Nerdio Manager for MSP Case Study: Lucidity Cloud Services

Lucidity Cloud Services is a provider of cloud-based managed IT services across every industry, with a core focus on tourism. The New Zealand-based Microsoft partner has been in business for over 20 years, offering customers in the region trusted cloud solutions that are easy to implement and consume.

However, as Microsoft offerings evolved over the past two decades, Lucidity needed to upgrade their systems to keep pace and ensure clients were receiving the most modern, secure services possible. In late 2019, the core of Lucidity’s previous platform was on-prem Active Directory and the entire storage component was reaching end-of-life. Lucidity Founder Paul O’Brien knew it was time to fully migrate to Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) despite unique complications and customer hesitations. The COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 was a powerful driving factor.

“Many of our clients didn’t see the need to update and were concerned about how a migration could impact their financial and end-of-year plans,” said O’Brien. “Plus, given the pandemic, our key vertical was gutted. Tourism had been beaten up by the world, and we as the MSP had to eat a lot of costs. But more importantly, we needed to make sure that any changes we made to the service were seamless and didn’t disrupt their businesses more than Covid-19 already had.”

The Cure for the Common Cloud

Initially, Lucidity used an older control panel for provisioning and managing customers, but it was very legacy and not appropriate for AVD. Lucidity also looked at more modern portals for MSPs, but they didn’t offer remote desktops at the time. And of course, like a lot of technology companies, they considered a DIY (do-it-yourself) alternative.

“In theory we could build a similar tool in-house,” added O’Brien. “But I also could build a house myself. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. It was imperative that whatever solution we chose made life easier for me, my team, and my customers. When I saw Nerdio Manager for MSP demoed at Microsoft Inspire, I knew it was the product for us.”

Over the span of approximately 18 months, Lucidity worked closely with Nerdio on this massive undertaking. Nerdio allowed Lucidity to migrate their legacy, on-prem platform with terabytes of user files to Azure, without disrupting clients’ user experience. This provided a massive upgrade to the platform, making it much faster and enabling Lucidity to leverage the flexibility of cloud performance to better serve customers while lowering costs.

In total, 50 customer environments were migrated to AVD using Nerdio Manager for MSP. Nerdio Manager enabled the 10 Lucidity engineers tasked with the huge undertaking to expedite the process, minimizing the time the company had to pay to operate its on-prem data centers and Azure while the migrations took place.

“Our engineers can now deploy a new AVD environment within an hour. If we were doing everything manually that would be a different story,” said O’Brien. “We can provide customers with a base platform incredibly quickly, and then do the details, testing, et cetera behind the scenes. This uninterrupted experience is critical for our clients who are trying to rebuild their businesses post-pandemic.”

Nerdio Manager for MSP not only helps accelerate AVD deployments, but also simplifies management of those environments across clients. It provides a unified control panel for service desk and engineering staff, while automating the more tedious aspects of delivering and operating managed services via Azure. With it, technical staff can continue to focus on innovating and gaining valuable cloud computing experience and skills versus resetting passwords and provisioning.

The Intune Opportunity

While approximately half of Lucidity’s customers are now using AVD, the other half have been using Microsoft Intune for Windows 365 and physical device management. Nerdio Manager for MSP v4 and above now also supports Intune, generating even more new growth opportunities for those customers that are either too small or don’t have a need for virtual desktops.  

“Now that Intune is built into the Nerdio control panel, we can bring the rest of our customers into the fold and manage them all from a single pane of glass,” concluded O’Brien. “Nerdio’s consistent innovation and new features are indicative of a company with its finger on the pulse, and its partnership with Lucidity is one that I envision will remain mutually advantageous for years to come.”

The Long-Term Impact of Nerdio Manager for MSP

“Nerdio Manager for MSP has become a fundamental tool in our toolbox,” O’Brien said. “It’s a well-architected product that has not only changed my business for the better, increasing margins and simplifying work for my team, but the benefits have also bled into my personal life.”

Nerdio’s Scripted Actions that virtually eliminate the need for PowerShell scripting provide a level of uniformity across the platform that ensures every customer is going to be set up the same way, at the same caliber. Additionally, should any issues arise, the service the Nerdio team provides is unmatched.

“I’ve never worked with a better team in my career. Fixes and feedback can be seen implemented within a month and anything urgent is immediately attended to,” said O’Brien. “Now that we have Azure Virtual Desktop and Nerdio Manager for MSP, I can sleep at night, no longer having to worry about quality control for my customers. In fact, I recently took my first vacation in 20 years knowing that everything was running smoothly.”

With the mass customer migration complete and the increased, simplified automation Nerdio provides, Lucidity is excited for a big 2023, and what that means in terms of new business growth.

“Offering Azure Virtual Desktop as a managed service has become a big differentiator for us, particularly when it comes to dealing with the legal departments of our key prospects,” O’Brien stated. “Because we’re firmly entrenched in the Microsoft cloud, and at the forefront of driving AVD adoption in ANZ, new doors will be opened, and the opportunity for bigger business will grow.”

How Chargeback at the Endpoint Can Help Justify Cloud VDI Costs

For a long time, cost concerns have plagued traditional VDI platforms. Legacy vendors sell licenses typically in 3-year agreements, leading to upfront sunk costs for companies. Even after the original project funds are exhausted, ongoing costs associated with managing and increasing platform infrastructure persist.

The issue often stems from a lack of consideration or understanding of who should pay for cloud computing improvements and the cost per user. If not properly established, IT is usually solely responsible for the bill, which can quickly become substantial.

