Cost savings and better efficiency as KPU moves to zero client environment

Mon, Jul 15, 2013

For immediate release

Cost savings and better efficiency as KPU moves to zero client environment

Metro Vancouver, BC – Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is in the process of installing 1,600 Dell Wyse zero clients to replace its outdated PCs and thin client devices. The new infrastructure, designed with the help of Dell, will create a cost-effective and user-friendly IT environment for 18,000 students, and 1,600 faculty and staff, by connecting to the university's Citrix® XenApp® virtual desktop environment.

KPU expects to realize approximately $647,000 a year in cost savings thanks to the reduced hardware costs, longer refresh cycles, reduced ongoing management and maintenance costs and lower power consumption. At the same time, students, faculty and staff gain the benefits of significantly faster boot-up and log-in times from any of the four campuses and have the ability to run new multimedia-rich applications. The Dell Wyse zero client solution also offers high reliability and accessibility with a low environmental footprint for quieter and cooler libraries and computer labs.

“The decision to move to Dell Wyse zero clients and Citrix® XenApp® on Dell servers was very easy. We knew we wanted a zero client solution and quite simply, Dell Wyse was the only vendor that could meet this requirement," says Sukey Samra, Associate Director for Information and Education Technology. "Students, staff and faculty alike are realizing the positive benefits of the zero client deployment. The machines run silently so students can concentrate better. They reduce heat so libraries and labs are cooler, quieter and more conducive to study. Log-in is much faster. Students and staff can log on to a Dell Wyse zero client in a matter of seconds, which helps them maximize available study time and achieve better academic results. Across the board we’ve had excellent user feedback on the new Dell Wyse deployment."

The Dell Wyse zero clients are highly robust and able to withstand the rigours of constant student usage. KPU expects the zero clients to have a lifespan of approximately 10 years, extending a traditional PC refresh cycle by at least a factor of two. Hardware savings are estimated at $300,000 per year.

The virtualized environment will reduce the need for dedicated desktop support staff in the near future, allowing four staff members to be redeployed to focus on more value-added work that provides greater benefit to staff and students. These initiatives include extended service desk hours and weekend help desk coverage. The university estimates it will save on average $324,000 annually on staff support costs through more effective utilization of support staff time.

Reduced power consumption also plays a part in reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and is consistent with the university’s ‘Green’ initiatives. Dell Wyse zero clients use significantly less power and require less cooling than traditional PCs, which results in an estimated $23,000 in power savings per year, as well as reduced carbon emissions.

“The Dell Wyse zero client environment was a perfect choice for KPU. Not only were we able to provide a highly cost-effective IT solution that offered a significantly reduced TCO, but KPU’s staff, students and faculty also gained significant benefits, including the ability to run multimedia-rich applications," says President of Dell Canada Kevin Peesker. "Our track record and experience in implementing zero clients in a Citrix® XenApp® environment was a huge advantage as we could anticipate the challenges and provide tried and tested solutions in response. We’re delighted that KPU now has a technology solution that offers a richer learning environment built on Dell servers and Dell Wyse zero clients.”

Ultimately, KPU will adopt a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, which will give staff, students and faculty the option to access their desktops on their own tablet, laptop or smartphone, and work effectively from any location. The move to Citrix and Dell Wyse helps pave the way for this upcoming BYOD implementation.  

KPU began replacing its thin client devices last year and expects to deploy 1,600 Dell Wyse zero clients by the summer of 2014.

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University case study can be found here.
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Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Learn more at


For more information about KPU, contact:

Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
Tel: 604.599.2883