Summary:Polaris Software Labs\u2019 frequent, multi-city training sessions seemed a perfect fit for VDI, but what about its high costs, and the fact that it\u2019s best used on a large base?\u00a0Highlights:The project saves Polaris about Rs 1 lakh a month just in travel logisticsReader ROI:How VDI helps reduce travel and training costsThe Organization: The Chennai-headquartered Polaris Software Lab has 12 locations across India including Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. To ensure the competitiveness of its employees, the company is in constant training mode: It has about 40 training sessions a month, on an average. With the new system we can set up a training session within three hours, on an average, of a request being issued. The Business Case: Class-room training used to require moving from location to location and setting up training sessions with different specifications. And that was becoming a logistical challenge and consumed a significant chunk of former CIO V. Balakrishnan\u2019s 60-man team. That\u2019s because someone from the Chennai team needed to travel to wherever a session was taking place, set up a training room, assemble additional PCs if they were needed, install the right apps, while co-ordinating with\u00a0 others at the Chennai headquarters. And after that reverse everything again. \u201cThis entirely monotonous exercise could take upto seven days per session and cost the organization too much time and money,\u201d says Balakrishnan. \u201cAt any given point, many of my team members would be traveling, burdening the rest with extra work.\u201d Not to\u00a0 mention, he adds, the hassle of matching training requests and team members busy schedules. And it also forced the training department to notify the IT department almost a week in advance, affecting its reactivity.The Project: Unhappy with the situation, Balakrishnan decided to implement a virtual desktop solution. \u201cThe other alternative was to set up a complete infrastructure stack at every location. That was not feasible because it would have cost upwards of Rs 1.2 crore upfront,\u201d he says.With the new system we can set up a training session within three hours, on an average, of a request being issued. The project, which cost about Rs 25 lakh, busts the myth that VDI commands high upfront costs and is best used on a large base. \u201cI don\u2019t agree. It\u2019s more likely that CIOs targeting large-scale deployments will run into trouble with change management issues and securing management buy-in,\u201d says Balakrishnan. He deployed a virtual server at the Chennai headquarters to run all of the training material from a central location, which trainees and trainers can remotely access over the company's intranet. The project saves Polaris about Rs 1 lakh a month just in travel logistics and does not take into account the significant productivity losses of the IT team.The Benefits: \u201cWith the new system we can set up a training session within three hours, on an average, of a request being issued. Specific software is run from the central server and can be accessed over the Intranet via a browser,\u201d says Balakrishnan. This has eliminated the time and cost consumed by traveling IT team members and has made the training processes less of a hassle and more agile. For those being trained, it means they can access material from their own devices instead of having to collect in a training room. It also helps Balakrishnan save costs on the licenses of some expensive design and testing software. It\u2019s software that\u2019s only used sporadically and only by a select set of employees, he says. And it was smarter to install fewer editions of the software on the virtual server, which was available on request, than on a larger number of desktops.