Cloud VDI via Azure Virtual Desktop  

Thankfully the public cloud has a much more cost-effective proposition to have a cloud VDI solution as a tool in your arsenal through Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). Most organizations already have the entitlement to AVD through their Microsoft 365 licensing and with the flexible, pay-as-you-go nature of the public cloud, you no longer need a big upfront investment in a virtual desktop platform.  

You also no longer need to overprovision to cater for peaks or “build the church for Christmas Eve.” You scale up as you need and scale down as you don’t, allowing organizations to see actual PAYG (pay-as-you-go) pricing for the virtual desktop solution they are using. 

Why Do Virtual Desktop Costs Change Over Time?  

A few issues plague Cloud VDI platforms, causing costs to increase over time. For example, upgrades are inevitable as operating systems and applications become more demanding with each new update. Additionally, end-user demands increase as technology evolves.

Think about how many browser tabs you use to leave open even three years ago… How many do you leave open now? Are you working in a traditional office now, or are you WFH? Work practices change and thus we need to be able to evolve our system to compensate. Finally, your end-users move, and personas change. A user could start out on a platform, and then move roles, and their demand for resources increases. Does anyone tell IT about this change? How do you budget for this?  

Allocating End User Costs across Your Workforce and Departments 

For example, let’s consider a cloud VDI project carried out in 2020 for a thousand users. This project was tied to the company’s digital transformation initiative, so securing the budget was not an issue. Despite the pandemic, the company has been able to grow and double its headcount in the past two years. This growth has been observed in all departments, including HR, marketing, engineering, sales, marketing, and more. As a result, IT had to purchase additional licenses, upgrade infrastructure, and storage to support these new employees. For instance, IT had to accommodate 500 new salespeople and 100 new marketers. However, the Sales department isn’t contributing any funds toward the IT department’s budget that now must accommodate all the new users.  If the IT budget has remained unchanged, why should they adjust their priorities to pay for the resources they provide to each department? 

These types of issues have always led to Cloud VDI platforms typically being considered an expensive way to deliver digital workspaces. They’ve led to many an IT leader questioning “Why am I paying so much for this?” and “Do the benefits of Cloud VDI really outweigh the costs?”  

To date, there hasn’t been an easy answer to these questions. As with the power and flexibility (of the public cloud) comes the mystery. As a result, questions and considerations like “How do I manage multi-session users, as one user might use the platform more than another user” can often cause an IT team to burn many cycles attempting to come up with a model that works, if they even have the data to base it on, to begin with! 

We see enterprise IT teams struggle with this all the time. Introducing Nerdio’s Per-User Cost Attribution, a Premium feature in Nerdio Manager for Enterprise. 

Introducing Nerdio 

The feature provides customers and partners with valuable insights into the true cost of their AVD solution, with costs directly being retrieved through Azure Cost Management. The features provide visibility into your total AVD costs, a snapshot of your average monthly active user cost, all the way through a granular per-user cost, showing which elements of the platform (compute, storage, network, etc) and the associate cost that makes up the true per user cost. 

Lucky for our customer base, we have done the hard work for you! We released User Cost Attribution as a Premium feature in Nerdio Manager for Enterprise in v4.3 

Out-of-the-box, the solution uses a standard set of reporting tags that are all managed by Nerdio, with the flexibility to specify additional tags for resources such as other shared resources that should be attributed to the total cost of the solution. 

Shared Costs w/ Nerdio

On the topic of shared costs, Nerdio gives you the flexibility on how you attribute shared platform costs, including: 

  • Uniform. Allocates an equal amount of shared costs to each active user. 
  • Proportional. Allocates shared costs based on the relative duration of each user’s AVD usage over the course of a month. 
  • Unallocated. Does not allocate shared costs to individual users and only shows users’ costs that result directly from AVD sessions. Assuming IT has budgeted for this share platform cost. 

As we rolled out the feature, received feedback, and continue refining it, we are still discovering many additional benefits beyond cost attribution. It provides visibility around optimization, as example, in a perfectly efficient personal desktop environment, the duration of a user’s session should closely match the number of minutes the desktop is powered on. If this ratio is low, there may be additional efficiency that can be gained by optimizing or tuning the environment.

Want to know more about User Cost Attribution? don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Nerdio Manager for Enterprise Case Study: Canterbury Christ Church University

About Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a university in the south of England. Starting 60 years ago as a teacher training college with just 75 students, Canterbury Christ Church has grown into a vital source of training for healthcare and teaching professionals, an innovator in STEM education, and a vibrant hub of creativity and talent, with research that benefits regional, national and international communities. It’s team of 68 IT professionals now serves
approximately 26,000 full and part students, and just over 1,800 staff members.

As a University with three campuses across Kent and Medway, and partnerships with other academic institutions around the UK and the world, Canterbury Christ Church’s needed to be able to host high performance software for advanced it undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses. It had also partnered with the University of Kent to establish Kent’s first ever medical school, Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS), which required the KMMS students to access both institutions ‘systems, including accessing the Canterbury Christ Church desktop from either campus and several nearby NHS locations.

Furthermore, the University wanted to provide academic and professional service staff with hybrid work models, particularly as the country was going in and out of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to maintain normal working habits, Canterbury Christ Church University needed to convert from on-premises remote desktop services (RDS) to enable access to campus desktops across the board. At the start of the 2020 academic year, the
IT department rolled out generic student desktops to ensure access to University resources. However, the maintenance and scaling necessary for so many users proved unsustainable.

“The University needed to implement a cloud first strategy to lower costs and scale to accommodate a hybrid model,” said Dave Hailwood, Platform and Systems Manager at Canterbury Christ Church University. “On-prem alternatives required too much specific expertise to maintain and simply were not flexible enough to meet our needs.”

Making Azure Virtual Desktop Work for Canterbury Christ Church University

Once RDS licenses were up for renewal, Hailwood and the team switched to Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop to further enable the University’s hybrid model and make it easier for the IT team to create purpose built host pools for different departments. Despite the improvement in functionality, the University’s IT team needed something that offered a complete automation package than the Azure admin portal.

“Nerdio Manager for Enterprise kept popping up in conversations with peers using AVD, and it seemed to be exactly what we needed to streamline IT operations while saving time and resources,” added Hailwood.

During the proof-of-concept (POC), Canterbury Christ Church imported eight host pools seamlessly from native Azure into Nerdio Manager for Enterprise and saw immediate value when it came to ease of management and scaling.

“The Nerdio technology made it much easier for my team to build and manage host pools while still providing a great service to our users,” said Hailwood. “It is simple compared to the complexities of native Azure but still provides IT with all the options they need to make customized updates.”

Improving Efficiency with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise

Native Azure was prohibitively complicated for the 68 person University IT team, who needed a more streamlined, automated management tool to power a university of this size. With Nerdio Manager for Enterprise, scaling became much more manageable, and cost savings were immediately apparent.

“The School of Engineering, Technology and Design host pool had particularly sophisticated requirements with the need to provision high-performance, more expensive VMs. Nerdio Manager’s auto-scaling features immediately saved us 70% through its compute and storage scaling, managing session hosts, and reducing profile storage capacity,” said Hailwood.

Furthermore, IT is able to use the portal effectively as an ad hoc service desk, allowing the team to manage session hosts and individual sessions and empowering them to provide better experiences to users. The portal provides a single point of operation for all automation and AVD management, and Nerdio Manager for Enterprise ensures updates can be made quickly and easily in just two clicks.

Empowered IT = Better Student & Staff Experiences

Nerdio Manager for Enterprise has enabled Canterbury Christ Church University to increase the speed of AVD adoption across the organization, while migrating away from RDS and improving user experience.

“Nerdio made everything much easier and has enabled us to do more with AVD than we ever could natively,” said Hailwood. “The automation and ease of use provides the team with much more flexibility, allowing us to create bespoke environments for specific departments while still keeping costs low and allowing for proper testing and rollout. Our users have never been happier with the experience.”

Creating a new host pool used to take weeks. Now with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise, that same work can be accomplished in less than a day, further empowering IT to customize University desktops and better serve the academics who rely on this technology to teach and learn. Unlike with the on-prem alternative, the IT team no longer needs to worry about capacity, and have seen a decrease in the number of support tickets filed due to the improved experience for students and staff alike.

Microsoft Intune: The Why, Use Cases, and Challenges

Why do I need Intune? 

Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management solution that can manage multiple devices across multiple platforms. 

The average business user uses several devices to consume corporate applications and data that must be controlled and managed. Those devices could be combinations, including personal & corporate devices, iPads, iPhones, Windows, MacOS, and multiple varieties.  

Without Intune, there is no way to manage and track those devices centrally.  The devices would have to be independently operated using their relevant management consoles, which adds time and complexity.  

Intune allows you to centrally manage compliance and reporting that support a zero-security trust model. Using Intune you can apply policies across all your devices that enforce compliance and security, regardless of the device type.  

What are the typical use cases for Microsoft Intune?  

Intune is like the Swiss army knife of the IT World; it has many functions.  Some of the most valuable and popular features are: 

Centralized Device Management and Control  

Intune provides a central web-based console where we can manage and control our devices. Using Intune, we can configure compliance policies where the devices must meet a minimum-security standard before accessing the corporate network, data, or applications. 

Application Management and Deployment 

Intune is commonly used to deploy applications to multiple device types. Intune can push applications out to Android, iPhone/iPad/macOS Devices, and Windows Devices. 

Secure Corporate and Personal Devices 

Using Intune, we can create policies that control the device’s features like security rules and configuration settings. Historically we have controlled these on corporate devices using features like Group Policies, but for Azure AD, we need to use Intune to achieve the same functionality.  

Compliance and Security 

Intune integrates with other Microsoft security solutions, such as Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, to provide comprehensive security and compliance management. Thus, organizations can monitor and manage devices, detect threats, and respond to incidents efficiently. 

Remote Work Support 

Intune facilitates remote work by enabling secure access to corporate resources from any device, regardless of location or type of device. This is particularly important as remote and hybrid work models become increasingly common.  

What are the current challenges when using Intune today, and what could mitigate those challenges for IT admins and MSPs?  

Intune was initially designed for MDM (mobile device management) capabilities and has grown to support more device types and services. If the admin does not have much experience with Intune, it will likely be difficult to deploy and manage.   

RBAC Model  

Intune has an RBAC (roles based access controls) model that allows you to assign permissions to users and groups based on their organizational roles and responsibilities. RBAC in Intune is based on Azure AD and will enable you to create accustomed roles and assign them to specific users and groups.  

With Intune RBAC, you can control access to Intune features and data, such as device management, app management, compliance policies, and more. We recommend creating custom roles within Intune and mapping them only to the relevant Azure AD groups to provide admins with access only to what they need.

Complexity of Operations  

Intune has many features and can become very complex very quickly. Intune management can become challenging. Managing device configurations, policies, and updates for many devices can be time-consuming and require significant planning.

It is recommended to carefully plan your production operations and try to automate as much as possible. Intune has a unified console that can simply device management and reduce complexity.  

Console Complexity 

The Intune console can be very complex and daunting for new Intune admins. There are many features in the console which admins may never use and therefore appears more complicated than it initially seems.   

The complexity of the console can be managed through careful planning, training, and support. It’s also advisable to manage the RBAC roles effectively, so the users only see what they need to see, which makes the console much less complex.  

