4-page Partner Case Study - Posted 3/17/2011
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IT Firm Predicts 30 Percent Efficiency Gain with Cloud-Based PC Management Solution
Fully Managed is a service provider in Canada that manages more than 5,000 PCs for 150 customers. Its customer base is comprised of mobile workers who are interested in cloud computing. The company wanted to adopt more efficient and secure ways to manage PC infrastructures and reduce its need for third-party management tools. In June 2010, Fully Managed added Windows Intune to its offerings. The solution helps simplify PC management by combining cloud services with upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise. From the Windows Intune administration console, IT professionals can perform tasks ranging from monitoring security to inventorying hardware and software assets. Fully Managed uses the solution to increase its service capacity by 30 percent without adding overhead. Its customers benefit from easy asset and inventory tracking, standardized PC infrastructures, and enhanced security.
Founded in 1995, Fully Managed has grown into one of Canada’s major managed service providers. It has 37 employees and supports 150 customers with between 10 and 150 information workers. All together, the company manages more than 5,000 PCs. “We support the entire IT infrastructure for our customers,” says Chris Day, CEO of Fully Managed. “That work represents about 60 percent of our revenue.” The company was a finalist in the category of “Online Services Partner of the Year” at the 2010 Microsoft IMPACT Awards.
Fully Managed adopted the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite from Microsoft Online Services, which offers cloud services that deliver productivity solutions to businesses of all sizes. Business Productivity Online combines the familiar Microsoft Office desktop applications with Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online, and Office Live Meeting. The company has a growing base of customers who use the solution. In 2010, within a three-month time period, the company had 30 different customer requests to deploy Business Productivity Online. “Cloud computing is a good fit for our customers,” says Day. “They can do away with their on-premises infrastructures.”
The company’s customers have IT infrastructures based on Microsoft technology, but Fully Managed has been using some third-party applications to manage these environments. “Our goal is to eliminate dependence on third-party tools so that we can support more PCs with fewer resources,” says Day.
Fully Managed also needed tools that simplify the labor-intensive task of tracking assets so that it can ensure licensing compliance and address budgeting needs. The company estimates that it spent three or four hours each quarter with every customer managing compliance. Says Day, “None of the third-party tools we had been using did a meaningful job of tracking hardware and software inventory and, more specifically, Microsoft licensing.”
Many of the company’s customers have a large percentage of mobile workers and some work outside of the corporate network for long periods of time. Such circumstances put PCs at risk for malicious software (malware) infections, which compromise the productivity and peace of mind of mobile employees. One of the company’s customers is Angel Restoration, an organization that restores property damaged by fire and other disasters. Its project managers drive around assessing damage and providing just-in-time job quotes. Every vehicle has a mobile computer, and the workers have little time to deal with IT issues. Fully Managed wanted to offer a solution that would help improve the productivity and security of a mobile workforce. “We needed a solution that enables our mobile workforce to stay productive and secure with minimal interaction with our IT group,” says David McLeod, CEO of Angel Restoration.
||By using Windows Intune, you can have a comprehensive PC management solution working in very little time with predictable monthly payments.
CEO, Fully Managed
Traditionally, 8 out of 10 support calls that Fully Managed responds to are related to managing PCs. The company wanted to find ways to more efficiently oversee its customers’ PC infrastructures—while offering predictable and affordable pricing. “We’re always looking for the easiest, most streamlined, and most cost-effective ways to provide support to our clients,” says Day.Solution
In June 2010, Fully Managed added Windows Intune to its offerings. By using Windows Intune, Fully Managed can help simplify PC management and tighten security for customers. Windows Intune combines cloud services and the option to upgrade to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system on a monthly per-PC subscription fee. Fully Managed uses the intuitive Windows Intune console to manage PCs—even computers outside of the customer’s corporate network. All that’s needed is a Microsoft Silverlight–enabled browser and an Internet connection. As long as users are connected to the Internet, their PC’s health information is visible. “Windows Intune is intuitive,” says Day. “You don’t need to be an expert in hardware or software configuration. It requires minimal training and we can use it to support more PCs with fewer resources.”
