Case Study On Quintiles

Published: 2021-06-21 23:42:56
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Category: Information, Business, Workplace, Employee, Development

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Quintiles is a Pharmaceutical company. It is the largest biopharmaceutical development service provider with over 30 years’ experience in the industry. Its global headquarters is located in Durham, North Carolina in The United States of America. It has a global footprint with 110 sites spread across 62 countries. Being the largest biopharmaceutical development service provider, quintiles employs approximately 27000 employees. The company also majors in commercial outsourcing services such as overseeing clinical, consulting, commercial and capital services around the globe. Quintiles prides itself in either developing or marketing all of the top 50 best-selling drugs currently in the market.
During the 2012 financial year, Quintiles generated service revenues of $3.7 billion overshadowing gains by its main competitors. Its main competitors include PAREXEL International Corporation, Covance Inc. and Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC. PAREXEL is also a pharmaceutical development company and a contract research organization with clients from the world’s largest drug firms. Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC is also a contract research organization providing research services to pharmaceutical and medical firms seeking regulatory approval for their products. Covance Inc. is also a contract research organization that provides a full range testing facilities to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. However, Quintiles has managed to stay ahead of the competition through offering innovative products and employing the use of information technology to empower its employees, save on costs and improve its efficiency.
IT network and applications.
Quintiles maintains about 110 physical locations that hold laboratories, research centers and product development centers. These locations are spread across 62 different countries. Each country has its own network infrastructure (wide area network) which are all linked to two main data centers in North Carolina and Dublin. Having diversified branches with different activities, Quintiles employees use numerous off the shelf applications with few developed by the company’s in-house IT staff.
Quintiles has managed to stay ahead of its competitors by providing data to its clients in a manner that best suits the client’s needs. This was a major challenge since the company handled large amounts of data with extensive patient records.
The major challenges faced by Quintiles that were to be addressed were;
- Provide employees with fast access to data while keeping the data centralized and more secure.
- Adopt the Bring Your Own Device concept. This was to be enabled by securely managing the employees’ device of choice.
- Fasten the process of including new employees to the system as the need arises.
This was followed by the deployment of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), to enable the centralization of data and commonly used applications. This would also be done to ensure the company’s data is secure in instances where employees bring their own devices to work. VDI is a practice that involves hosting a desktop computer together with some applications within a virtual machine that runs on a centralized server. This eliminates the need for one on one interaction between network administrators and end users. Application upgrades are made easy and faster. Compatibility issues are also negated in instances where different employees use different devices to access the network.
VDI enables employees to access corporate data from their own devices without compromising on security since all sensitive data is stored in the data center. Virtualization, therefore, acted as a firewall securing Quintiles’ data.
VDI also provided for faster onboarding and deployment of new employees. Any employee with access to a computer could now be given an authentication through which he or she can access data from the data centers.
Citrix provided Quintiles with XenDesktop, a high-quality user experience VDI while Cisco developed XenApp to successfully integrate the VDI with its own WAAS. The final product was known as Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE). This helped Quintiles to implement a centralized and comprehensive policy based management of access to network data.
ISE enabled Quintiles to develop a borderless network while maintaining strict security policies but with seamless data access.
IT Management issues
Data Security
Quintiles was faced with the challenge of making its large repository of data available to its employees without compromising on the security of the data. At the same time, Quintiles needed to ensure it provided its clients with data in a format that best suited their needs. Quintiles made use of a VDI to ensure that data is centrally stored thereby solving the security challenge. Employees could now access from their own devices without compromising on security since corporate data is only stored on the data centers but not on the user’s PC.
Data Theft
Through the use of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, theft of corporate data is also reduced since data is centrally stores in data centers. The network administrator, therefore, has an easier task monitoring connections to and from the data center.
Effective and efficient sharing of information
Quintiles as a company was faced with a situation whereby employees needed to share crucial information in a timely and convenient manner. Since Quintiles had branches spread across the globe, it employed Cisco’s WAAS to accelerate the sharing of information. This enabled Quintiles employees move large documents across the wide area network with ease. Bandwidth and latency problems were also reduced while the employees user experience was greatly boosted.
Adopting the ‘BYOD’ Bring Your Own Device concept
Employees own different devices, which they carry to work. These employees also want to access the network and work using such devices. It has become a common practice and management could not stop it. Quintiles had to develop a model that would make such a structure work. Employment of the VDI technology ensures each user can easily access a virtual desktop environment through his or her device
How Quintiles used IT to gain competitive advantage
Through the use of the XenDesktop, a VDI solution from Citrix, Quintiles provided its employees with a uniform platform through which data can be processed and presented to clients in a format that best suits them. This feature differentiates Quintiles from its competition giving it a competitive advantage. Customers prefer data in a format that can easily help them in making decisions.
Use of IT to lower cost and improve services
The VDI solution helped save on costs by extending the useful life of hardware such as laptops. Previously the company needed to replace laptops after every three years. After deploying the virtualization solution, staff realized that just by installing a simple and lightweight application, one can regain fast speeds.
Previously getting and training new employees on the use of ICT infrastructure proved a time consuming and costly venture. It would take two to three months for the IT staff to provision ID’s and provide training. After the implementation of the VDI, new employees could now download the Citrix VDI solution and watch training videos online.
WAN optimization combined with VDI solution has ensured the scalability of the company by providing for growth without having to add new storage.
Obtaining high-bandwidth Ethernet links has recently become a costly at time consuming activity. Quintiles’ deployment of Cisco’s WAAN has significantly reduced operational costs while maintaining efficient speeds. T1 circuits have been implemented at a monthly cost of $600 per month instead of Ethernet links, which cost approximately $4000 per month.
Quintiles approach to data and network security.
Quintiles took a centralized approach to data storage. This was through the implementation of the VDI from Citrix known as XenDesktop. The VDI acts as a firewall that shields corporate data from unauthorized access while providing remote access to authorized employees.
Quintiles as a company continues to improve its network infrastructure by identifying new use cases for virtualization. This occurs on a daily basis as the company seeks to be innovative.
Works Cited
CBS Interactive. 2013. 4th November 2013 .
Cisco. "Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)." (2013): 1-3.
—. "Pharmaceutical Services Company Accelerates Virtual Desktops." (2012): 1-4.
Network World, Inc. 2013. 4th November 2013 .

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