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Emory University Case Study

Outgrowing Citrix: Emory University’s Strategic Adoption of Apporto for Virtual Desktops

Emory University, specifically the Rollins School of Public Health, led by James Leonard, the CIO and Senior Director of IT, embarked on a transformative IT project to enhance their digital infrastructure. The university aimed to shift from traditional on-premise virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions, specifically Citrix, to Apporto. This transition was part of a broader virtualization initiative driven by the need for more efficient space utilization and the desire to modernize the campus’s digital learning environment.


The university faced several challenges with its existing Citrix-based VDI setup. Firstly, the physical server room, located in a high-traffic area, was in constant demand, prompting the need for space reallocation. Managing Citrix required dedicated staff, which diverted resources from other potential value-adding activities. Additionally, hardware refresh cycles, support costs, off-hours support, and the necessity for local client installation presented ongoing operational and financial burdens. The setup also lacked the flexibility needed to accommodate the evolving needs of students, staff, and faculty.

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