2 page Case Study - Posted 6/29/2011
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Travel Services Company Reduces IT Costs by 28 Percent with Cloud Solution
Abaco Viaggi deployed Windows Intune to better manage PCs across its travel services offices in several geographic areas. Now, PC support costs and downtime are markedly lower, and system performance and employee productivity are higher. Abaco Viaggi is also able to offer guaranteed service levels and a rapid response to customer calls, which increases customer satisfaction and gives the company a competitive edge.Business Needs
Abaco Viaggi helps to make travel experiences easy and more fun by offering comprehensive travel services and a variety of vacation and touring packages. The company’s IT systems—which support critical reservation, ticketing, and billing functions—are spread over four offices. PC workstations in these offices are connected to two central servers and are configured to allow staff to easily move from one office to another. The company also connects with a network of more than 100 outside travel agencies and supports standard ticketing applications that are used by all operators in its market.
Abaco Viaggi does not have an internal IT department, so it has historically outsourced its major IT management functions. These include server, network, and some application management, but not centralized PC management. As a result, the company faced several PC-related challenges. For example, the combination of using the ticketing applications, connecting to outside travel agencies, and operating the outsourced management systems resulted in excessive demand on PC computing resources, high network traffic, slow performance, and unacceptable downtime. Analyzing, updating, and configuring computers to optimize their performance in this environment required on-site visits by a vendor responsible for PC maintenance. "Any workstation problem or any slowdown in the exchange of information with servers has a negative impact on the productivity of our operators and on our customer satisfaction," explains Nevio Padovani, Director of Abaco Viaggi. "It is also inconvenient and expensive to frequently call on technical support to repeatedly resolve problems of individual PCs."
Abaco Viaggi wanted a solution that would provide more visibility into and remote control over the client environment and increase the performance and availability of its PCs.Solution
To help address its challenges, Abaco Viaggi hired DIAL Informatica, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with expertise in networking and infrastructure, cloud computing, collaboration portals, and software development. The partner recommended Windows Intune, the all-in-one cloud services solution from Microsoft that brings together PC management tasks and endpoint protection along with licensing rights to upgrade eligible PCs to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system.
||We are completely satisfied with the reduction in operating costs, the reliability of our systems, and the improved efficiency that we’ve achieved by choosing Windows Intune as our PC management solution.
Director, Abaco Viaggi
Abaco Viaggi chose Windows Intune for its ability to remotely monitor and support client computers through easy-to-use tools and its flexible subscription pricing that avoids high up-front investment costs. Abaco Viaggi also valued and took full advantage of Windows Intune endpoint protection, which is built on the same Microsoft Malware Protection Engine used by the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite.
Working with its partner, Abaco Viaggi deployed the solution in two offices to verify proper operation and then extended the rollout to all offices. "We implemented Windows Intune quickly and without any major problems after establishing customized policies for each local travel office,” says Claudio Moletta, Technical Manager at DIAL Informatica. The IT partner can now remotely monitor all the company’s PCs, if they are connected to the Internet, and can deliver PC management and security updates using a simple administrator console that runs in any Microsoft Silverlight–enabled web browser.
Fully satisfied with the project, Abaco Viaggi now plans to upgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise. And, as part of a strategy of using Microsoft Online Services to implement cloud-based solutions on a larger scale, the company will also begin using Microsoft Office 365.Benefits
By deploying Windows Intune, Abaco Viaggi has contained operating expenses and increased IT system reliability through efficient PC management. The company is able to respond to customers faster, increasing their satisfaction and boosting its reputation in the travel market.
Higher System Reliability and Employee Productivity
Using Windows Intune, Abaco Viaggi has streamlined update management and has seen a significant increase in PC system reliability. As a result, the need for on-site technical support visits at the company's various offices has been nearly eliminated, compared with an average of two visits a week before the deployment, which saves time and money. Even the need for remote assistance is rare, and the sharp reduction in downtime has helped increase employee productivity.
“For companies like ours that do not have an in-house IT department, technology suppliers and technical support specialists must offer solutions that are capable of making system maintenance and updates completely transparent and convenient," says Padovani. “Windows Intune certainly meets these criteria.”Lower IT Costs
Abaco Viaggi sees the deployment of Windows Intune as an important first step in a broad strategy that will take advantage of the business value of cloud computing, which includes lower infrastructure costs and a reduced need for traditional, more-expensive outsourced IT services. Adopting Microsoft Office 365 will be another step in this direction. “With the Microsoft Online Services platform in general, and Windows Intune in particular, we are optimizing our technological resources and bringing IT services and related costs in line with our actual business needs,” says Padovani. The company estimates these costs have decreased by about 28 percent.
Better Customer Service, Stronger Competitive Edge
The improved reliability of Abaco Viaggi systems and the resulting increase in employee productivity translate directly into an improved customer experience. The company is now a key player in its regional travel market and is enjoying a growing reputation for providing high-quality service. In this way, Abaco Viaggi believes that deploying Windows Intune has given it a competitive business and marketing advantage.
Says Padovani, "Our choice to use Windows Intune significantly improved the performance of the applications that our employees rely on most heavily in their day-to-day work. These employees can now truly work in real time on customer requests.” Summarizing the positive business impact, he adds, “We have achieved the maximum daily operating efficiency of our offices due to the complete availability of data and applications offered by the new solution. This immediately translated into an extremely high level of credibility for our company in the eyes of our customers and other operators in our market sector."
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