2 page Case Study
Posted: 10/31/2012
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NTTX IT Firm Reduces Break-Fix Call by 90 Percent, Preserves User Settings with Virtualization

NTTX, a managed services provider, was constantly fielding calls from frustrated customers due to roaming issues. By deploying Microsoft User Experience Virtualization, NTTX enabled reliable roaming from any device. It boosted customer satisfaction and reduced break-fix calls by 90 percent, saving US$112,500 annually in help-desk costs. Users log on and off the network in seconds instead of minutes, and corporate data is better protected.

Business Needs
Small and midsize European businesses rely on NTTX for their IT infrastructure. The managed services provider, based in the United Kingdom, does everything possible to ensure that its customers are happy. However, issues with user roaming often got in the way. “All our customers move between multiple machines, whether physical, virtual, or a combination of both. If we can’t provide reliable access to their applications and a consistent user experience, our business suffers,” says Philip Moss, Managing Partner at NTTX.

The company used roaming user profiles to enable personal settings and data files to remain consistent across multiple devices. But, because the entire profile had to be downloaded every time a user would log on to a device, this led to challenges. For instance, it generally took 8 to 10 minutes for a user to log on to the network. In extreme cases, when users placed large data files in their profiles, it could take hours to log on and off. As a result, workers often left the office without logging off. This could expose their companies to security risks because updates to critical programs could not run when users were logged on to the network.

One customer, an oil company with 350 employees in 16 countries—many of which have poor Internet access —often lost connections while profiles were downloading. Most employees, therefore, chose not to use roaming profiles. Their settings resided on one local machine and had to be manually recreated whenever they used another device.

Ninety percent of the NTTX break-fix calls were caused by profiles that were too big to download or settings that weren’t preserved between physical and virtual machines or between virtual and locally installed applications. Support staff members spent about 280 hours every month fielding these calls at a cost of about £70,000 (US$112,500) annually.

“Our customers were extremely frustrated. We desperately needed a way to fix roaming-related problems,” says Moss.

Solution
In October 2011, while discussing its roaming challenges with Microsoft representatives, NTTX learned about the Technology Adoption Program for Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. UE-V is an enterprise-scale user state virtualization solution that delivers a user’s personal Windows experience across many devices. User settings are stored in a central file share that the UE-V agent accesses from client devices, enabling settings to roam among physical and virtual devices and applications.

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* By using UE-V to deliver reliable, fast roaming and a consistent experience from any device, we turned frustrated, dissatisfied customers into happy, loyal supporters. *

Philip Moss
Managing Partner, NTTX

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NTTX installed UE-V in its lab in November 2011. “UE-V took just two hours to set up and it worked right away, exactly as expected,” says Moss. NTTX took advantage of the UE-V Generator feature, a wizard-based tool for creating user setting templates, to rapidly build templates for Adobe Acrobat, Mozilla Firefox, and line-of-business applications. “The UE-V Generator is brilliant. It enables us to support any application. And the ability to use Windows PowerShell to speed template creation is a huge plus. It literally takes just seconds to create a template,” says Moss.

In January 2012, NTTX began deploying UE-V in its production environment. Because UE-V gathers settings from the same locations as roaming user profiles, NTTX was able to move users to UE-V without interruption. In fact, it was totally transparent to customers. As of September 2012, UE-V was running on 1,100 devices and NTTX had created about 90 templates.

NTTX also used UE-V with the Windows 8 operating system. “As a service provider, we’re responsible for data security. Our clients place a lot of trust in us to ensure that their data remains protected. Being able to guarantee that all of our hard disks are encrypted through BitLocker in Windows 8 is a huge benefit to our business.”

Benefits
By using Microsoft User Experience Virtualization, NTTX enabled reliable user roaming from anywhere, which has improved customer satisfaction. Help-desk calls and costs dropped sharply and customer data is better protected.

Boosted Customer Satisfaction with Reliable Roaming, Instant Logon
NTTX customers can use any device from any location without worrying that personal settings won’t be available. The user experience stays the same, even when switching between physical and virtual machines or locally installed and virtual applications.

Because UE-V abstracts user settings from the documents that they create, NTTX can allow personal settings—and not personal data files—to roam. Because personal settings are small and download quickly, it takes just seconds to log on and log off the network, instead of 8 to 10 minutes. Customers, such as the oil company, can now roam even with poor Internet connections.

“By using UE-V to deliver reliable, fast roaming and a consistent experience from any device, we turned frustrated, dissatisfied customers into happy, loyal supporters. This has been hugely important to our business,” says Moss.

Reduced Break-Fix Calls by 90 Percent, Help-Desk Costs by $112,500 Annually
Since it began using UE-V, NTTX has not had any roaming-related break-fix calls. Its total break-fix call volume decreased by 90 percent, allowing NTTX to free 280 staff hours per month. “Thanks to UE-V, we reduced our help-desk team from five to three people, saving about $112,500 annually in help-desk costs, and moved the two staff members to a more strategic initiative: client onboarding,” says Moss.

Improved Protection of Customer Data
Users who previously needed hours to log off from the network due to large profiles can do so in seconds. Now, they don’t keep their sessions logged on when they leave the office. “By making it fast and simple to log off, UE-V helped us ensure that critical applications are updated, thereby protecting customer data,” says Moss.

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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 70 employees

Organization Profile

NTTX provides managed services, ranging from hosted virtual servers, desktops, and applications to email and collaboration offerings. Based in Congleton, England, it has about 70 employees.


Software and Services
  • Windows 8
  • Microsoft User Experience Virtualization
  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
United Kingdom

Languages
English

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