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 – help.nerdio.net — 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.”
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 www.impactmybiz.com.
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 www.getnerdio.com/nmm.