NIH's happy returns

For Citrix Systems Inc., a key measure of success is the customer's return on investment.

Several years ago, officials at the National Institutes of Health's Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center were faced with the challenge of introducing a new clinical information system into an environment that included computers "of every flavor," according to Richard Gordon, the center's chief information officer.

It also was an expensive proposition to maintain the existing computers and upgrade the client software. The cost worked out to about $1,700 for each workstation, and each computer would have some five hours of downtime while the software was upgraded.

Instead of maintaining separate desktop systems, the center chose Citrix MetaFrame. "We bought [a license] for 1,500 seats, and now we support around 40 applications that our users can get online from anywhere on the planet, as long as they can be connected to the server," Gordon said. The center's costs are now down to less than $1,000 per seat.

NFuse Elite is one of the most impressive additions to the Citrix product line, Gordon said. It provides for a smooth transition into the Web-based work environment his users expect to join soon.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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