cubesys is always looking for new and innovative ways to help enterprise customers maximize their Microsoft investments. The award-winning Solutions Partner has been embedded in the Microsoft world since it was founded in 2013. The company was an extremely early adopter of Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), named Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) at the time of launch, due to their symbiotic relationship with Microsoft and demonstrated EUC-related (end user computing) results across some of the largest enterprises and government entities in Australia.
“AVD sits right in our sweet spot, and we were instrumental in helping Microsoft get the service established in Australia,” said Paul Heaton, CEO and co-founder, cubesys. “With AVD we’re able to coordinate the Azure platform infrastructure, networking and security, plus all the Microsoft 365 identity and endpoint management in an effort to streamline operations across massive enterprise organizations.”
Adoption of AVD started off slowly in Australia, but the onset of the pandemic triggered a massive spike in demand for remote desktop and access technologies. This was particularly true among government customers that needed to maintain essential services during lockdown.
At the time, cubesys had an internal DevOps team doing the bulk of requisite automation across Azure environments. That approach was quickly becoming unsustainable for a small and increasingly busy team.
“Microsoft kept encouraging us to talk to Nerdio to improve our efficiency, but we were so preoccupied with the influx of new business that we kept delaying,” added Heaton. “Once we saw Nerdio’s power in action, we jumped on it immediately. The level of granularity and customization with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise is unmatched. It is truly the only solution on the market that makes AVD effective for the biggest enterprise organizations around the globe.”
Flex and Forget
Prior to adopting Nerdio, cubesys was building a lot of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) on-premises, which made flexing resource capacity during peak usage nearly impossible. The cubesys engineering team had to make sure there was adequate capacity in the data center at any given time, even if the customer was only using 60-80 percent of that on a regular basis. The system was incredibly inefficient and became wholly unacceptable as the workforce shifted between office and home during the pandemic and macroeconomic factors caused economic uncertainty.
“Nerdio Manager for Enterprise empowered us to align resources with the specific needs of our clients without having to configure and adjust additional parameters along the way,” said Heaton. “When COVID-19 forced a lockdown across Australia, one of our largest government departments had to adapt from about 80-90 remote workers on any given day, to more than 800 individuals accessing virtual desktops concurrently. Without the elasticity that Nerdio provided none of that would have been possible.”
Not only did Nerdio Manager for Enterprise help that specific customer optimize storage and compute, but it also became a true set-and-forget solution automating the entire deployment process and reducing unnecessary maintenance for the customer’s internal IT team. Though cubesys offers managed services and ongoing IT support and management, this particular customer only required their assistance with deployment and handover to their internal IT team.
And although it wasn’t required in the above instance, Nerdio’s support team was always on call to help – a necessity during the pandemic.
“Everyone at Nerdio is so easy to work with, so fast to respond to problems, and so solutions-oriented,” commented Heaton. “Nerdio is exactly what a software company should be.”
Changing the Relationship Between IT and Business
Beyond the technical improvements gleaned from intelligent automation and auto-scaling, Nerdio’s monitoring and reporting dashboard has even evolved the often-strained relationship between IT and business departments and stakeholders. Particularly within big enterprise organizations, there tends to be a lot of confusion and conversation around each department’s IT spending: How much storage do we actually need? How much compute is used in each individual session? Where can we cut costs?
“I used to run IT at these huge companies and was constantly justifying expenses to accounting, cost centers, managers, and more,” said Heaton. “It was always incredibly difficult to explain the complexities to a non-technical audience and created unnecessary strain. The transparent reporting in Nerdio Manager for Enterprise helps IT have an effective, clear dialog with the business entities that control the purse strings, which has emerged as a real differentiator for the product.”
cubesys even won a new enterprise client because of Nerdio’s ability to track the same reporting metrics for both AVD and Windows 365 in one unified dashboard. This streamlined approach generates clear cost and time savings for clients, while removing the need to retain additional staff.
Extending Value to the Partner & Customer
Almost three years into the partnership, cubesys has not only implemented Nerdio in 60+ projects in Australia, but also has been extremely successful leveraging Nerdio to manage over 20 IT environments in their Managed Services practice.
“From the Solutions Partner perspective, Nerdio really understands how to navigate our world. They know how finance and accounting work in the Microsoft ecosystem and are able to ensure everyone is getting paid, leads are appropriately tracked, etc.” noted Heaton. “In fact, when it comes to managed services, we won’t work with a company unless they’re using Nerdio.”
At the same time, customer optimization of AVD and user experience is mission-critical for cubesys.
“It’s my job to deliver the best possible AVD experience to cubesys customers,” said Heaton. “Nerdio not only enables better management of the platform, but we’re able to deliver on high quality projects more effectively, with faster time to implementation, across varied, unique environments. We can thereby pass customized benefits on to the client while generating better margins as a partner.”
Thus far, cubesys reported between 70-80 percent time savings for the set-up process and 50-60 percent in ongoing management and engineering, making Nerdio an obvious value-add across the business and well-worth the investment.