4-page Partner Case Study - Posted 6/17/2009
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Microsoft® Certified Gold Partner AutoCont Boosts Productivity by 40% with Windows® 7
AutoCont is a trusted supplier of information and communications technologies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, providing hardware and software sales, system implementation, and support to corporate customers. Headquartered in Ostrava, Czech Republic since its launch in 1990, the company’s 780 employees are distributed over three areas: outsourcing and servicing; technical, system, and application infrastructure; and business applications. A Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, AutoCont strives to provide its customers with fast, reliable IT support, and solutions that leverage their existing technologies, according to Support Technician, Miloslav Durina. AutoCont has found that the Windows® 7 Professional operating system played a vital role in helping them meet customer needs, from shortening response time for inquiries to providing more consistent IT operations services.
When its customers felt the effects of a competitive economic climate, it directly affected AutoCont’s bottom line. When customers became more cost-conscious, they understood the value of AutoCont’s services in keeping their systems working, allowing them to efficiently conduct their business without interruption.
||Windows 7 deployment helped us cut service time and increase productivity while demonstrating technology at its best
Hardware & OS Suppor Technitian AutoCont
“Our customers are not technical people,” Durina said. “They just want to complete their tasks, and they see the computer as a tool that should make their job easier and faster. High levels of productivity, speed, and no service interruptions are the most important benefits for our customers.”
Productivity for AutoCont’s staff was a concern as well. Since the company’s technicians often used multiple applications simultaneously, they spent a great deal of time toggling back and forth from one to another, which greatly impacted productivity. Another issue they faced was the downtime they encountered in setting up and connecting to each new network as they moved between customer sites every day, which took a great number of hours away from serving customers each week. Due to these productivity issues, the time each AutoCont technician spent processing customer help desk requests had grown to an average of four hours per customer.
AutoCont knew it needed to implement a solution to help maximize time for technicians in the field, cut time spent per help ticket, and provide customers with higher levels of productivity, speed, and reliability. The company found a solution in Windows 7 Professional.
To meet these objectives, AutoCont began migrating operating systems to Windows 7, which is designed for small- and mid-sized businesses, and offers core business features such as networking, security, mobility, and advanced backup. The advanced technology in Windows 7 provided a step up for both business and home users. “I believe Windows will remain at the center of people’s technological solar system,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer. “We’re putting in all the right ingredients: simplicity, reliability, and speed.”
The new, advanced features of Windows 7 quickly helped boost productivity and provide greater desktop visibility and accessibility for both customers and consultants. AutoCont technicians found that Windows 7 also helped enable them to identify and resolve customer technical issues in record time.
Maximizing Time with Customers
The advanced features of Windows 7 helped AutoCont meet their objectives of maximizing time, boosting productivity, and maintaining costs, while providing fast service and allowing no network interruptions for customers. The company was able to significantly increase the speed of PCs with Windows 7 sFaster, which enables faster start up, shut down, and resume from standby. It also provides better responsiveness, according to Durina. “With Windows 7, we are running applications around 30% faster,” he said. “It also enables a PC to recover more quickly from minor problems, helping our customers to stay productive.”
Windows 7 Network Connection Wizard improved the time spent in booting up and connecting to ad-hoc networks at a customer’s site by about 40%, helping to maximize the technicians’ time in the customer environment, Durina noted. Network Connection Wizard helped make desktop connections to wireless, VPN, and cell networks virtually effortless.
Using the HomeGroup feature, AutoCont could quickly connect up to five Windows 7 computers with or without a server, to create a mini version of a distributed network. Once linked with a password, all users could share information and printers. This feature alone helped dramatically enhance project management across the company’s service teams, and provided a valuable all-up view of connected users.
With the Location Aware Printing feature, new default printers could be easily and automatically recognized when moving from one network to another. Said Durina, “The new networking features in Windows 7 are really enabling our consultants to maximize their time with our customers. They are the best networking tools I’ve seen in Windows.”
AutoCont also needed to decrease their average ticket resolution time. “We had a ticket resolution time averaging four hours, which meant that sometimes an engineer could schedule only one or two visits per day,” Durina said. “The network connectivity features helped immensely, and the Windows 7 desktop personalization definitely saved time and effort as well.”
||Wow, this is a simply perfect tool, and it makes my job much easier. It’s the ultimate tool for a help desk.
Hardware and OS Support Technician
While on-site with customers, AutoCont technicians typically had several windows open on their screens, and were using numerous tools and applications simultaneously. They found that Windows 7’s Aero® desktop personalization helped to significantly improve their productivity by making a large number of applications and small tools accessible in one visible space.
The simple, intuitive Windows 7 interface helped enable AutoCont’s technicians to utilize their mouse or keyboard to “snap,” “peek,” and “shake” their desktop windows to arrange them side-by-side, or minimize or maximize them as needed. This played an important role in facilitating ease of use when multiple applications were being utilized simultaneously.
Technicians could “snap” their mouse to show side-by-side windows and then restore their original window configuration. They also appreciated the desktop versatility that allowed them to “shake” the mouse to make all background windows disappear, and then bring them back with another mouse shake. In addition, they could “peek” at all the windows on their screen and make all windows transparent to see the desktop, greatly decreasing mouse clicks and key strokes. This feature also enabled them to place their most-used gadgets and tools anywhere on the desktop, not just in a sidebar.
Durina and fellow support technicians at AutoCont found productivity further maximized through Windows 7 taskbar personalization. Workers could right-click on a taskbar icon to see a Jump List of the most recently used files, plus, through taskbar pinning, any application icon they used often could be dragged and “pinned” on the taskbar for future Jump List use. They could also make any frequently used file accessible with a simple right-click.
To speed help desk ticket resolution, the Problem Steps Recorder captured customer interactions with applications, and provided a detailed screen-by-screen view with accompanying information. This background material enabled technicians to quickly identify problems and efficiently use their time for problem resolution. A very happy Durina said, “Wow, this is a simply perfect tool, and it makes my job much easier. It’s the ultimate tool for a help desk.”
The Partner Opportunity
Through the ability of Windows 7 to help set up and connect networks, enhance desktop accessibility, and aid in problem resolution, AutoCont realized its objective of providing the fastest and most reliable service to its customers. Although it is difficult to quantify the time savings achieved with Windows 7, Durina feels they have probably decreased problem resolution time by about 40%.
“Windows 7 deployment helped us cut service time and increase productivity while demonstrating technology at its best,” Durina said. Partnering with Microsoft enabled AutoCont to demonstrate tangible benefits to be gained in speed and productivity to its customers, and it was able to successfully migrate many of them to the new operating system.
Overall, said Durina, the gains have been great. He stated, “We think that by improving our productivity in the customer environment, AutoCont has saved significant amount of time and money, both of which we consider precious commodities.”
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. For more information about Windows 7, go to:
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 who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
For more information about AutoCont CZ a.s. products and services, call (420)
59 6152 111 or visit the Web site at: