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Sportsbet: Amazon WorkSpaces deployment

Amazon WorkSpaces Deployment

Industry: Betting Agency

Company Size: 500+

Amazon WorkSpaces production deployment for online bookmaker Sportsbet

About the company

Sportsbet is an online bookmaker and as of 2012 was Australia’s biggest corporate bookmaker. In 2010 Sportsbet was acquired by Paddy Power and is now owned by UK’s Paddy Power Betfair who turn over 3.1 billion AUD. Sportsbet has over 700 staff across Australia and Europe.

The Challenge

Sportsbet required a secure, managed, virtual desktop and corporate applications environment for their users based in Australia and Europe. These users were performing standard business functions and required secure access to Sportsbet’s data and applications.

Amazon WorkSpaces eliminates the need for huge upfront investment and ongoing management of supporting infrastructure. Moreover, it provides the users with similar desktop experience while keeping the data secured on the cloud. Additionally, the desktop could be accessed from any supported device; including, iPads, Fire Tablets, Windows, Chromebooks, Mac, and Android tablets by using web access through Firefox and Chrome browsers.

Amazon WorkSpaces offers bundles to suit different needs powered by Windows Server 2016  with a Windows 10 desktop experience. The bundles can be customized as per user personas, for instance, a sales team can get their customized desktop with their set of applications which would be different from the desktop that the finance team would be supplied. It provides a convenient path to move users to a modern operating system and at the same time enables cost optimisation by having some users on low-cost bundles and others on higher cost bundles according to specific needs.

The Solution

The Amazon WorkSpaces solution delivered by Olikka comprised of a standard bundle powered by Windows Server 2016 image with Windows 10 desktop experience, a dedicated custom VPC as per AWS best practice, AWS Lambda functions to automate WorkSpaces provisioning and deprovisioning, and  Sportsbet’s existing SCCM platform to automate customization of the base image and deploy on-demand applications and monthly security patches.

To optimize performance Olikka chose to distribute the Sportsbet WorkSpaces 2016 Servers close to the different users by enabling this solution in multiple AWS regions. Ireland was chosen for the European zone of users while Sydney was chosen for Australia.

Olikka ensured that their most experienced professionals were resourced onto this project and possessed the already developed- Olikka WorkSpaces Toolkit. The Toolkit is a powerful group of tools which enables automated provisioning, greater enterprise visibility and manageability of WorkSpaces through an insights dashboard as well as a Workspaces Helper for the end user. The Amazon WorkSpaces helper is a Chatbot powered by artificial intelligence, called Ollie to get help with any issues that the user may have with Amazon WorkSpaces. Olikka also extended the dashboard for this project so that Service Desk staff are able to administrator a WorkSpaces from the dashboard without requiring access to the  AWS management console

By leveraging our experience and extensive end user computing knowledge we were able to provide a first-class solution that had great user adoption, required minimal ongoing maintenance and enabled the agility and scalability without significant upfront investments in hardware.

The Benefits

Speed of deploymentThe solution offered by Olikka enables the customer to deploy a secure, modern Windows 10 desktop environment to a new user in less than 30 minutes without the need of any manual input.

Ease of use – Olikka expanded the dashboard functionality by adding federated authentication powered by Amazon Cognito. This enables administrators to resize and reboot workspaces directly from the dashboard.

Improved workspace visibility and management– Olikka’s Amazon WorkSpaces Toolkit, includes a custom developed insights dashboard providing greater visibility of Amazon Workspaces environment including the number of connected machines, ping time response of each machine, and the ability to reboot a virtual desktop. Apart from this, it also ensures better monitoring capabilities and improved manageability of the Sportsbet Amazon WorkSpaces.

Enhanced end user experience– Olikka’s methodology helps in delivering high quality, fully managed, portable desktops and applications to users on the devices of their choice.

Improved Security– The solution offered by Olikka helps in interweaving security into all aspects of Amazon Workspaces, including multi-factor authentication, OS hardening, encryption settings, and security support requirements. The toolkit now also allows Service Desk staff to administrator WorkSpaces to users without having AWS console access.

Minimal or no infrastructure– Olikka’s methodology helps in identifying and configuring the right hardware/ software services bundles that meet the need of the users.

PRODUCTS

– Amazon WorkSpaces
– Windows Server 2016

“The dispersed Sportsbet network of users across Europe and Australia made delivery tricky. Olikka’s solution was scalable, flexible, and optimised to meet all of Sportsbet’s user’s needs.”
Rupesh Kapadia
Head of Infrastructure and Operations