To help midsize customers manage their desktops more cost effectively, Fastrack Technology used Windows Intune as the foundation for a desktop management offering called Managed Desktop Suite. With it, customers gain financially flexible, cloud-based
PC management, security, operating system and application deployment, and other desktop services. Fastrack has expanded its revenues by offering desktop management services and increased staff efficiency.
Founded by Managing Director Yoni Kirsh in 2009, Fastrack Technology is an Australian IT provider that specializes in planning and managing deployments of the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office for midsize and enterprise organizations. Fastrack
is an accredited provider of Microsoft Desktop Deployment Planning Services and provides regular consulting services on behalf of Microsoft Australia. Fastrack is a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with a Silver Microsoft Desktop competency.
In working with both enterprise and midsize organizations, Fastrack observed that midsize customers had the same desktop management challenges as enterprise customers but fewer resources for handling them. These smaller customers had hundreds of PCs that
they had to patch, manage, secure, and inventory, but often did not have the budget for a dedicated desktop management staff.
“I had always wanted to provide the same high-quality, low-touch management capabilities to midmarket customers as our enterprise customers enjoyed, but the challenge was always cost,” says Kirsh. “If you have 10,000 PCs, you can afford to spend a lot on
specialized staff to do operating system deployment and application packaging. But if you have 200 PCs, you can’t. I’d been looking for technologies to deliver that same level of automation at an affordable price.”
Kirsh found his solution in Windows Intune, a subscription-based service that provides PC management, reporting, asset inventory, and security over the Internet. Fastrack took advantage of the upgrade rights to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system,
the antivirus software (Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010), and the software distribution capabilities included in Windows Intune and used them as a foundation for building a desktop managed service called Managed Desktop Suite.
||With Windows Intune, we can provide enterprise-grade desktop management capabilities to midmarket organizations that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.
| Yoni Kirsh
Managing Director, Fastrack Technology
“The Windows 7 licensing included with Windows Intune is a big benefit for our customers and for us, because it eliminates a sales barrier when customers are not licensed for Windows 7,” Kirsh says. “We can tell customers that Windows 7 is included with our
managed service and that they can move on to Windows 8 and beyond for no extra charge. None of the other cloud-based management services offer that.”
Fastrack Managed Desktop Suite augments Windows Intune services with the addition of operating system deployment services, custom application and driver packaging services, hardware driver management, and others. “Windows Intune provides an excellent framework
for us to provide value-added services,” Kirsh says.
Fastrack launched its Managed Desktop Suite in May 2012 and already has several big customer wins. “Many customers with 500 or more PCs are very interested,” says Nathan Nogic, Business Development Manager for Fastrack Technology. “With our service, they
have more granular control over application deployment. Smaller businesses like it because it helps them leap forward in their desktop management maturity without investing a lot of time or money.”
By using Windows Intune, Fastrack Technology was able to offer a fully managed desktop service to midsize customers and meet their needs, while also increasing its own revenues and efficiency.
Manage Desktops for Midsize Customers
With its Managed Desktop Suite, Fastrack is able to deliver its extensive enterprise PC management expertise to midmarket customers. These customers no longer need on-staff skills in complicated tasks such as driver packaging and operating system deployment.
“With Windows Intune, we can provide enterprise-grade desktop management capabilities to midmarket organizations that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them,” Kirsh says. “We can be managing a new customer’s PCs within 24 hours. It’s pretty exciting for
Fastrack estimates that customers will cut costs by using its Managed Desktop Suite. Customers also gain enterprise-grade antivirus software, upgrade rights to future Windows releases, and simplified software licensing.
Fastrack is helping customers save money; but Managed Desktop Suite also helps Fastrack make money. “Traditionally, most of our revenue has come from consulting, which is lucrative but hard to predict,” Kirsh says. “By offering desktop management services,
we can move away from consulting-based engagements and gain a more reliable revenue stream. This allows us to make more strategic decisions because we know where our next paycheck is coming from.”
Additionally, by building Managed Desktop Suite on Windows Intune, Fastrack reduced its development budget by at least 70 percent and accelerated its time-to-market by 50 percent. It also expanded its market. “Because of the infrastructure that Microsoft
has built for Windows Intune, we can scale our business globally without having to invest in a similar infrastructure ourselves,” says Nogic. “Also, because our offering is built on the Microsoft platform, it has instant credibility and respect with customers.”
Fastrack Technology can work more efficiently by selling the Managed Desktop Suite. “Working as a project-based organization, we do a lot of the same things for many different customers,” Kirsh says. “Managed Desktop Services gives us a way to work smarter
rather than harder. We can do the work once and then extend that work to many other customers. By offering these services using a subscription-based pricing model, each customer is essentially sharing costs with many other managed-services customers.”
The Fastrack staff is happier, too, because they are not doing as much repetitive work. “They can package an application once and then go off and do something else,” Kirsh says.
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