Fairstone Financial Inc. Provisions Thousands of Desktops in Minutes Using AWS


When Fairstone Financial Inc., a leading Canadian non-bank provider of responsible lending solutions, separated from its parent company several years ago, it faced a problem: how to quickly give branch employees access to critical business applications and other corporate resources. “When we became a standalone company, we had nothing—we were completely starting over from an IT perspective,” says François Côté, chief digital and technology officer for Fairstone. “We had thousands of employees in branch locations across Canada, and we had to get them up and running on critical business applications as soon as we could. We needed a way to accelerate desktop deployment.”

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Amazon WorkSpaces is scalable, secure, and easy to provision and manage. This is the best way for us to support our employees across Canada as we continue to grow."

François Côté
Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Fairstone Financial

Using Amazon WorkSpaces across Canada

Fairstone, which had already begun migrating applications to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, chose to deploy Amazon WorkSpaces for its employees in more than 230 branches and centralized office locations. Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solution that helps IT staff provide cloud desktops in minutes. “We realized that Amazon WorkSpaces was the fastest and easiest way for us to get our employees working once we no longer had access to the IT infrastructure of our former parent company,” Côté says. “We also knew that WorkSpaces would enable our IT staff to be nimbler because the solution is centrally managed.” The entire Fairstone workforce uses Amazon WorkSpaces for their daily tasks.

Provisioning Desktops in Minutes

Relying on Amazon WorkSpaces, Fairstone can create fully managed cloud desktops quickly. “We provisioned thousands of desktops in minutes instead of days using Amazon WorkSpaces,” says Côté. “Right away, our loan specialists could leverage our technology to solve the financial needs of our customers so the transition to a standalone organization was seamless for them.” Those who are working in the corporate offices can also continue working from home or other locations on whatever device they use. “Those employees could start an email or a work product report before leaving the office, and then log in to their Amazon WorkSpaces account and pick up where they left off while commuting or at home. This enabled greater flexibility for our employees.”

The Fairstone IT team can easily enable highly secure desktop access for employees because of the centralized management capabilities of Amazon WorkSpaces. “Amazon WorkSpaces makes it simple to set up and manage security policies,” says Côté. For example, because each WorkSpace is deployed inside an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), each desktop user has access to encrypted storage volumes on AWS. Security is also enhanced because information is not stored on local devices.

Fairstone plans to roll out Amazon WorkSpaces further as the company expands. “Amazon WorkSpaces is scalable, secure, and easy to provision and manage,” says Côté. “This is the best way for us to support our employees across Canada as we continue to grow.”

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/workspaces.

About Fairstone Financial Inc.

Based in Montreal, Quebec, Fairstone is Canada's largest non-bank provider of responsible lending solutions for near-prime borrowers, with more than CAD $3 billion in assets on a consolidated basis. For almost 100 years, it has provided Canadians with access to responsible credit through direct consumer lending, retail point-of-sale financing, and automobile financing businesses.

Benefits of AWS

  • Provisions thousands of desktops in minutes instead of days
  • Simplifies IT through centralized management
  • Enables highly secure application access for employees

AWS Services Used

Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.

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Amazon Virtual Private Cloud

Provision a logically isolated section of the AWS cloud where you can launch AWS resources in a virtual network that you define.

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