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

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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 www.getnerdio.com.

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