Conflicting Assignments 

Intune can do many things, including deploying software, configuring devices, protecting data, etc.  Due to the high number of configurable settings, if you have a large environment, you will run the risk of conflicting assignments between devices and users.   

To mitigate this risk, we recommend controlling access to assignments by using well-structured and identifiable Azure AD Groups. Enabling you to quickly identify relevant settings that are being applied.


In conclusion, businesses require Microsoft Intune for centralized device management, application deployment, and secure corporate and personal device management. Without Intune, managing and tracking multiple devices across different platforms would be complex and time-consuming. However, Intune’s many features can also pose challenges for IT admins and MSPs, such as console complexity, and conflicting assignments. Mitigating these challenges requires careful planning, RBAC management, and automation.

Transitioning from Group Policy (GPOs) to Microsoft Intune: The Journey for an IT Admin 

A Staple of the Corporate Domain

Many IT administrators consider Group Policy as the foundation for any corporate IT network. When rolling out any IT standard or security policy across the user base, Group Policy has always been the go-to solution. Group Policy enables IT teams to apply consistent and standardized policies across enterprise environments. These changes thanks to GP do not require complex changes to the registry editor or reliance on individual effort. Until recently, Group Policy Management had been capable of addressing virtually any policy enforcement needs within any corporate IT environment.

Example screenshot of Group Policy Management 

Then remote work and the use of personal devices (BYOD) were introduced into the fray. For the first time in over a decade, GPOs could no longer keep up with an emerging trend: the increasing demands of a work-from-anywhere user base. Folks needing to access sensitive data from anywhere and on any device creates complexities that must be overcome to successfully apply company policy.  

Limited by Distance

To start with, the challenge of modern work is limited by distance. Even if a device is corporate-owned, the first question is how it can check in with the domain controller to receive the latest GP update. One option is for the device to connect back to the corporate domain via VPN. However, it is difficult to ensure that remote workers will regularly do this and that the GP update will apply to the device since this process normally only takes place at login. Attempting to follow these steps is an uphill battle from an administrator’s perspective.

Limited by Device

As an administrator, you may have cleared the hurdle of distance, but now face the challenge of BYOD. How do you control access to company data on non-company devices like personal laptops, tablets, and mobile phones? Today’s work culture emphasizes working anywhere on a device of one’s choosing, which makes managing personal devices a roadblock for Group Policy. Years ago, ActiveSync only allowed remote wiping of mobile devices, which was a primitive form of control for corporate accounts. Administrators had limited tools for remote device management, which did not balance corporate security policy with the demands of the remote user base. This limitation makes it clear that Group Policy cannot meet the needs of modern administrators.

Introducing Microsoft Intune

Intune initially debuted in 2011 as Windows Intune and was a service portal on top of the Microsoft Malware protection engine. In the few years following its debut, incremental changes were made to the solution to begin shaping the product it would become. At that time, nobody could’ve truly envisioned this modern work era in which we now find ourselves. An era that was primarily ushered in by a global pandemic that has changed our society in so many ways. Our expectations for technology have never been higher and that has dramatically increased the pressure on IT admins across the globe to keep up with demand.

Embracing Change

Change can be hard, and for many admins, ditching their established policies can be daunting. However, Microsoft is making it easy to leverage Office 365 for email hosting and is doing the same with Intune. In a few years, we’ll view localized legacy domains like on-premises Exchange servers – a thing of the past. We’ll be happy to no longer endure the headaches, and constraints of a management plane created for a bygone era.

Enhanced Capabilities

Intune’s policies can be broken down into 4 main types:  

Configuration Profiles:

These policies enable device management and configuration of device settings. For instance, IT can configure a Windows 11 device to join a specific Wi-Fi network without requiring the user to input credentials. Additionally, IT can enforce corporate background wallpaper and restrict the addition of personal OneDrive accounts to prevent data exfiltration by rogue employees. The available configuration settings for a given device are numerous.

Compliance Policies:

Compliance policies are essential for determining whether devices adhere to the organization’s standards. IT defines these rules, which can include requiring an approved anti-virus solution with updated virus definitions. Rules may also address enabling Microsoft Defender, having a compliant TPM chip, or requiring BitLocker encryption. If a device is deemed non-compliant, specific actions can be triggered. Actions include: marking the device as non-compliant after a specified period, sending a notification email to an admin, or retiring the device.

Security Baselines:

These are groups of security policies that can be configured for a particular type of device from one location. For instance, on a Windows 10+ device, IT can enforce enabling BitLocker, prevent end-users from storing passwords using the browser’s built-in password manager, block auto joining of Wi-Fi networks, or require a password after a machine wakes from sleep. Currently, there are no security baselines for operating systems other than Windows.

Conditional Access:

These policies specifically outline login requirements. Furthermore, they outline where users can log in to access any sensitive information in M365 and Azure. These powerful policies allow a modern administrator to level the playing field in today’s world of modern work. 


We are at a point where Intune has proven to be superior to Group Policy in today’s IT environments. Admins are now at a crossroads: embrace a superior solution for policy, security, and compliance management via Intune or remain stuck in a feature-limited console by continuing to leverage Group Policy Management. We at Nerdio have talked to many admins, MSPs, and industry leaders and the choice is clear. Intune is the superior solution and will continue to be for years ahead.

To learn more about Microsoft Intune and to schedule a demo option visit: 

Nerdio Manager for Enterprise Case Study: Telenet, Belgium’s Largest ISP

This Belgian ISP debated whether to build or buy an automation solution for Azure Virtual Desktop – the results speak for themselves with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise!

About Telenet

Telenet is the largest internet service provider (ISP) in Belgium, delivering cable broadband and phone services to businesses and residents across Belgium and Luxembourg. Providing such important services to so many people, Telenet needed its internal teams to operate at their most efficient while simultaneously running a profitable business.

To accomplish this, leadership knew they needed to migrate away from on-premises remote desktop services (RDS). RDS was not performing well, was reaching end of life, and Telenet was facing difficulties with licensing new hardware. The ISP has traditionally taken a Microsoft first approach when it comes to technology infrastructure, so Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) was the obvious alternative.

In 2019, Telenet engaged with managed Nerdio and Microsoft managed partner, OB-V-US, to begin migration to AVD but the internal team was unsure of how to most efficiently manage and operate the system while keeping the process extremely cost effective. 

“We needed to onboard a large user base, but cloud isn’t cheap,” said Jan Heuvinck, Systems Engineer on the Digital Workplace Team, Telenet. “With a limited number of people on the digital workplace team, we needed tooling that would enable us to economically deploy and manage the environment, turning on and off session hosts as required – there was a clear gap in the AVD approach here.”

The Question: Build or Buy?

When determining how best to amplify the operational efficiency of their IT team, Telenet first considered building its own automation solution. It’s a practice the company regularly undertakes to streamline operations, but OB-V-US encouraged the team to do a more in-depth evaluation.

“Just because you’re able to build automation tooling for AVD, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option with limited manpower,” added Heuvinck. “We needed to examine both cost and resource expenditure, in addition to the question of ongoing support. A strong vendor partner that can support us operationally provides a lot of value, where an in-house built solution has the potential for a myriad of headaches in the future.”

Heuvinck had heard a lot about Nerdio throughout the IT community as a way to better, more seamlessly manage the AVD environment in a way that Microsoft couldn’t. The team at OB-V-US had also explored the Nerdio Manager for Enterprise offering and the benefit to their customers was immediately clear.

“OB-V-US always wants to make sure we’re providing customers with the most bang for their buck and avoid anything that’s not providing real value to the implementation,” said Kenny Buntinx, CEO, OB-V-US. “We found that Nerdio is the only company in the Microsoft ecosystem that is completely filling the gaps in AVD functionality without unnecessary frills. It was one of the first companies that saw a hole in the market, talked to customers, and partnered with Microsoft to fix it.”

OB-V-US was quickly able to demonstrate how Nerdio could help Telenet go the extra mile with AVD and secure great return on investment – not only from a cost savings perspective on the infrastructure side, but also from an operational perspective. From there it was easy to obtain buy-in from leadership; it all came down to total cost of ownership.

The Solution: The Nerdio Advantage

Once the Telenet digital workplace team had a chance to play around with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise during the Proof of Concept (POC) stage, they quickly built a lot of confidence in the product. They also saw clear ROI potential and shifted quickly from POC to production load.

“What really convinced us was dynamic auto-scaling, cost optimization and manageability with a small digital workplace department,” said Heuvinck. “Nerdio provided more stability, automation, and usability for us which enabled us to be more productive than if we had double the number of people on the team.”

For instance, the pace and speed of implementing new features is something the Telenet team would never have been able to accomplish without Nerdio Manager. The simple, intuitive, single pane of glass interface makes the entire process much more straightforward. Additionally, monthly maintenance like patching or reimaging host pools is made so much easier with Nerdio.

Furthermore, user handling was no longer a concern for the team thanks to the auto-scaling functionality – a feature that had always been problematic with Citrix and even native AVD on its own. This allowed the digital workspace team to clearly demonstrate ROI to leadership, not only through performance optimization (scaling up and down session hosts) but also performance storage optimization.

“Nerdio Manager for Enterprise is particularly effective when it comes to communicating value to leadership,” Heuvinck continued. “It’s so simple to generate reports that outline cost savings in black and white. We’re easily able to justify the investment in the technology.”

Finally, the support Nerdio provides is unmatched. The responsiveness Nerdio support demonstrates around new or upcoming features made the Telenet team feel like a valued partner and generated great trust in the working relationship between the two companies.

ROI: “Nerdio Doesn’t Cost Money Us, It Saves Money”

As a major ISP serving millions of customers across Belgium and Luxembourg, ROI on any new technology is crucial for Telenet, and after only two years in real production that has become abundantly clear to the operational team as well as leadership.

“Telenet currently has more then 2,000 users with access to the production workspace and more than 1,000 unique users connect actively on a monthly basis,” noted Heuvinck. “We’re already seeing a monthly savings of upwards of 45 percent and we expect to see those savings grow as we migrate more users to the shared platform. At this point, Nerdio doesn’t cost us money, it saves money.”

On top of the overt ROI, Nerdio Manager for Enterprise has also positively impacted performance across the board. When everyone is working in a better performance environment that is better automated, Telenet as a whole is able to operate more efficiently.

“Nerdio helps us better serve our employees, consultants, and partners – providing a performative, stable environment in which to work,” concluded Heuvinck. “The previous environment actually hampered job performance, but thanks to Nerdio Manager, we can scale appropriately to ensure our most important stakeholders – our customers – receive the best service and user experience possible.”

About Nerdio

Nerdio adds value on top of the powerful capabilities in Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, and Microsoft Intune by delivering hundreds of features that simplify management, ensure efficient operations, and lower Azure compute and storage costs by up to 80% via intelligent automation. Leveraging Nerdio, MSPs can manage customers’ cloud environments through streamlined, multi-tenant, workflow-powered technology that allows them to create and grow cloud-based recurring revenues. Enterprise IT professionals can deliver and maintain a wide range of virtual Windows endpoints across hybrid workforces with ease and fine-tune end-user computing (EUC) approaches for maximum effectiveness using powerful monitoring and analytics capabilities. For more information, please visit

Employee Spotlight: Get to Know Jarred Foley

  1. What’s your role here at Nerdio? What do you do on a day-to-day basis and how do you help partners/customers?  

I am the Regional Sales Manager for Nerdio in Australia, and I was Nerdio’s first hire in APAC. I help our customers and partners identify and overcome the opportunities and challenges they face while modernizing their digital workspace platforms and transitioning them to the public cloud. 

