Bob Liebhauser opened a Denver, Colorado–based location of ActionCOACH, a worldwide business-coaching franchise. To accommodate more clients and support more coaches, Liebhauser needed to implement technology that would enable collaboration, mobility, and backup support. Liebhauser used Microsoft® Financing to purchase licenses for IT services, software, and hardware that will help him expand his business—without relying on valuable lines of credit.
ActionCOACH provides business consulting and coaching to help business owners increase revenues and reach business goals faster, while working less. ActionCOACH is based on a franchise model, with 1,000 offices in 26 countries worldwide. The Denver, Colorado–based office is operated by Bob Liebhauser, President, who started the business in 2005 out of his home office.
Liebhauser realized that his branch of ActionCOACH was constrained by a limited technology infrastructure. With two computers and no server, it was difficult to share resources. “To print marketing materials on our color printer, we had to connect it to the computer that contained the files we needed to print,” says Sherri Liebhauser, Office Manager at ActionCOACH. “Inconveniences like this hindered productivity. We also didn’t have a solid backup system. Worrying about losing franchise files was something that kept me up at night.” Bob Liebhauser wanted to support more clients, which meant adding coaches. “We knew that having a server and being able to share resources would bring us closer to that goal,” he says.
In 2007, the Liebhausers met with the Denver-based franchisee of CMIT Solutions, a nationwide provider of IT consulting services for small and midsize businesses. CMIT Solutions of Denver is a Microsoft® Small Business Specialist and Microsoft Certified partner with headquarters in Austin, Texas. “We talked about the technology that ActionCOACH would need to get to the next level of business growth,” says Phil Bush, Owner and President of CMIT Solutions, Denver.
ActionCOACH also planned to move to a dedicated office space to accommodate an increased staff, which added to the business’s expenses. Debi Bush, Owner and Chief Marketing Officer of CMIT Solutions, says, “Even before the economic downturn, businesses like ActionCOACH were watching their cash flow.”
||With Microsoft Financing as an option, we knew we could take the right approach to our technology needs. There is no sense in limping along with older technology; the frustrations are immense and a barrier to business growth.
After careful analysis, CMIT Solutions created a technology plan for ActionCOACH, advising the purchase of new computers running the latest operating system, current productivity software, a server computer, small business server software, and an automated backup system. The proposal included the option of Microsoft Financing, which provides affordable, predictable, and strategic financing programs to organizations of all sizes. With customized payment plans, customers can expand their IT spending while freeing up cash flow to get the technology they need—including software, consulting services, and partner products and hardware—as one complete solution.
Liebhauser knew that investing in technology was key to growing his business, but he also wanted to conserve the business’s cash flow and preserve lines of credit that were reserved for emergencies. “With Microsoft Financing as an option, we knew we could take the right approach to our technology needs. There is no sense in limping along with older technology; the frustrations are immense and a barrier to business growth,” he says.
Using Microsoft Financing, ActionCOACH Denver financed the following:
- Two new desktop computers running the Windows Vista® operating system
- A tablet PC running the Windows Vista operating system
- A Dell PowerEdge 2900III server running Windows® Small Business Server
- A firewall
- A battery backup power supply
- External hard drives for data backup
Microsoft Financing also financed consulting services from CMIT Solutions to help ActionCOACH implement the new technology.
Using Microsoft Financing, ActionCOACH Denver moved its business from a simple, home office with limited technology to a collaboration-ready environment with an infrastructure that can support future growth. The company was able to make this move without relying on lines of credit, interrupting cash flow, or engaging in lengthy application processes.
Supports Simpler Processes
Working with its technology solution partner, ActionCOACH easily completed the Microsoft Financing application, which is designed to be simple and straightforward. “The application was short and to the point,” says Sherri Liebhauser. “I faxed it straight over to CMIT’s office and the equipment showed up two weeks later.”
Aligns Budget and IT Needs
When companies finance complete solutions, rather than purchase technology in a piecemeal fashion, they realize cost savings over time. Phil Bush says, “Our clients end up spending less when they pay for a complete solution, because the service costs are lower when they do everything at once.” For instance, if a company deploys new computers but waits to purchase a newer server, then the customer has to pay the consulting firm to connect the new computers to the older server, and then pay the firm to return when the new server is purchased.
Microsoft Financing also offers flexible payment plans that can be customized to fit with customers’ budgets. “Microsoft Financing is a way to have a fixed monthly payment. We call it an investment in technology,” says Debi Bush.
Promotes Strategic Business Growth
Microsoft Financing helps companies take advantage of technology that can help businesses operate more efficiently to accommodate higher growth rates, sooner rather than later. “Microsoft Financing has helped our clients invest in business systems that empower them to take the business to the next level,” says Phil Bush. ActionCOACH now uses more current operating systems and productivity software, which makes sharing information within the company, and with clients, much easier than before. “Because of Microsoft Financing, we are as up to date as we can be with our technology. To look like professionals and maintain credibility with our clients, that is the only place to be,” says Bob Liebhauser.