Desktop Virtualization for San Fransisco Theological Seminary

San Francisco Theological Seminary Leaps into Desktop Virtualization (VDI) with Microsoft Hyper–V and Ericom PowerTerm® WebConnect




San Francisco Theological Seminary


   PowerTerm® WebConnect

PowerTerm WebConnect Server

   Windows Server 2008


   Microsoft Hyper-V

Virtual Desktop O/S

   Windows XP, Windows Vista Ultimate

User Device O/S

   Windows XP

Virtual Desktop Applications

   Microsoft Office, Raisers Edge Fundraising Management Software


  • Enable centralized management and deployment of virtual desktops running on virtual servers
  • Reduce the cost of IT ownership
  • Optimize the It infrastructure

  • Result

       San Francisco Theological Seminary has succeeded in providing faculty and staff with local and remote access to Hyper-V based virtual desktops running Microsoft Office and industry-specific applications


    • Provided faculty and staff with the flexibility of accessing their desktops from home - anywhere, anytime.
    • Improved IT department productivity through one point of administration and centralized management of virtual desktops, reducing desktop configuration time and enhancing overall efficiencies.
    • Enabled the Seminary to maximizes savings such as by easily re-purposing older desktops and reducing the overall total cost of ownership (TCO).
    "With all of PowerTerm WebConnect's rich functionality, it's apparent that someone already thought through this whole process - Ericom has all the pieces."
    Dan Hurlbutt, Lead IT Consultant for the Seminary's desktop virtualization initiative


    Established in 1871, the San Francisco Theological Seminary is an institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a member of the Graduate Theological Union, with campuses in northern and southern California. The Seminary encompasses a community of women and men from diverse cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds who are responsible for responding to the wide range of challenges facing theological education in different contexts, both in the western United States and around the Pacific Rim.

    With today's economic climate and the cost savings introduced by virtualization technologies, the San Francisco Theological Seminary sought to see how virtualization technologies would help reduce their total cost of ownership (TCO), while optimizing their IT infrastructure.

    Adopting a New Approach

    For many years, the Seminary maintained a traditional desktop environment with fat client PCs. Administrators would configure and customize individual physical PCs, which was a tedious, time-consuming and expensive process. To work more efficiently, save time and reduce costs, the Seminary decided to evaluate virtualization technologies and began hosting Hyper-V virtualized desktops on centralized VDI servers. As a Microsoft shop, the Seminary sought a connection broker that would help them centrally manage and deploy their Hyper-V based virtual desktops to faculty and staff across the campus.

    Going Virtual with Ease

    After researching and evaluating various connection brokers,

    Larry Pickard, Director of IT & Communications for the Seminary and Dan Hurlbutt, Lead IT Consultant for the organization's desktop virtualization initiative, selected Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect. Hurlbutt commented, "We wanted something that we could readily use and understand - from the start, Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect presented itself in that way and compared to other solutions - that's what caught my attention."

    User-Friendly Remote Access

    The Seminary originally planned to deploy thin clients, but found that with PowerTerm WebConnect, they could easily repurpose their fat client PCs and achieve significant cost-savings for the Seminary. Hurlbutt and his team also centrally configured the desktops to provide users with a single icon they could click to launch their virtual desktop. "User-friendliness for both administrators and end-users is paramount," says Hurlbutt. "With minimal training, our users quickly figured out how to access their virtual desktops with PowerTerm WebConnect. Hurlbutt also noted exuberantly, "It was a definite improvement for users with older PCs. The VMs were faster and booted quicker. As an added plus, the Seminary's staff and faculty were overjoyed in having the flexibility of being able to access their desktops from home and while traveling."

    Better Manageability

    In the first phase of implementing PowerTerm WebConnect, Hurlbutt and his team quickly discovered that PowerTerm WebConnect stood out with its ease of implementation, simple setup and configuration with templates. Considerably cutting down the time to configure virtual desktops, Hurlbutt says that "Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect has streamlined the whole desktop virtualization process, making a potentially unmanageable situation - manageable. "When you can manage 20 Virtual Desktops on centralized servers, that is 20 fewer offices you need to visit."

    Looking Forward

    Hurlbutt predicts that they will continue virtualizing desktops across the Seminary's campus.

    In summary, he stated, "With all of PowerTerm WebConnect's rich functionality, it's apparent that someone already thought through this whole process - Ericom has all the pieces."

      View PDF  (242 kb)

    More product information

    More Stories

    Manufacturing Concepts Uses PowerTerm InterConnect for a Customer's Linux-based Emulation Solution

    PowerTerm WebConnect on Linux Helps Woodgate Fulfill Customer Commitment and Improves IT Flexibility and Investment Return