If you ask my family, it is a lot of emails and phone calls, at any time of the day. 

  1. What’s a fun fact about you that most people don’t know/couldn’t guess?  

I (briefly) trained as a figure skater when I was young. I grew up in a town where in summer it can average around 90 deg F with humidity in the 80% range. I thought it was a better option than running around a rugby field. While I wasn’t very good at it, it made roller blading easier when that was in vogue. 

  1. What’s one technological advancement you hope to see or think we will see in the next ten years?  

If I am thinking with my VDI / Digital Workspace hat on, the ability to migrate (ala vMotion) a user session from one multi-session OS machine to another, without the user having to log off and back on. 

In the world at large, I don’t necessarily want or think we need to see a wholesale adoption of fully autonomous cars in the short to medium term. However, I like the concept of using data and connected, semi-autonomous vehicles to ultimately improve safety, help with traffic flow, and congestion, and just make more efficient use of the limited space we dedicate to our roadways. 

  1. What are three movies you’d bring with you to a deserted island?  

That is a tough one, and I am not very nuanced in my movie taste, let’s go with the basics: 

  • Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 
  • Happy Gilmore 
  • Shawshank Redemption 
  1. In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding part of working for Nerdio?  

Seeing our product develop in real time and those developments showing a meaningful benefit to our customers and partners.  

I have worked for vendors before where they might make a passing comment of something “being on the roadmap”. With Nerdio, when we say something like that, we mean it and deliver on it. 

  1. What sitcom family or friend group would you choose to be a part of?  

I like the family and friends group I have but if I had to choose, I would probably be the 4th wheel in a Top Gear / The Grand Tour style troop. Being part of the travelling circus that is Formula 1 would be cool too if you class it as somewhat of a sitcom from its recent Netflix fame. Maybe I could be the guy that makes coffee for one of the teams… 

How good would it be to just travel the world to all the locations a Formula 1 team goes to and be the one that kick starts people’s day with a great coffee? 

  1. Besides a standard computer, what is the earliest piece of technology you remember owning?  

It was more of a toy, but a Tandy / RadioShack Armatron Robotic Arm. I don’t know what you consider a standard computer, but my first computer was an Amstrad CPC 64 with a tape deck in the keyboard, before moving onto Commodore 64 and eventually an early 086 IBM clone. 

  1. You’ve been with Nerdio for a while now. What’s motivated you to stick around?  

I like being part of something that is growing and heading in the right direction. I am excited to see where the company is headed, and I can honestly say I wake up every day knowing I am going to have energizing conversations with customers and partners. You don’t get that at every organization you work for. 

  1. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned while working in tech?  

That is a tough one, I would have to say it would be that change is inevitable. While it is important to stay abreast of the latest technology and trends, it is also important to know about the history and the legacy behind things as it helps to explain the why. 

  1. What’s a current technology trend you’re passionate about?  

As a parent, I think it is my duty to be interested and invested in understanding the technology that is shaping and impacting our children. So ultimately a lot of that gets chosen for me. 

On the personal interest front, I think home automation and smart grid have a place in how we design and configure our homes and living spaces and have moved past being a gimmick or fad. While I don’t need Siri or Google to necessarily control everything in my home, I am happy to only use certain appliances when I have enough solar being generated for it to make sense. So smart grid and smart appliance technology coupled with home automation is something I am eager to see evolve and keen to further adopt.  

On the fun side, I am into mountain biking, so it is hard to not keep across the evolution of technology on and off the bike. It is interesting to see something that was traditionally a physical and mechanical endeavor get shaped by technical advancements. From wireless gear shifting, through to telemetry and data acquisition for suspension tuning. I do geek out on some of that stuff. 

Case Study: Impact Networking Selects Nerdio Manager for MSP for Mature, Modern IT Operations

Learn how a large Chicago-based MSP with operations across the United States has been able to onboard new cloud customers and scale their staff and business by transitioning from Nerdio for Azure to Nerdio’s modern platform for managed service providers – Nerdio Manager for MSP


A Deep, Rich History Starts in Chicago  

Founded in 1999, Impact Networking is one of the fastest-growing managed service providers (MSPs) in the United States, employing more than 800 industry experts at 23 locations across the US. The company specializes in the conception, development and execution of customized strategies and solutions that improve technical, financial, operational, and creative aspects of a business. 

In 2016 as more workloads were being moved to the cloud, whether it be full or hybrid postures, Impact partnered with Nerdio to leverage its private cloud offering at the time for their clients. The two IT companies, both Chicago-headquartered, shared an unwavering commitment to help businesses reduce redundant, manual processes with modern technology and intelligent automation. The white glove support and close collaborative nature displayed by Nerdio, a pre-seed startup at the time, resonated immediately with Impact.  

As Microsoft Azure started gaining momentum, Impact carefully evaluated how to best position offerings around the service and use it to bring new value to their clients who had perhaps outgrown the private cloud solution. Impact’s natural evolution of service delivery was to migrate their clients to Azure itself, leveraging Nerdio for Azure, Nerdio’s SaaS Azure management platform.  

Nerdio for Azure allowed Impact to begin automating the deployment of various infrastructure solutions inside of Azure. They could automate user onboarding and off boardings, license assignments, etc. and navigate Azure more efficiently through Nerdio’s admin portal. More impactful still, Nerdio gave the MSP the chance to standardize every account across all Azure components like resource groups, virtual networking and VM image management. This way they would all follow the same name, be found in the same place, etc. This made it immediately easier for Impact’s engineers to troubleshoot client environments because it was easy to tell when something was out of order. 

