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Michael Coopersmith, President/CEO, ITS NYC
Customers have been asking for a user-friendly Remote Desktop Service for years, and Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is it. As the only affordable virtual desktop solution that allows you to deploy a native Windows 10 experience, it’s been identified as one of the biggest partner opportunities in 2020. A solid user experience combined with added security and simplified management makes WVD something both you and your customers will want to try.
We had the chance to sit down with Microsoft partner, Michael Coopersmith, President/CEO of Integrated Technology Systems (ITS NYC) to learn about his experience deploying Windows Virtual Desktop for the first time.
Located in New York City, ITS NYC is a Microsoft Service Partner that specializes in supporting customers from the legal, accounting, and financial services sectors. Most of their clients use a traditional desktop service, but Michael has been interested in transitioning more clients to a Remote Desktop offering.
Thanks for taking the time to tell us a little more about your business. To start, how did you learn about Windows Virtual Desktop?
We are always looking for ways we can get customers out of traditional data centers. At Microsoft Inspire last year we heard about RDMI [Windows Virtual Desktop pre-cursor] and we were interested in the ability to offer desktop virtualization as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering.
What made you interested in using Windows Virtual Desktop?
We were really excited about the prospect of using a remote desktop technology that didn’t require all the IT management of other solutions.
We maintain a help desk and provide IT services to our customers and are responsible for any issue that comes up. WVD removes a lot of the complexity, like gateway and brokering responsibilities, making remote desktop packages a lot more appealing to us. Easier licensing was another big bonus for us.
Did any of the technical requirements of WVD pose a concern for you?
Yes, the technical requirements were a huge concern for us. We knew we wanted to take advantage of WVD, but the first deployment was daunting. Luckily, we partnered with Nerdio and they provided a lot of help throughout the process.
Tell me more about your experience with Nerdio.
Nerdio has been wonderful at providing best practices and being a great partner in deployment. We have a few people with advanced skills in Microsoft Azure and more people who don’t have the skills for the more complex toolkits. Nerdio allows users without deep technical skills to manage deployment and be 100% effective.
How did the first deployment go?
It was a learning experience for us, but we were able to figure out a few best practices for future deployments. For example, make sure that you perform a proof of concept with your customer. Always have a process for your customer to validate, and if possible, be on site for support as your customer is learning the new environment. We are on site for a few days after deployment to make sure that everything goes smoothly, and the customer is familiar with the new setup.
Given how the first deployment went, are you thinking of using Windows Virtual Desktop again?
Yes. The availability, expandability, cost-effectiveness and added security make WVD a compelling offering. I am planning on bringing more of my customers over.
Do your customers like WVD?
Absolutely. They are able to bring more devices, have better uptime, and the security is a bonus. The ability to connect multiple devices has been our number one sales pitch, but customers also love that with Azure they get Disaster Recovery. In New York, many of us still remember Hurricane Sandy and the lost productivity that we suffered from not being able to get to the office. Customers also value the ability to work remotely more often. The CEO of one of our customers loves working from home on his iPad and WVD was a game changer for him!
How did you know who to target for WVD?
We are always looking for opportunities to move customers to the cloud, so we started identifying customers with an upcoming hardware refresh – Microsoft Windows Server 2008 end of support, for example. We also naturally looked at customers running remote desktops or who we had talked with in the past about deploying a virtual desktop.
Do you have any advice for other people thinking about deploying WVD for the first time?
Go slow. Give yourself enough time to get your head around it and use a layered approach. I would recommend deploying internally first, then starting small and scaling. Don’t deploy on your largest customer first because that’s not who you want to use as a test case!
Check out these on demand webinars to learn more about Windows Virtual Desktop:
- Windows Virtual Desktop – Partner Opportunity
- Customer Targeting for Windows Virtual Desktop
- Build a cloud practice in Azure using Windows Virtual Desktop and Nerdio
Learn more about ITS NYC here!