Since 1997, Ukraine-based X-tend has been providing leading software development, Internet, and e-commerce solutions to small- to medium-sized businesses worldwide. X-tend’s team of 20 programmers and four administrative professionals work to give the company’s nine clients, with over 150 PCs, high-quality, reliable solutions and services at competitive prices. “We are dedicated to giving our customers profitable, reliable modes of cooperation and communication via our products,” says Nick Podovzhniy, CEO, X-tend. “Because of this commitment, we work hard to find the best, most economical technical solutions.” With the Windows® 7 Professional operating system, the company could streamline everyday tasks and improve the way they communicated IT issues, resulting in increased productivity and more time to develop innovative new solutions for its customers.
X-tend wanted to find a way to streamline and accelerate core business processes so its employees could get more done. Simply starting up and resuming machines would take several minutes at a time, resulting in hundreds of hours of lost productivity over the course of a year. Since the company’s employees worked with several documents simultaneously, they often found it time-consuming to filter through multiple windows when searching for a specific file or folder.
||My PC starts and resumes right away, easily saving me 30 minutes or more a day.
When customers had IT issues, they would often reach out to X-tend for help. But it would be difficult for customers to relay precisely what issues they were experiencing, making it challenging for X-tend to explain the situation to a support technician. It could take hours – or even several days – to diagnose and solve a problem this way. X-tend wanted to simplify and streamline this process, so issues could be solved faster, giving its employees, customers and partners more time to focus on revenue-producing activities.
It became clear to X-tend that it needed to speed up everyday tasks and simplify the way it addressed IT issues. But to avoid compromising the company’s promise of providing the best solutions at affordable costs, they had to find the most effective solution at the most cost-efficient price.
To realize this vision, X-tend deployed Windows 7 Professional. This new system is faster, more reliable, and easier-to-use, helping users reduce idle time and maximize productivity. As Brad Brooks, Corporate Vice President of Windows Consumer Product Marketing points out, Windows 7 has “…an improved user interface that should allow for faster boot-up and resume times; improved power management for enhanced battery life; and increased reliability, stability and security.”
With Windows 7, users no longer need to wait several minutes for their machines to start up or resume. Also, they can quickly find files and applications across entire networks simply by typing in a search phrase. New features also facilitate customized desktop organization for fast, easy access to frequently used documents. Also included with Windows 7 is an intuitive feature that helps users and technicians solve IT issues faster.
The Windows 7 Problem Steps Recorder allows users to record their interactions with an application, capturing screen-by-screen snapshots of exactly what’s happening. This saves them from having to explain issues in detail and it saves help desk technicians from having to recreate problems before being able to diagnose and solve them.
“Problem Steps Recorder is really good for our remote help desk support specialists,” says Viacheslav Shestakov, Director of X-tend. “Often our customers will call them directly and try to explain the problem they’re experiencing, but technicians still have to make sure they’re getting all the details as they then have to recreate the problem, diagnose, solve it and restart the system. It’s all very time-consuming. With Problem Steps Recorder, the help desk technicians can see exactly what’s happening and can then solve problems right away, saving everyone enormous amount of time.”
Shestakov sees even greater potential for this application in its ability to assist with training manual development. “Problem Steps Recorder is even better than what we expected because we can also use it to create really detailed, image-driven training materials for new employees,” he says.
PCs running Windows 7 start up, shut down and resume much faster than with previous operating systems. Podovzhniy says this improvement has contributed to significant time savings for the company. “Windows 7 is so much faster and more responsive than any other system I’ve seen. My PC starts and resumes right away, easily saving me 30 minutes or more a day.”
The Windows Desktop Search feature also helps users save time by helping them find what they’re looking for in seconds. To locate a file or application, users can simply type a search phrase in the Instant Search box located on the desktop, and the search engine will scan through the PC, HomeGroup, network, and even the Internet to locate the right document.
With Jump Lists, users can see files they’ve used recently by right-clicking the mouse on the taskbar icon, and Taskbar Pinning allows users to drag and drop frequently used documents on the taskbar for fast, easy access. Combined, these Taskbar personalization improvements help Podovzhiny and his team work much more productively.
“The Windows Desktop Search is one of the best features of Windows 7,” Podovzhniy says. “And because we work with a large number of files at once, the Jump Lists and Taskbar Pinning features are really very helpful – and remarkably simple to use.”
Removing Compatibility Roadblocks
X-tend has also discovered that Windows 7 helps them get the most out of existing technology investments with Windows XP Mode. “Many of our customers are dependent upon applications that were developed or purchased several years ago, and they were concerned about compatibility,” says Shestakov. “Using Windows XP Mode in Windows 7, they can continue to use these mission-critical business applications without interruption.”
Saving Energy and Time
X-tend is always brimming with innovative new ideas to help customers streamline communications and work more effectively. Now that they have Windows 7, company leaders feel they can dedicate more time to making these visions a reality.
Podovzhniy points out that the Power Management feature included with Windows 7, which reduces energy consumption by automatically shutting off unused applications and adjusting screen display brightness, is an important addition that will help save even more time and reduce energy costs.
“I must say that Windows 7 is more economical and my laptop lasts longer than with previous operating systems. The Power Management feature is just one of the many good new improvements included with Windows 7. I can save on energy costs, save on time, and get more life out of my laptop,” he says. “We needed more time, and Windows 7 gives it to us.”
Faster and more reliable: Windows 7 will help your organization use information technology to gain a competitive advantage in today’s new world of work. Your people will be able to be more productive anyway. You will be able to support your mobile work force with better access to shared data and collaboration tools. And your IT staff will have better tools and technologies to enhance corporate IT security, data protection, and more efficient deployment and management.
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