Selecting Nerdio Manager for MSP 

Despite their heavy usage of Nerdio for Azure, Impact did not fret when the product sunset was announced. “We knew we were going to be able to rely on our partners over at Nerdio to help,” clarified Daniel Alfaro, Managed IT Operations Manager, at Impact. “And they did not disappoint. Everything had been thought through and communicated so that MSPs had the knowledge at-hand they needed to make their next move.” 

In general, the quality and high-touch nature of Nerdio’s support and Partner Solutions team is one of Impact’s favorite aspects of their partnership. The two teams share inside jokes about Nerdio’s staff being chatbots in disguise because they are so responsive at all hours of the day, night, and weekend. Nerdio’s knowledge base site – — also provided the Impact team with a treasure trove of product information, troubleshooting guides, how-to guides and video explainers that helped simplify their transition to Nerdio Manager and gave Impact a way to self-help themselves in a matter of minutes.   

Nerdio Manager for MSP is a multi-tenant management platform that allows MSPs to deploy, manage and optimize Microsoft Azure and its virtual desktop services. Installing Nerdio Manager into an MSP’s Azure tenant lays the foundation for dozens, if not hundreds, of customers to be onboarded and managed from a single intuitive management interface.   

In Impact’s case – they started their transition from Nerdio for Azure to Nerdio Manager for MSP in late fall 2021. By summer 2022 they had several dozen clients with substantial environments, migrated to the new platform. Roughly a third of those were net-new cloud customers.  

“I am 99% confident that we can completely stand up and manage an Azure client entirely in Nerdio Manager without ever having to touch the Azure portal outside maybe the initial setup for registering providers.” – Daniel Alfaro, Managed IT Operations Manager at Impact.  

Exploring + Informing the Latest Nerdio Innovation  

Even though they had long been fans of Nerdio’s product innovation, the Impact team was still surprised and impressed by Nerdio Manager’s features. Overall, the platform was better, faster, and stronger than Nerdio for Azure. Still, three features stood out among the team’s favorites.  

Host Pool Management  

Luis Garcia, Cloud Engineer at Impact, expressed great enthusiasm for Nerdio’s improved host pool management capabilities in Nerdio Manager. He expounded, “I use this every single day. It’s been great for my job. I am constantly in Azure doing something related, whether it’s trying to troubleshoot issues, stand up new host pools, upgrade images – it’s the one feature that I use the most. If you’re trying to do these manually, it requires a lot of steps and time to set things up yourself that could be handled by Nerdio in seconds.” 


Automation is critical to the business Impact runs. Having access to Nerdio’s API lets them take the Nerdio automation even further with custom tasks and reporting which lowers their operational and technical overhead. This also reduces risk for their customers and allows Impact to better align operations with their own internal business systems and processes.  

Integrations with Microsoft Intune 

Nerdio’s integrations with Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Microsoft Intune help bridge the management of physical and virtual device management. Alfaro’s team was so excited by these that they created a new job role in the company – their first Modern Workplace Engineer. This role supports a great Azure experience through elements like identity and access management, centralized device management, and more.  

In addition to using the new features, Impact also has played a role in informing them. On average, Nerdio comes out with 10-15 new Nerdio Manager for MSP features each month – almost all driven by direct partner feedback. Impact plays a very proactive role in this regard and recently beta tested Nerdio’s new reporting feature that shows how a client’s Azure deployment compared to the quote provided prior to deployment. This is just one of countless contributions they’ve made to Nerdio’s products over the years.  

“There’s plenty of times where we’ll look at Nerdio’s change log and release notes and we’re like, ’Ah, that’s us, and this one, this one, this one, this one, this one.’ So that’s rare, and frankly awesome,” said Andy Nolan, another one of Impact’s Cloud Engineers. “I think what makes the difference is that it seems as though everybody’s committed to that support from the top down. Anybody at any level in Nerdio’s organization seems genuinely interested in what we’re doing, and the things they can do better to help us do better.” 

Results: Exploring the Impact   

The Nerdio Manager application enables Impact to implement and manage Microsoft Azure tenants for its clients with little effort, improve service for dozens of clients, and greatly increase operational efficiency. 

Furthermore, they are doubling their team of Azure engineers to support the demand they are seeing for Azure and its related services facilitated by Nerdio.  

With their latest Nerdio investment, Impact can easily create and implement trainable, repeatable workflows that has led to increased efficiency among their staff. They spend less time trying to figure out things in Azure and ramping up new hires and spend more time serving customers and solving problems. 

“Nerdio Manager for MSP has truly enabled us to turn around the requests that are sent to us, whether it be quoting or deployment or troubleshooting. Honestly, we’re doubling the size of our Azure engineers, primarily because we’re winning so much business because we’re able to turn things around much faster and stand clients up in Azure in record time.” 

Alfaro adds, “With the additional hires, we hope to create even better processes that will help standardize tasks further and allow our Azure engineers to spend a lot more time on staff education and growth.” 

About Impact 

Impact Networking, LLC is a leading national managed service provider (MSP) that specializes in the conception, development, and execution of customized strategies and solutions that improve the technical, financial, operational, and creative aspects of a business. The wide range of services includes Managed IT and Cloud, Cybersecurity, Digital Innovation, Branding and Marketing, and Print and Document Management. Founded in 1999, the company is headquartered in Lake Forest, IL, and maintains 23 branches across the Midwest, West Coast, and Texas, employing over 750 industry experts. For more information, visit  

About Nerdio  

Nerdio adds value on top of the powerful capabilities in Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, and Microsoft Intune by delivering hundreds of features that simplify management, ensure efficient operations, and lower Azure compute and storage costs by up to 80% via automation and license optimization.  

