Atos Healthcare met cost-reduction requirements by using Micro Focus Reflection® terminal emulation software to provide access to legacy applications via Citrix.
“They provide excellent, detailed, and accurate reports, and we rely on their expertise for implementation and support. It’s not just selling—it’s the post-sales support that sets Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) apart.”
IT Project Manager
At a Glance
- Facilitated integration
- Seamlessly deployed applications in a Citrix environment
- Improved performance and productivity
- Complied with regulatory security mandates
UK-based Atos Healthcare, a division of Atos Origin, combines the company’s expertise in consulting, technology, and healthcare services to improve the way care is delivered. Each year, Atos Healthcare carries out one million medical assessments and looks after the occupational health of 680,000 employees from its 150 UK treatment centers. The company’s ground-breaking projects include Choose and Book, and one of the first independently run, award-winning National Health Service Walk-In Centers in the UK.
When Atos Healthcare had to implement a cost-reduction program with regulatory strings attached, the company seamlessly integrated Reflection software into its Citrix environment.
Atos Healthcare was asked to decrease the number of software suppliers and leverage existing solutions while adhering to strict government contractor guidelines. To meet the guidelines, the company had to keep the UNIX-based Ingres open source database system intact for the contract duration—which meant changes could be made only to the front-end, but not the back-end.
The company used terminal emulation to access green-screen applications, but the existing emulator could not successfully integrate with Citrix solutions. The applications developed came from a legacy ICL DRS system, and the keyboards had to be translated to Windows, which also proved difficult. “We had problems with deployment on thin client architecture,” said Nick Bhogal, IT project manager for Atos Healthcare. “We were never able to integrate it due to time scales and complexity.”
“As special customization was required with keyboard translation, I knew from my earlier experience using Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) Reflection terminal emulation, that the solution worked across multiple environments and platforms and would be the right choice for us,” said Bhogal.
Reflection software supports multiple operating environments, including Microsoft Windows, Windows Server Terminal Services, Citrix XenApp/Presentation Server, Microsoft SoftGrid App-V, and VMware. Reflection helps facilitate security compliance, and easily integrates legacy host data with Microsoft Office applications.
For more than a decade, we have been a Citrix Technology Alliance Partner, and during that time, hundreds of our customers have used Reflection products in Citrix environments. Reflection has evolved into the most reliable Citrix-based terminal emulation application on the market. In fact, Reflection is the only terminal emulation solution to achieve the Citrix Ready logo.
Atos Healthcare benefits from the ability to deploy the green-screen application via Citrix, reducing operating costs. Previously, doctors would complete a medical examination and manually write the report, have the information faxed to the head office, and clear down files off of the system. Now the process is done on a daily basis from the remote site.
Other applications deployed via Citrix solutions include Microsoft Office, email, and several homegrown Visual Basic applications, such as the medical skills register. Team leaders and managers at Atos Healthcare use Reflection to manage processes such as billing and scheduling.
Because Atos Healthcare is moving to a web-centric architecture, the business model was designed with new applications replacing applications accessed by the telnet client. Disparate systems are talking to each other, yet the green-screen applications are not being phased out. “We have reduced costs by deploying this combination of a web-based application accessing the green-screen application,” Bhogal confirmed.
Atos Healthcare provides access to Citrix solutions via Windows ICA clients, totaling about 1,700 devices spread over 150+ sites. Bhogal reports that the total cost of ownership is less now. “We have terminals in Inverness, Scotland, and two in the examination room. In terms of servicing, it is very reliable to service the terminals from a PC,” he noted.
“We haven’t seen any technical issues with Reflection since we have deployed via Citrix solutions. It’s quite reassuring to know that Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) has done their research and development through their customer user base,” said Bhogal.
Bhogal praised the extensive knowledge base of our company. “They provide excellent, detailed, and accurate reports, and we rely on their expertise for implementation and support. It’s not just selling—it’s the post-sales support that sets Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) apart,” Bhogal added.
Today, Bhogal and staff can concentrate on other IT projects, without worrying about the performance or reliability of Reflection. “We are slowly moving into a virtualized environment, so it is nice to know that Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) is at the forefront of support for that technology as well.”
“I recommend going with a supplier that knows what they are doing—it’s so much easier,” commented Bhogal. “From ease of integration to product support, Attachmate (now part of Micro Focus) is tested—they are ‘doctors of technology’,” he added. “Keep up the good work.”