Posted: July 19th, 2015 9:09am +00:00 | By autor 1

Homeworking – Options for using LACHS remotely

‘Home Working’ is becoming a key alternative to cash-strapped councils. Increasing the number of workers working from alternative locations to the office ‘“ home, library or other shared facilities could not only reduce the amount spent on office space, cut sickness levels and increase productivity, but ultimately help meet the cuts being placed upon local authorities by the treasury.

With this in mind, please see below the options available to you for accessing LACHS, JCAD’s claims management system from anywhere:

1. Thin Client Deployment:

This technology can allow LACHS to be streamed to any device in any location. If your organisation has thin client technology in place then this can be the solution to your ‘Home Working’ requirements.

Pros ‘“
‘¢ External access to systems
‘¢ High performance from anywhere
‘¢ Access from any device
‘¢ Easier system management for IT

2. JCAD Hosted Services:

If thin client deployment is not available within your organisation then JCAD’s hosted infrastructure could be an invaluable alternative to be able to access JCAD LACHS from anywhere on any device.

Pros ‘“
‘¢ Eliminates internal IT support requirements
‘¢ Eliminates internal IT costs
‘¢ JCAD support services direct to your systems
‘¢ Seamless application upgrades

3. On-site Managed Server Solutions

If thin client deployment is not available within your organisation as standard then let JCAD take on this responsibility for you. Working together with your internal IT we are able to offer the complete management of your JCAD LACHS servers including the use of thin client technology within your own organisation.

Pros ‘“
‘¢ Limited IT involvement
‘¢ JCAD support services direct to your systems
‘¢ Seamless application upgrades
‘¢ An alternative to your current desktop deployment

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Further details of hosting options

One of the first questions that arises when organisations look at the options available to them with remote working is – ‘is there a web-based version of LACHS?’

Web developments are on our roadmap and are currently under review, we will be actively developing a web-based version of LACHS over the next 12 months to provide a broad spectrum of deployment options to our users, but this is not necessarily the best option or approach to home working and there are other alternatives available.

Web-based applications tend to provide the user with a different system experience. These systems, although may have all the features available to fulfil claims handling requirements, tend to be rather clunky, provide less integration with other applications (Word, Excel, Outlook) and the user interface tends to be page based meaning that information is more dispersed through the application rather than being displayed concisely in one place. Conversely, desktop applications tend to provide a richer experience to the user, perform better, provide better integration, and are faster to develop.

The most common approach to providing access to LACHS from Anywhere is by deploying LACHS in a thin-client environment.

1. Thin’“client solutions

The easiest way of providing home working whilst maintaining the benefits of a desktop application is to deploy the system via a thin client. Thin client computing not only provides direct access to your applications from a remote location but can also reduce the total cost of ownership to the organisation.

Many of our clients utilise this technology, usually via CITRIX, not only for home working but also for their own internal IT infrastructure. We have found that most organisations have a thin client solution available to their users even if it is not being utilised in the insurance department. So when you are next asked ‘is there a web-based version of LACHS?’ your first response should be ‘is there a thin client solution available that we can use?’

What if your organisation doesn’t have a thin-client option?

There are some options available if your IT doesn’t have thin client technology available.

Introducing JCAD’s Cloud Computing Infrastructure

Earlier this year we invested in our new hosting cloud-based infrastructure, jCLOUD. This has enabled us to provide a scalable, secure environment with increased resilience. Provided by our hosting partner’s UKFast Ltd who we have been working with for over 5 years, this new platform provides a guaranteed 100% network uptime and allows us to distribute the computing resources more effectively. UKFast Ltd was the first hosting provider in the world to achieve carbon neutral status under BSI PAS 2060 and is an accredited G-Cloud supplier highlighting that their cloud services exceed the public sector requirements to provide reliable infrastructure as a service.

We are currently in the process of moving our risk management hosted solutions onto jCLOUD which will support over 50 implementations and over 2000 users. We are also configuring a new remote desktop services environment that will enable us to deploy JCAD LACHS in a hosted environment to our users. This will not only provide the benefit of giving access to LACHS from anywhere at any time, but also remove the dependency of your own internal IT department for the support of the JCAD LACHS servers. More information on this is provided below.

2. JCAD Hosted Services

With the release of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has made their own thin-client solution more accessible by means of easier setup, configuration and management. This may have also influenced your own IT department’s thin-client strategy as it provides a more cost-effective solution over dedicated thin-client technologies like CITRIX.

JCAD has recently invested in a new hosting infrastructure, jCLOUD, held within our hosting partner’s secure data centre. This provides a dedicated, scalable, secure environment to host our risk management and claims handling solutions. Currently, for our risk management solution, JCAD CORE, we host over 60 organisations in this environment supporting over 2000 users.

Part of this investment strategy is to be able to provide a hosting environment for JCAD LACHS utilising the improved Remote Desktop Services within Windows Server 2012. JCAD LACHS would be accessible via any browser or remote desktop client and launched via RemoteApp deployment. This would run a copy of JCAD LACHS on any device (PC, iPad, tablet, smartphone) as if it were installed locally with all the same features and functionality that you currently receive.

This provides a number of advantages, firstly, as the application and data would all be hosted by JCAD there would no longer be a requirement for your own IT to support the application, saving you any associated costs that that incurs. Secondly, as JCAD would be hosting the application the level of system support that we would be able to provide would increase dramatically. As we would have direct access to your database and applications we would be able to address queries or system problems directly. Thirdly, any new version releases would be deployed to all hosted clients as and when they became available. We would schedule the system upgrades to take place at a time convenient to you with no further charges being incurred above the annual hosting fees. And finally, we provide dynamic technical reviews to assess system performance, anti-virus checks to ensure your system remains infection-free, back-up checks to ensure that you will never lose important data and ongoing monitoring of system security, including installation of all required Windows and Microsoft updates.

3. On-site Managed Server Solutions

There has been a lot of activity over recent months in migrating JCAD LACHS to new servers with your own organisations. This has more than often involved us liaising with your own IT to move over to a Windows Server 2012 environment. With many IT departments embracing virtualisation technologies this has also often meant that JCAD LACHS is placed on its own dedicated virtual server which your IT provide us with remote access for management and support.

With our experience of management of Windows 2012 Server and Remote Desktop Services within our jCLOUD infrastructure, we are now able to provide a managed solution whereby we install, configure and support JCAD LACHS deployed via RemoteApp on your own servers. This will provide you with a cost-effective, simple, stand-alone thin-client solution which your own IT will not need to support or manage. The only requirements by your IT would be to provide the appropriate licensing for remote access and Microsoft Office, as well as, support during the initial setup of the environment on the server such as network security groups and security policy settings.

This approach takes the responsibility of the JCAD LACHS server and thin-client environment away from your internal IT. You can use this method of deployment in conjunction with (or as a replacement to) the current desktop installation of JCAD LACHS which will give you access to the system from your dedicated PC as well as secure external access for home working via your organisation’s VPN solution.

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