The solution includes endpoint protection built on the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine, so IT professionals can centrally manage the protection of PCs from malware. Besides monitoring threats, Fully Managed can centrally perform updates, track alerts, provide remote assistance, keep an inventory of hardware and software assets, and set security policies—all from a single console and without relying on third-party products.
Fully Managed deployed Windows Intune for Angel Restoration, and implemented Windows 7 Enterprise on 20 percent of its PCs. Now, the organization’s mobile workforce has managed computers, and Fully Managed can apply updates, provide endpoint protection, and provide remote assistance when needed. “By using Windows Intune, we have complete confidence that the PCs at Angel Restoration are being managed,” says Day. “That gives us peace of mind because it’s our responsibility to maintain that infrastructure.”
Fully Managed uses the inventory tracking and reporting capabilities in Windows Intune to assess the status of its customers’ software licensing and hardware life cycle. “If you deploy Windows Intune to 100 PCs, the software and hardware is inventoried in 30 minutes,” says Day. “You just log on to see what software is running and also see specific hardware details such as manufacturer and model. From there, it’s very easy to address budgeting and get standardized from a life cycle point of view.”
The company believes that a large majority of its client base is a good fit for Windows Intune. “Windows Intune is a better PC management solution than anything our customers could put together themselves or that we could put together for them,” says Day. “Companies that are making acquisitions or setting up branch offices can install Windows Intune on all the PCs and they’re up and running with management in virtually no time.”
||With Windows Intune, asset and licensing information is available immediately. Decision makers use this data to make budgeting decisions. This amounts to a huge win for us in terms of generating business.
CEO, Fully Managed
Using Windows Intune is a natural evolution for Fully Managed. The company benefits because the solution provides an efficient way to manage more PCs without increasing overhead. Its customers benefit from always-available asset and inventory tracking, standardized PC infrastructures, and enhanced security for workers in the office and on the road.
“Setting up an on-premises PC management infrastructure can be complex and requires a great deal of time and resources,” says Day. “By using Windows Intune, you can have a comprehensive PC management solution working in very little time with predictable monthly payments.”
Fully Managed estimates that by using Windows Intune, it will gain 30 percent more capacity, which means the company can provide better service and expand its customer base without adding staff. The solution also eliminates dependence on third-party PC management tools. Additionally, the company is fielding fewer support calls from customers that use the automated solution. “Thanks to Windows Intune, we’re getting 50 percent fewer service calls from our mobile workforce,” says Brandon McLeod, Vice President of Operations at Angel Restoration.
Delivers Inventory Tracking
Third-party inventory tracking tools make aggregating a list of assets a time-consuming endeavor, but by using Windows Intune, Fully Managed can quickly and easily track software and hardware assets in a company’s PC infrastructure. “With Windows Intune, asset and licensing information is available immediately,” says Day. “Decision makers use this data to make budgeting decisions. This amounts to a huge win for us in terms of generating business.”
By adopting Windows Intune, customers are given the option to upgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise across their PC infrastructure. “Windows Intune reduces the upfront cost of migration to Windows 7, which is very attractive to our customers,” Day says. “About 30 percent of our customers have already deployed the operating system. We expect to implement Windows 7 for 100 percent of our customers by the end of 2012.”
Tightens SecurityWindows Intune
The endpoint protection included with Windows Intune employs the same technology on the same Microsoft Malware Protection Engine used in the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite. The award-winning malware protection helps better protect against malware threats and enables IT professionals to receive alerts and infection reports to help proactively remediate issues. “By using Windows Intune, we can help keep PCs better protected no matter where they are located,” says Day. “With a minimal investment, our customers gain the confidence that their PCs are highly secure.”
Windows Intune simplifies how businesses manage and secure PCs using Microsoft cloud services and Windows 7, so your computers and users can operate at peak performance from almost anywhere. You can provide a better experience for your workforce that's easier to manage by standardizing your PCs on Windows 7 Enterprise or on an earlier version of Windows—it’s your choice. Windows Intune fits your business by providing a comprehensive desktop solution that gives you big tech results with a small tech investment.
For more information about Windows Intune, go to:For More Information
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For more information about Fully Managed products and services, call (888) 897-4382 or visit the website at: