2-page Partner Case Study - Posted 5/4/2011
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Software Reseller Uncovers Revenue Opportunity with Cloud-Based PC Management Solution
PC Corp is a value-added reseller and member of the Microsoft Partner Network that provides IT solutions to businesses with up to 100 users. Looking to expand its managed services capabilities at a reasonable cost, PC Corp decided to use Windows Intune, a cloud-based PC management and security solution from Microsoft. With this centralized solution for proactively managing customers’ PCs, the company is able to pursue new revenue opportunities.
PC Corp is a value-added reseller and Microsoft Partner Network member that provides IT solutions to companies throughout Alberta, Canada. For more than 20 years, the company has helped small and midsize businesses with their IT infrastructure and planning, hardware and software procurement, and sales consulting.
As a software reseller, PC Corp started evaluating new ways to expand its business, including selling cloud-based computing solutions such as Microsoft Office 365, and managing support services for customers that have limited or no dedicated IT staff. However, providing customers with managed desktop services through traditional support contracts proved ineffective and expensive.
In most cases, technicians from PC Corp had to travel to customer locations to resolve desktop issues. To handle some support issues, they used a third-party solution to remotely log on to customers’ desktops and diagnose issues, but the tool was good for little beyond the most basic of issues. In both cases, PC Corp wanted to improve the efficiency with which it handled support issues and provide more value to customers through proactive monitoring and resolution before issues escalated into larger, complex problems. “We want to provide the kind of service where customers don’t have to call us in a panic that their desktop environment has crashed and they can’t work,” says Darren Stokes, Director of Sales and Services at PC Corp. “We’d rather solve issues proactively, before they negatively impact productivity.”
In order to grow its managed services business, PC Corp needed to improve its capabilities, but it didn’t want to acquire an array of costly tools to handle various customers’ needs. “Each of our customers has different priorities when it comes to their PC environment,” says Stokes. “For some, managing updates and antimalware is a first line of defense; for others, licensing compliance is a primary concern. Other customers want comprehensive support. But for us to cover all the bases and be a managed services provider, we would need multiple solutions, and that becomes cost-prohibitive.”
PC Corp therefore turned to cloud computing for a solution that would offer the robust capabilities it needed to handle different customer priorities, but without the exorbitant cost of multiple solutions. Solution
PC Corp selected Windows Intune, a cloud-based PC management and endpoint security solution from Microsoft that also offers customers a Windows 7 Enterprise operating system upgrade subscription.
||Windows Intune has it all. It brings affordable, enterprise-class IT services to small and midsize businesses.
Director of Sales and Services, PC Corp
With the remote assistance capabilities of Windows Intune, which is hosted in Microsoft data centers, PC Corp can monitor and manage its customers’ desktop environments from a single console, regardless of the customer’s or technician’s location, or whether the customer is connected to a corporate network. The customer simply must be using a standard Internet connection and a Microsoft Silverlight–enabled browser.
Through the console, technicians can access a summary of alerts and status updates for customers’ managed computers, and then schedule and deploy updates as needed. Technicians also can track software inventory and licenses to help customers ensure they are compliant with licensing requirements. In addition, PC Corp can use Windows Intune to add and configure malicious software (malware) protection and firewall policies, all of which are built on the same Microsoft Malware Protection Engine used by the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite and Microsoft Security Essentials.
By choosing Windows Intune, the company was able to eliminate its previous remote access tool and avoid purchasing additional single-point solutions. “Windows Intune has it all,” says Stokes. “It brings affordable, enterprise-class IT services to small and midsize businesses.”
PC Corp uses Windows Intune to monitor and manage desktops for customers. Also, those customers that do not need a full-service management contract, or that have sufficient IT personnel resources internally, can license Windows Intune from PC Corp for their own use. Benefits
With Windows Intune, PC Corp can address customer issues through a centralized solution without making on-site visits. The company now has a viable model for offering managed services and for increasing revenue opportunities.
Efficient, Proactive IT Management
By using Windows Intune, PC Corp can efficiently and proactively manage its customers’ PC environments. From the administration console, technicians get a snapshot view of a customer’s desktops and can address issues before they become bigger problems—without having to make on-site visits. “Windows Intune eliminates the physical barrier between us and the customer,” says Stokes. “We have transformed from a reactive company to a proactive one, often resolving issues before a customer even has to call us.”
Simplified IT Maintenance
PC Corp also simplified its IT maintenance tasks and can address customers’ various desktop priorities through a single user interface. “Whereas previously, we would have needed multiple solutions to access PCs remotely, manage updates, configure security policies, track assets, and ensure software license compliance, now we can easily do it all through Windows Intune,” explains Stokes.
Increased Revenue Opportunities
PC Corp has embraced Windows Intune and cloud computing as a way to not only increase its product offerings as a software reseller, but also to expand its business and become a managed services provider. “The amount of capital required to build a managed service offering with anything but Windows Intune would have made this impossible,” explains Stokes. “We would have had to charge much higher rates to absorb those costs, and small and midsize businesses wouldn’t have been able to afford it. With Windows Intune, we can offer a valuable service at a reasonable cost and increase our revenue opportunities.”
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