Leveraging Nerdio, MSPs can manage customers’ cloud environments through streamlined, multi-tenant, workflow-powered technology that allows them to create and grow cloud-based recurring revenues. Enterprise IT professionals can deliver and maintain a wide range of virtual Windows endpoints across hybrid workforces with ease and fine-tune end-user computing (EUC) approaches for maximum effectiveness using powerful monitoring and analytics capabilities. Learn more at

mpsWORKS Transitions to Modern, Multi-tenant Azure Management 

As we continue to see a huge shift in MSPs (Managed Service Providers) moving toward cloud-based infrastructure and cloud-delivered Windows, we in tandem are seeing savvy MSPs who have been in the cloud for years and are now looking to optimize and toward “what’s next.”  

We sat down with Robert Bohacek, owner of mpsWORKS, a Florida-based MSP serving the Tampa Bay area, to better understand how transitioning to Nerdio Manager for MSP from Nerdio for Azure has helped him improve his Azure practice and operations.  

Tell Us about How You Initially Approached the Migration to Nerdio Manager  

At the time we moved to Nerdio Manager for MSP we already had six accounts, totaling just shy of 50 seats, managed using Nerdio for Azure.  So, we knew Nerdio’s team and products to be very innovative and helpful.  

The assets created to help partners transition between Nerdio’s MSP products, as opposed to from on-prem or another Azure or AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop) management tool, made the journey more streamlined. After all, migrations can be complex even if you have the most cutting-edge tech.  

There’s a spreadsheet the Partner Solutions team put together that we used to collect documents and the information we needed for the migration. We went one step further by adding a simple technician checklist to the end to ensure the tech who performs the migration for each of the accounts, or with future accounts, is not missing certain steps. This kind of thing is something I’m seeing from Nerdio too with Approvals Workflows and product features that help to eliminate human error.  

What Assets Have Helped You Streamline Your Transition to Nerdio Manager for MSP?  

The planning for a migration guide and the discovery document found on Nerdio’s MSP Knowledge Base not only allowed us to complete the migration successfully, but it also allowed us to take a step back and look at the setups of our different accounts. I’m proud to say that we have also experienced and utilized the migration to a point to actually realize some very important cost savings. 

I would encourage anyone embarking on the transition from Nerdio for Azure to Nerdio Manager for MSP to look at them because the guides allow you to peek inside of the migration process, and you will realize that the steps are not very complex. The guide is split up into detailed sections and each section has a certain number of tasks that you should perform – recommended practices for a successful migration. And some steps will feel very familiar and intuitive because of the day-to-day tasks that you perform in Nerdio for Azure already. 

Did You Encounter Any Specific Challenges During the Migration to Nerdio Manager?  

Some migrations had different identity sources. Some used domain federation identities, some dual tenant identities, and others standard AD DS.  

I do want to point out that I did not have the automation button that migrates Nerdio for Azure accounts directly to Nerdio Manager for MSP. I’ve heard a lot of great things, but we were a bit earlier in our migration and did so before the button was available.  

Which really wasn’t a problem, I just point it out as the lack of the button led us to go back and review each of our accounts. I was glad to do that because it allowed me to sort of sit back and evaluate if the different resources we had allocated in each were appropriate. 

From the Other Side of Migration, What Are Some of the Benefits You’re Seeing?  

Once you get through the migration, you now have a platform that requires even less maintenance and management. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve found important cost savings by standardizing our accounts managed by Nerdio.  

Nerdio Manager for MSP, an ARM-based system, seems to generate a lot less issues with users and FSLogix profiles. We’ve seen a decrease in help desk tickets since switching to the platform. The image templates and other templates seem to work so much better with the newest version of AVD which is ARM-based. The way Azure Files stores and reacts together with hosts seem to work very well, and the handshake between the entire ARM-based system is great.  

I also love the Nerdio Manager interface. The way things happen in the platform is much faster, much more fluid. You don’t have to wait for a certain task, tasks that before you had to go back and check on it. Overall, the interface is very neat, very organized, and there are a ton of features, and new features being added all the time.  

Things in Nerdio Manager are automated to a point where, for example, if you do a small update to a session host you can automatically terminate it after whatever time period you choose. Just as you are in control of the session host schedule and when they turn on, you can dictate whether session hosts be turned off in 30 minutes, an hour, two hours. You can schedule the powering off your desktop template. Because I’m sure that’s happened to everyone: that a tech may have unintentionally left the session running overnight. This creates extra costs and significant costs because, you know, the reserved instance (RI) was only applied to the existing host users are using. 

For any questions about Nerdio Manager for MSP or to get assistance with your migration away from Nerdio for Azure, please contact our team at   

NerdioCon Day 3 Recap

On the final day of #NerdioCon23, we had lots of amazing presentations and content! Thank you to all our speakers and sponsors for making NerdioCon23 as amazing as possible. Thank you for the great day, the amazing closing party, and an overall unbelievable week!


We had a few fantastic keynotes from some channel superstars and industry vets that you didn’t want to miss!

Nerdio’s “Ask Us Anything” Presentation to wrap up the amazing week

Breakout Sessions and Roundtables

Our Breakout track continued. We also had a second round of our new and popular Partner Roundtables. Tons of opportunities and learnings available for both MSPs and Enterprise partners alike.

Partner Roundtables – Day 3

Closing Party!

Thank you for NerdioCon23

Once again, a huge thank you to all those who attended NerdioCon this year. And a second huge thank you to our staff and sponsors – without all of you, this wouldn’t be possible. NerdioCon23 was a blast, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for NerdioCon24.