A few short years after the end of World War II, a U.S. Navy demonstration team of veteran flying aces formed in Jacksonville to show off the F6F Hellcat fighter planes that had helped win the war. These Blue Angels cemented Jacksonville’s position as a Navy town; today, more than a third of the region’s economy depends on the military.
VyStar Credit Union was founded in 1952 to provide this community of military service members, civil service employees, and their families a safe place to save and borrow money. Since then, VyStar has evolved beyond its original incarnation as Jax Navy Federal Credit Union at NAS Jacksonville. As the second-largest credit union headquartered in Florida and the 13th-largest nationwide, VyStar has expanded its mission to be a force for change in the lives of its members and the communities where they live.
VyStar’s growth into Central Florida and southern Georgia has enabled the credit union to keep fees low and interest earned higher. Its focus on speed and convenience for its members requires an emphasis on preventing user downtime and resolving issues quickly. That’s where network visibility is crucial.
“You always want a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on,” said Ray Davis, senior systems engineer. “I was running countless scripts to collect data, and it just wasn’t feasible anymore. I wanted to see ‘what is my environment doing?’ more than what Citrix Director was able to offer.”
VyStar reduces friction in its systems so employees can concentrate their attention on the customer. The shift to work from home during the pandemic meant an explosion in the number of devices—many of them personal computers—as well as a surge in network connections from remote workers needing access to their Citrix resources.
“With that comes issues,” Davis explained. “You can’t control what happens on a personal device. You don’t know what their network is like, their Wi-Fi signal; you only can see from the VDA’s perspective.”
Implementing ControlUp Real-Time DX and ControlUp Insights gave VyStar real-time visibility into their end-user computing environment. Now they’re able to anticipate and fix problems before they impact productivity or affect the digital employee experience, whether they’re working at the office, at home, or anywhere. VyStar also uses Insights to spot trends: with up to a year’s worth of EUC metrics to evaluate, VyStar can proactively plan for an even better digital experience in the future.
In terms of performance improvements, “I can definitely tell you that I am able to spot an issue ten times faster than the traditional digging through event logs,” said Davis.
“The biggest thing is the user login times and the group policies aspect. I’m able to see it all on one pane and get a better understanding of what’s going on to figure out what I need to do. Then I’m able to go into Insights and collect all the data as well, and send that to the team that’s responsible,” he added.
Managing a locked-down, heavily regulated financial services environment is challenging in the best of times, and IT teams don’t often expect “user-friendly” will apply to them. However, Davis’s team implemented a demo and delivered a proof of concept rapidly—speed that was important in a resource-starved time—and were able to have everything up and running in about 30 minutes. “Literally, it was that quick,” he said.
Training came next, with support ranging from onboarding through help with custom scripts.
“One of the biggest things that ControlUp offers that a lot of companies don’t offer in their monitoring solution is the free training that comes with it,” Davis said. “There’s always training available, advanced and basic, and it gives you the opportunity to learn more than what you read online. I just get on Slack and ask a lot of questions in the ControlUp channel.”
Davis said that having this solution at VyStar is “definitely very valuable, and a must-have for any VDI back end, whether it’s Citrix, VMware, or Microsoft.”
Headquartered in Jacksonville, VyStar Credit Union is the second-largest credit union serves over 800,000 members in Florida and Georgia, with assets totaling $13 billion. The member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative invests in its customers and the communities it serves, with innovative products for consumers and businesses, financial education, and a history of revitalizing urban neighborhoods and giving back to more than 200 nonprofit organizations.