Vortalities has expertise in moving customers to cloud solutions, including the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, to help them minimize server infrastructure costs. Now, with Windows Intune, Vortalities is expanding its offerings to include the management of its customers’ PCs. Using this cloud-based solution, Vortalities projects that it could potentially save customers a total of €200.000 (U.S.$286,000) annually and expects to increase its own revenues by 20 percent in the first year.Business Needs
In only six years of operation, Vortalities has become one of the leading providers of Microsoft Online Services in Belgium, with 80 customers representing more than 1,800 users. Based in Nieuwerkerken, Belgium, the company recently sought to expand cloud-based services delivered in real time over the Internet to its existing customers and to reach out to new ones by bringing the benefits of the cloud to PC management.
“We focus on mid-market businesses with between 25 and 150 PCs,” explains Peter Viellefont, Owner and Managing Director of Vortalities. “We have helped these businesses see the value of the cloud with the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, and we wanted to make cloud-based desktop management available to them as well.”
In addition, desktop support for customers with remote sites has traditionally been an expensive challenge. “Customers suffer from downtime while IT professionals drive to and from different sites, which is really costly,” notes Viellefont. “These customers have limited IT resources and would dramatically benefit from the savings and faster resolutions that a cloud-based solution would offer.”
Similarly, customer locations that don’t have robust in-house desktop support have a hard time getting an inventory of all their software or ensuring that all their PCs have the latest updates. “Desktop management is increasingly important for these clients, but they don’t want to invest in an expensive on-premises server solution,” says Viellefont. “They need to know exactly what software is running on their PCs, but they don’t have the tools to accomplish this task.”Solution
To address these issues, Vortalities adopted Windows Intune, a subscription-based, all-in-one solution that combines Microsoft cloud services for PC management, software updates, and endpoint protection with an upgrade subscription for the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. The solution also includes remote assistance features to access and control PCs with technical issues.
||When I demonstrate Windows Intune, customers respond positively, seeing how easily they can manage PCs, save money, and be more competitive.
Owner and Managing Director, Vortalities
With a Microsoft Silverlight-enabled browser, Vortalities IT professionals can monitor and manage its customers’ PCs, regardless of location, if the PCs are connected to the Internet and running Windows Intune client software. The included endpoint protection is built on the same Microsoft Malware Protection Engine used by the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite.
“It has been very easy to show customers the value of other cloud solutions, and we will do the same with Windows Intune,” says Viellefont. “When I demonstrate Windows Intune, customers respond positively, seeing how easily they can manage PCs, save money, and be more competitive.”
Vortalities is using marketing and product awareness campaigns and breakfast meetings to show existing and potential customers the advantages of cloud-based desktop management for specific business scenarios.Benefits
By deploying Windows Intune, Vortalities expects to gain the following benefits:
Expand Delivery of Cloud Services
Vortalities foresees expanded business opportunities as a result of adding Windows Intune to its offerings. In 2010, the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite became so popular that cloud-based services rose to 40 percent of the company’s total business. The company projects that Windows Intune could have a similar impact, increasing revenues by 20 percent in the first year alone.
Viellefont notes that Windows Intune changes how his company’s small and mid-size customers can approach PC management. No longer must they deploy and maintain a server-based PC management infrastructure that frequently requires dedicated staff on-site.Resolve PC Problems in Record Time
If all of his clients were using Windows Intune, Viellefont estimates that they would save about €200.000 (approximately U.S.$286,000) annually just from the remote assistance and administration capabilities that can slash the need for on-site visits. Additionally, the productivity benefits would also be significant since now Vortalities can more easily manage users outside their corporate firewall and reduce downtime.
“Previously, if someone had a computer problem, a technician jumped into the car and drove to the user’s location,” says Viellefont. “Now, with Windows Intune, a user can request assistance and one of my IT professionals can take over the screen and act immediately. The customers get faster response at a much lower cost.” He adds, “Remote assistance in Windows Intune is so easy to use. We have tried other competing products, but there’s just no comparison. Windows Intune is the best.”Provide Desktop Management Where It Didn’t Exist Before
Vortalities has seen many mid-market corporate customers decide that on-site desktop management was beyond their budgets. “Now, these same clients are interested in avoiding upfront capital expenditures by taking advantage of Windows Intune,” Viellefont explains. “Companies are also looking to increase uptime and reduce support costs. To do that, we know that they need to stay on top of what is happening on the desktop, making sure that everyone has the right software and security updates.”
Additionally, customers no longer need to purchase a separate malware (malicious software) protection product. Windows Intune provides real-time endpoint protection against the latest threats—all with centralized management and reporting, and without an on-site infrastructure. Updates are delivered directly to any managed PC that has an Internet connection. Vortalities supports remote users who rarely—if ever—connect to their corporate network, and it keeps these computers updated with the latest updates and better protected from malware.
“Many of our customers didn’t even know that cloud-based PC management was possible,” says Viellefont. “We are excited to include Windows Intune in our services portfolio.”
For more information about Windows Intune, go to: