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.”