Partner story

IT firm's Windows Store App helps modernize the workplace

  • Datamex Automatisering

    "A device running Windows 8 is easier to sell because it's not a gadget; it's a business tool that's easily managed and secured."

    - Rik Peters, Chief Executive Officer, Datamex Automatisering

    Datamex Automatisering delivers enterprise-class IT consulting to customers in Holland, where approximately 30 percent of Dutch businesses use Windows XP. These companies want more mobility and flexibility in their work environments to balance work/life commitments. Datamex helps customers achieve this by migrating them directly to Windows 8 Pro, selling new mobile devices, and developing custom Windows Store apps, increasing revenue by 10 percent.

    Business needs

    Datamex Automatisering provides IT consulting services, specializing in providing IT infrastructure services; developing software applications, including financial accounting software for the Dutch market; and reselling PCs and mobile devices.

    The Chief Executive Officer of Datamex Automatisering, Rik Peters, believes that the small to midsize business market in the Netherlands is very receptive to new technologies. "Holland is ready for a more modern way of working with less paper and new applications that boost productivity and flexibility in the work place," he says. "It is important in Holland to balance work and life. That's why, for the past two years, Microsoft Office 365 has been a huge success for us. More and more businesses are getting used to the freedom of cloud computing and working with online IT services."

    When Datamex first heard about the Windows 8 operating system, it began talking to customers, even before the release to manufacturing date. With approximately 30 percent of Dutch businesses still using Windows XP, which will not be supported beyond April 2014, Datamex saw an opportunity to migrate customers to Windows 8. "Everyone is looking for ways to boost efficiencies and cut costs, and given what we saw with the touch-enabled UI [user interface] and the new Windows 8 tablets and mobile devices coming into the market, we wanted to get customers thinking about the benefits of upgrading as soon as possible so that they can modernize their businesses," says Peters.

    Solution

    Datamex Automatisering began to sell licenses for Windows 8 Pro to customers as soon as it was released. Windows 8 Pro delivers a fast and fluid computing experience—it's optimized for touchscreen computing, yet can be used with a mouse and keyboard. Datamex is encouraging customers to migrate from Windows XP straight to Windows 8 Pro by demonstrating how they can use the operating system to facilitate mobile productivity thanks to new mobile devices and by taking advantage of the possibility of new Windows apps. These features satisfy Dutch businesses' increasing demands for more flexible work scenarios.

    "A few years ago, we advised customers to use iPads. Today, we suggest Windows 8 Pro tablets," says Peters. "A device running Windows 8 is easier to sell because it's not a gadget; it's a business tool that's easily managed and secured."

    In November 2012, Omroep Brabant, a Dutch television and radio network, engaged Datamex for a Windows XP to Windows 8 migration because it needed to modernize its desktop infrastructure and move to a supported platform, so Datamex migrated 270 desktops to Windows 8 Pro. Omroep Brabant is now discussing with Datamex the development of a consumer app for its TV and radio schedules, which could be used as a prototype for other media companies.

    Datamex also helped Noviplast, which sells retail products to hardware and garden stores, to see the benefit of migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8 based on the customer's desire for a mobile app to promote efficiency for mobile merchandisers who refill shelves at stores. The company has 12 employees and is currently running Windows 8 Pro on four tablets. Datamex built a Windows Store app called Full Service Merchandising, which Noviplast runs on the Samsung ATIV Tab 7 tablet.

    "We used to develop apps for the iPhone and iPad, but now we are developing custom apps for Windows 8 because they are based on an operating system with built-in enterprise manageability features," says Guido Neele, Software Developer at Datamex Automatisering. "That makes Windows 8 apps more relevant for workplace productivity."

    Benefits

    With Windows 8 Pro, Datamex Automatisering is increasing revenue from Windows XP migration projects and launching a new line of business developing custom apps.

    Increases revenue

    Today, the 30 percent of Dutch companies that still use the Windows XP operating system represents an immediate business opportunity for Windows 8 migration projects. In the last five months, Datamex has performed 30 such migrations. "When we explain to customers that Windows XP is nearing end of support, it always leads straight to Windows 8," says Peters. "That's because customers are interested in modernizing their workplace, promoting flexible work styles, and boosting anytime, anywhere productivity. Windows 8 and the new mobile devices are primed for this kind of work environment."

    Datamex is excited about the potential of increasing hardware sales, especially mobile devices. "With Windows 8 Pro, the conversation has switched to productivity outside the office and the potential market for Windows 8 Pro tablets is huge. People want one device that does everything," says Peters. "We started with the iPads, but Windows 8 Pro tablets are way further ahead in that regard. And with the Windows 8 Pro tablet, it's almost a certainty that customers will want us to develop a Windows 8 app. We expect to increase revenue by 10 percent."

    Creates a new line of business

    Datamex is taking advantage of the business opportunities made possible by custom Windows Store apps. "Discussions about migrating from Windows XP straight to Windows 8 Pro always include Windows 8 apps on a mobile computing platform to enhance business productivity outside the office," says Neele. "Noviplast loves the app, and it's helping them reduce paper and labor costs. Now they are talking about having us upgrade the PCs at their head office to Windows 8 Pro."

    Related video: Noviplast builds custom Windows Store app to Improve Service and Cash Flow

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