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St. Gallen Sektor Nord

Kantonale Psychiatrische Dienste St. Gallen Sektor Nord

Every year, around 5,500 people with psychiatric problems seek professional help from the “Kantonale Psychiatrische Dienste St. Gallen Sektor Nord”. In order to offer patients and their relatives the best possible support, the 750 members of staff at the Wil Psychiatric Clinic and the three Psychiatric Centers in Rorschach, St. Gallen and Wattwil use modern video and information technology.


The Customer

  • Regional psychiatric group with 750 employees and four sites
  • Approx. 5,000 patients treated every year
  • 950 IT workstations, 770 of these with a endpoint

The Challenge

  • Greater need for multimedia applications: video playback and digital dictation
  • Simplifying and optimizing endpoint security and optimization

The Solution

  • Private cloud based on Citrix XenApp (virtualized with VMware vSphere)
  • Various types of IGEL thin and zero clients, some of which specially designed for multimedia
  • IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS)

Key Benefits

  • Good multimedia properties – streaming via Citrix HDX and local playback from memory cards
  • High level of compatibility with digital dictation solutions including hardware from Grundig, Olympus, Philips
  • Wide range of endpoint hardware and operating systems with standardized management
  • Less administrative outlay thanks to profile based endpoint security and optimization – assignment via drag and drop
  • Less on-site support and traveling thanks to a large proportion of endpoints

More multimedia for lean IT

With a view to reducing IT management costs, the regional organization introduced a centralized IT environment based on Citrix XenApp and IGEL endpoints six years ago. The strategy of providing employees with applications from the computer center rather than locally has paid off. At the same time, however, the multimedia performance requirements have increased. “We need around 100 endpoints so that our therapists can play back recordings of meetings with adequate quality via the network or locally,” said Renato Stadler from the “SSC-IT Psych” department, explaining the initial situation. “We were also planning to introduce a solution for digital dictation which should also work with the endpoints.”

Migration to Citrix XenApp 6.5, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Office 2010 at the end of 2013 provided a framework for the partial modernization of the client environment. The previous endpoint infrastructure was largely based on the IGEL UD3 model with IGEL Linux. As before, the compact all round model is used for standard workstations with typical office applications. At workstations with locally connected scanners, IGEL UD5 endpoints work with Windows Embedded Standard 7. For the workstations to be modernized, the decision was initially in favor of the UD2 LX-Multimedia model and then its replacement, the IZ1 HDX zero client model. The IGEL hardware impressed not only when playing back locally content from the connected card reader but also when streaming video from the computer center.

Standardized remote management

Although the IT department uses various IGEL models with “Citrix HDX” certification, it does not need to worry about increased management outlay. On the contrary: the entire IGEL portfolio of endpoints, zero clients and software endpoints allows standardized remote management – via the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) software which comes supplied. The advantages compared to fat clients soon become obvious. The endpoint operating systems including Citrix Receiver can be updated from a remote location. Furthermore, no local applications need to be updated. The settings are likewise assigned to the endpoints via remote administration – via drag and drop in the UMS Console which reproduces the setup of the endpoints exactly.

Rollout in twelve minutes

With the introduction of the new IGEL endpoints, “Kantonale Psychiatrische Dienste St. Gallen Sektor Nord” had new profiles for the UMS created. This was done by the IT partner Steffen Informatik who also oversaw the migration and configuration of the servers. When designing the management environment, the experts paid particular attention to the names of the folders and profiles, which contain the model designation and the firmware. The relevant information must therefore be assigned clearly at all times. The following profiles can be found within each model/ firmware folder: Enable USB interfaces, Security, Shadowing, Date and time, Screen resolution (auto detect), Printer profiles and Screen savers. “As a result, the complete endpoint image is defined and new endpoints can be put into operation including cabling in just 12 minutes,” said Renato Stadler. “After the scan, they appear in the “New Devices” folder in the UMS and then only need to be moved to the correct folder in order to be configured automatically.”

Digital dictation via endpoint

When it comes to digital dictation, “Kantonale Psychiatrische Dienste St. Gallen, Sektor Nord” opted for the SpeaKING Dictat solution from MediaInterface and have successfully tested it in the Citrix environment with the Universal Desktops from IGEL. On the hardware side, the UD endpoints support the relevant peripherals from Grundig, Olympus or Philips. “Digital dictation solutions can reduce costs significantly – savings of up to 10% are possible compared to analog dictation solutions,” said Dieter Tolksdorf, Sales Manager Switzerland at IGEL’s Zürich site. “In conjunction with our endpoints, we can also save up to 70 percent when it comes to the workstation related total cost of ownership.”

Stable system, less outlay

With endpoints making up over 80 percent of IT systems, these cost benefits become very obvious. “Kantonale Psychiatrische Dienste St. Gallen Sektor Nord” can now completely remote-manage 770 out of a total of 950 end devices at four sites. This means less administrative and management outlay as well as fewer on-site call-outs and less time spent traveling between the sites. “We now have a stable, up-to-date IT system with long-lasting endpoints,” said Renato Stadler. “The UD3 endpoints which we replaced with the multimedia devices are still in use elsewhere, even after six years. Thanks to the professional support provided by Steffen IT, remote management is now even more efficient. All in all, we’ve had nothing but good experiences with the hardware and software from IGEL and feel well equipped for future needs.”

Citrix Ready HD

Thin and zero clients from IGEL offer high performance and an optimum user experience. As far as access to Citrix environments is concerned, all IGEL models are “Citrix Ready HDX Verified”. As a result, the devices provide USB 2.0, multi-monitor and smartcard support, among other things. The IGEL hardware also supports multimedia and Flash redirection. An optional codec pack for local playback is available for IGEL Linux models. All IGEL thin and zero clients are dualviewcapable as standard, while the optionally licensable Universal MultiDisplay (UMD) software solution allows multiview scenarios with up to eight screen operating in parallel.

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