4-page Case Study
Posted: 4/30/2010
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District Computers District Computers Completes Projects 20 Percent Faster with Microsoft Office 2010

District Computers (DC) focuses on helping its clients boost efficiency, productivity, and their competitive edge with managed IT solutions. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Small Business Specialist, DC is always seeking innovative and affordable ways to better help its clients. The company wanted to find a cost-effective productivity solution that would help employees work together more efficiently. DC deployed Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Office Web Apps, Office Mobile 2010, and SharePoint Server 2010 to take advantage of new capabilities in the 2010 release to create and share professional-looking client proposals and documents faster, and to improve overall operations. DC found an overall boost to productivity that it could use to deliver more value to clients.

Situation
Based in Washington, D.C., Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Small Business Specialist District Computers (DC) provides small to medium-sized businesses with managed IT solutions that range from network management to hosted remote offices.

DC employees found that creating proposals and reports that required input from multiple people meant having to pass files back and forth, which delayed project completion times. To share large presentations using the Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation graphics program, workers often had to physically deliver them at the client site or use third-party applications, which were difficult and tedious to set up and use.

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* What’s most important to us is being able to deliver value to our clients. Being able to give them Office 2010—a solution they love because it helps them do more. That’s success in my book. *

Steve Hall
Founder and CEO, District Computers

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Because project information was stored in disparate folders, employees found it difficult to quickly and accurately form a comprehensive view of each client’s needs. They also noted that client-facing documents created internally lacked the visual impact they wanted them to have. In addition, managers found that rows and rows of data in analysis reports were difficult to analyze and impeded their ability to make important business decisions as quickly as they would like.

On top of all of that, employees found that they could not access important e-mail messages and files without stopping what they were working on to wait while their computers connected to the virtual private network (VPN).

For Steve Hall, DC’s Founder and CEO, the decision was clear: find a way to improve his employees’ ability to work efficiently and effectively.

Solution
With that in mind, District Computers joined the Microsoft Rapid Deployment program for Microsoft Office 2010 and deployed Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Office Web Apps, Office Mobile 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.

After trying the new software, Hall immediately noticed an improvement to overall productivity. “I talk fast, I walk fast, I do everything fast, so I don’t want technology to hold me back,” he notes. “With Office 2010, I’ve found a solution that can keep up!”

Benefits
Hall was immediately impressed by the improved performance, new collaboration tools, and mobile capabilities in Microsoft Office 2010. More important, Hall believes this solution will help DC clients boost productivity and efficiency, too.

“What’s most important to us is being able to deliver value to our clients,” Hall says. “Being able to give them Office 2010—a solution they love because it helps them do more. That’s success in my book.”

Better Ways to Work Together
With co-authoring* in Microsoft Word 2010, multiple users can work on documents simultaneously—saving time and frustration. “Co-authoring aligns with the way we’ve always wanted to work by enabling every key user to integrate information into a document at the same time,” says Hall. “We’re completing proposals 20 percent faster.”

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* The resource consumption is light-years better on Office 2010 64-bit than on any other system I’ve used. It’s giving us a stronger IT foundation that supports our vision of continually exceeding client expectations. *

Steve Hall
Founder and CEO, District Computers

*
Sharing large presentations is now easier than ever with Broadcast Slide Show in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. Users can simply upload presentations to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and then create a custom URL that presentation attendees can click on to view the presentation in their Web browser—whether or not they have PowerPoint installed.

As Hall points out, “Clients used to ask what application they needed to view presentations—and how long it would take to set up. With Broadcast Slide Show in PowerPoint, I can say, ‘I’ll send you the link, and you watch. Simple as that.’”

More Impact with Powerful Visuals
With the Microsoft OneNote 2010 note-taking program, users can consolidate every last bit of information about a project into one easy-to-access location. “I love OneNote,” Hall remarks. “We don’t need to hunt and peck for information anymore or print multiple files because everything is stored in one place—from e-mail to Web pages and project files.”

New photo and video editing tools in Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 help users create professional-looking documents quickly and easily. According to Hall, “First impressions matter. With photo and video editing tools, anyone can easily create a creative, professional product really quickly. And the better it looks, the better we look.”

DC found that analyzing data was easier than ever with Sparklines in Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet software. Now, users can highlight a row or column of data and insert a tiny graph or chart within a single cell to get a quick visual summary of the data. And with the Microsoft PowerPivot add-in for Excel 2010, users can manipulate massive data sets in seconds.

“A picture tells 1,000 words as they say,” Hall says. “Having Sparklines and PowerPivot speaks volumes about our business performance by showing us trends on the spot. This is data visualization at its best.”

Anywhere Access to Information
Using Microsoft Office Web Apps** has given DC employees nearly instant access to critical files and correspondence—no matter where they are. Adding to that flexibility is Microsoft Office Mobile 2010, which gives users access to information from Windows phones.

“Office Web Apps allow me to access everything that matters—no matter where I am,” Hall says. “And with Office Mobile, there’s no need to connect to the VPN or even bring a laptop as I can find it all right from my mobile phone.”

Hall notes that the 64-bit edition of Microsoft Office 2010 has given DC the practical IT solution it needs to support its clients best. “The resource consumption is light-years better on Office 2010 64-bit than on any other system I’ve used,” he says. “It’s giving us a stronger IT foundation that supports our vision of continually exceeding client expectations.”

Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010 gives your people powerful, timesaving tools to do their best work from more places. With new capabilities and insightful updates to Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook, Office 2010 offers the complete package—with familiar, intuitive tools. Now you can express ideas, solve problems, connect with people, and create amazing results—in the office, at home, or on the go.

For more information about Microsoft Office, go to:
www.office.com

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about District Computers products and services, call (202) 558-5483 or visit the Web site at:
www.districtcomputers.com

*Co-authoring capabilities require Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 or a Windows Live account.
**Microsoft Office Web Apps requires a Windows Live account.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 8 employees

Organization Profile

District Computers helps small to medium-sized businesses across North America boost efficiency, productivity, and their competitive edge with managed IT solutions—from network management to hosted remote offices.


Business Situation

District Computers wanted to find a cost-effective solution that would help employees work together more efficiently and effectively so it could continue to attract and retain clients.


Solution

District Computers joined the Microsoft Rapid Deployment program for Microsoft Office 2010 and deployed Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Office Web Apps, Office Mobile 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.


Benefits

  • Able to complete proposals 20 percent faster
  • Easier to create high-impact visuals
  • Mobile access to critical files and correspondence


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2010
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
  • Microsoft Office Mobile
  • Microsoft OneNote 2010
  • Microsoft Powerpoint 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
Business Productivity

IT Issue
Personal Productivity

Languages
English

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