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About

The Co-operative Bank (the “client”) provides personal banking services, and engaged Alkane Solutions as Microsoft Subject Matter Experts (SME) to resolve complex issues.

The Co-operative Bank

The Project

  • Windows 10 debugging, audit and optimisations
  • Complex application packaging
  • Microsoft App-V performance improvements
  • General service improvements

Challenges

  • The client had previously engaged a team for 3 months to find the root cause of an issue that caused blank pages to appear in Microsoft Edge, and failed authentication with Microsoft Teams – this issue was affecting thousands of users.  The previous incumbents were unable to resolve the issue.
  • The client had previously engaged a team for 6 months to virtualise a complex suite of SAP applications using Microsoft App-V for a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment – this suite of applications was required by over 1000 users.  The previous incumbents were unable to provide a solution which worked.
  • The client were experiencing network speed issues and poor performance of App-V streaming.  Alkane were engaged to identify the root cause and implement a solution.
  • The client didn’t have a modern process in place to package applications – they were still testing applications on physical devices, and waiting 2 hours to rebuild them in between testing phases.

Solution

  • We utilised Wireshark and Process Monitor to debug API calls and protocol/port network traffic.  Within a week we were able to ascertain a conflict between Sophos Antivirus policies and ForcePoint Endpoint DLP.  This resolved blank screens in Edge and Teams authentication issues.
  • We provided a working SAP App-V package within 3 days – it was a complex package which required decoupling of components and also included an Excel add-in.  The client required centralised configurations which could be updated and utilised by all end-users in real-time.
  • The client had various sites in remote locations, yet were only utilising one central App-V content share.  Alkane implemented a Distributed File System (DFS) namespace with replication to all remote sites.
  • We implemented a Hyper-V environment and created virtual machines which could be replicated and rebuilt in a matter of seconds as opposed to hours.

Results

  • The impact of fixing the ForcePoint issue was huge – service desk tickets reduced by several hundred.
  • Over 1000 users were able to continue using SAP, in-line with the back-end upgrade.  Our solution meant that the project was a success and delivered on time.
  • Networking performance was greatly improved in general, and App-V streaming times were increased exponentially.
  • The throughput of application packages increased due to the simplified process of testing and snapshotting applications.
Microsoft Subject Matter Experts
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