Case study: Cantref

Cantref is a housing association in West Wales with 70 employees, a turnover of £5M with over 1400 properties in West Wales. The company is in a rural location with considerable travelling required to service tenants. There is one main office and 5 sub offices.


Cantref were looking to implement a solution to control their sensitive client information and obviously took their responsibilities in this area very seriously. Furthermore, they wanted to achieve this whilst also giving greater flexibility of access to their staff. Cantref has both remote and office based Staff some of these had been provided with laptops in the past but this had meant an increased risk of the data being stolen or lost. The solution currently used was one from a competitor that provided authentication to a share-point website and Outlook Web Access. This solution, however, was not providing the full access to all applications used by a user.

We wanted to test the solution before making a final decision with CPS and Versasec. We were able to do this in conjunction with Gemalto products in what was a very open process. /Joseff Harris, Cantref IT Manager


With the introduction of Citrix XenApp, Cantref had a solution that would easily allow them this full access and lock the system down by requiring smart card authentication. Various smart card offerings were evaluated with the key search criteria being that the solution needed to be easily manageable, be able to integrate with Citrix XenApp and leave no history of activity on the computer connecting to the Cantref Citrix environment.

Why Versasec, CPS and Gemalto were Selected

Following the evaluation stage, CPS was selected to supply Cantref with the Gemalto .Net cards and the SEG encrypted token managed by Versasec’s vSEC:CMS along with the vSEC:USB to connect to the Citrix environment.

When we started to discuss the requirements in detail with CPS they explained the various additional application and management options for the Gemalto devices. As a result we implemented the Versasec vSEC:CMS to manage our cards and tokens. During the investigation and testing we had complete assistance from CPS and Versasec to ensure that the solutions fully met our needs. Of all the suppliers we deal with, large and small, I would rate CPS and Versasec as joint top, for service, product, support and cost. /Joseff Harris, Cantref IT Manager


Joseff Harris, Cantref IT Manager, says: “We wanted to test the solution before making a final decision with CPS and Versasec. We were able to do this in conjunction with Gemalto products in what was a very open process. We were able to communicate directly with technical support at Versasec when required as well as get support from CPS. Additionally, with some recent high profile cases where organisations were fined for not adequately protecting customers’ confidential details from being lost or stolen, the solution provided by Versasec gives us an additional insurance policy against such loss of data. The implementation was on time and our expectations of Versasec and CPS were certainly met.”

Results and Business Benefits

With the new solution, Cantref are now able to give increased access whilst keeping the data physically within the organisation. Furthermore, it has helped them to lower their carbon footprint. Staff have to travel less as they do not need to visit the officeso frequently.

Finally, as staff are used to accessing their applications from a terminal services session when they are out of the office, it has been possible to use thin clients in the office. It is expected that, shortly, the use of PCs and laptops will be almost completely eliminated, thereby lowering costs for equipment and support as well as further reducing the company’s carbon footprint with lower power consumption.


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