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Cresent Bank Reaps Benefits Of Pano Logic's Desktop Virtualization

In the fall of 2008, Michael Goodman took over as the IT director at North Carolina-based Crescent State Bank with the mandate to upgrade the organization's IT infrastructure. One of the first decisions he made was to dump the financial agency's PCs and march to the forefront of the virtual desktop movement, a change that has paid dividends for the financial institution.

Crescent State Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crescent Financial Corporation, opened in December 1998 with the goal of providing big bank services with a small company touch. The corporation, which has more than $1 billion in assets, has grown from 11 employees in one office to more than 175 in 15 locations.

As the bank expanded, its IT staff, which has only a handful of persons, found it more and more difficult to maintain the computers operating at its branches. "We were spending a lot of time upgrading systems and running virus checking products," noted Goodman. "We were not focusing enough of our energy on applications that could help the company expand its business."

Desktop virtualization was starting to emerge, and Goodwin thought it might solve the bank's problems. Here, traditional PCs are replaced with virtual machines that do not house application software, an approach that offers companies some potential advantages. The IT department can manage the devices centrally, so no more trips will be needed to the branch offices. Also, users gain access to applications from anywhere (at their desk, working at home, traveling on the road) and can use any type of device and any network connection.

Crescent State Bank examined solutions from Citrix, Pano Logic and Wyse Technologies. The Citrix and Wyse systems did not fit the financial institution's needs because they were too expensive or did not integrate well with Crescent's applications. The bank went with Pano Logic, a start-up backed by venture capitalists Foundation Group and Mayfield Fund as well as Goldman Sachs. The start-up's products, which run only with VMWare, enable users to connect to virtual desktops via Ethernet links supplied by a Pano Device that plugs into a keyboard and monitor. The users are then connected to virtualized quad-core servers.

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