-standard settings for the Notes client software are removed and replaced with a supported configuration automatically by MarvelClient.

User experience improvement through SSO

Citrix presented no immediate solution to automate the Notes login process. With panagenda’s help, CSS was able to implement the long-awaited Notes Shared Login feature included in HCL Notes v11.

Reduced administrative work

Application administrators at CSS can now devote more time to their core business operations. MarvelClient Upgrade has simplified cross-departmental processes and automated the installations for the Notes client software going forward.

The Future Looks Bright

In the future, CSS plans to engage panagenda’s technical experts to further optimize their HCL Domino server infrastructure. Their aim is to keep capital expenses low, efficiency up, and reap the benefits of innovations and automation trends. Optimizing their employees digital experience is their key focus.

The CSS Group, headquartered in Lucerne, is a Swiss insurance group specializing in health insurance.

 

With over 1.4 million insured persons in the compulsory health insurance, CSS is the largest basic insurer in Switzerland.

 

The company has over 1.6 million customers, a total annual premium volume of 6.5 billion Swiss francs, employs around 2700 people and operates over 100 agencies nationwide.

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