Hokuhoku Financial Group, Inc. Adopts Citrix XenDesktop for Next Generation Desktop and Application Infrastructure

Hokuriku Bank and Hokkaido Bank Play Core Roles in Group Plan to Integrate Operations Using Citrix XenDesktop as Infrastructure

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – September 1, 2016 – Citrix today announced that Japanese regional bank Hokuhoku Financial Group, Inc. (Hokuhoku FG) will be deploying Citrix XenDesktop for its next generation virtual desktop and application infrastructure integration in the first half of 2017. Based on a competitive review, Hokuhoku FG selected XenDesktop for its superior performance, seamless user experience and enhanced security, as well as for the company’s proven track record with server-based computing (SBC) secure app delivery solutions.

Regional banks are facing an increasingly severe management environment due to shrinking margins as a result of the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy.  Hokuhoku FG formulated a medium-term management plan for April 2016 to March 2019. One of the concepts of the plan is “management efficiency,” and active IT investment is essential to achieving it. While Japanese regional banks tend to rely fully on an IT vendor, Hokuhoku FG itself worked out the scheme of the next generation virtual desktop and application infrastructure to meet its own needs, and after investigating a number of potential solutions, selected Citrix. In addition to a next generation virtual desktop and application infrastructure, Hokuhoku FG will work with Citrix to identify additional solutions to advance management and business productivity. By doing so, Citrix will contribute to the creation of a coordinated and functional organization that ensures Hokuhoku FG can stand up to tough competition.  

Hokuhoku FG was formed in 2004 by the merger of The Hokuriku Bank Ltd. and The Hokkaido Bank, Ltd. and other banks under its umbrella. Hokuriku Bank and Hokkaido Bank have been actively working on increasing their business efficiency through consolidation using IT, and are pioneers in adopting client virtualization. The banks have been participating in the Japanese standard Integrated Banking System (MEJAR) since 2011, and, during this time, Hokuriku Bank virtualized 2,000 desktops upon migration to MEJAR. Around the same time, Hokkaido Bank adopted Citrix XenApp and has been enabling over 3,100 devices and PCs access to virtual applications.

In February 2016, Hokuhoku FG started the selection process for the next integrated virtual desktop and application infrastructure, and officially decided, in July 2016, to adopt Citrix XenDesktop. Hokuriku Bank together with its group company Hokugin Software set the requirements for the new system, and will replace the current system to Citrix XenDesktop and adapt SBC. Hokkaido Bank, a long-term user of Citrix XenApp, will also upgrade its current system with the latest version of XenDesktop. By integrating its virtual desktop and application infrastructure, Hokuhoku FG will be able to provide common screens to both banks, ensure expedited information sharing with paperless operations, and boost clerical efficiency. At the same time, the company is renewing its tablet terminals to strengthen the sales force that is selling financial products such as investment trusts and insurance.

The following are the main reasons both banks chose to adopt XenDesktop:

  • Excellent performance and user experience, including high-quality video distribution and playback; excellent performance and user experience even in narrowband
  • Exceptional usability for tablets, including support for electronic signatures
  • Experience and track record of Citrix with SBC secure app delivery solutions: Hokuhoku FG evaluated the track record of Hokkaido Bank’s use of XenApp since 2010. FG chose it after noting the benefit that a limited number of staff could perform integrated management of all target terminals and that hardware could be used more effectively, for instance, reducing the number of physical servers.
  • Management and operation efficiency and excellent usability: Hokuhoku FG can use the features and enhancements of the latest version of XenDesktop as well as solid distribution and management tools.
  • Enhanced security and compliance

Hokuriku Bank and Hokkaido Bank will integrate their respective virtual desktop and application infrastructures into XenDesktop, allowing employees to have secure access to the applications and databases necessary for their respective jobs from terminals in the banks as well as mobile devices used by outside liaison personnel. In addition, Hokuhoku FG will deploy a Long-Term Service Release (LTSR) for XenDesktop, allowing greater stability over a longer period of time. The new virtual desktop and application infrastructure is planned to be connected by 4,000 devices (including 1,700 tablet PCs) for Hokuriku Bank and 4,000 devices (including 800 tablet PCs) for Hokkaido Bank.

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