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Ceeva’s Strategic Shift: Delivering More Value to Customers with AVD

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Ceeva is a managed service provider (MSP) with a security first mindset, delivering IT Confidence-as-a-Service to businesses anywhere in the world looking for strategic support of their digital tools. A full-service shop dedicated to protecting customer assets and IP, Ceeva was on the hunt for a cloud VDI solution that combined security and functionality. However, many of the in-house DIY or self-assembled DaaS solutions the team explored were too big and expensive for the average Ceeva client ranging from 30-150 users.

Rick Topping, VP of Operations at Ceeva, had been keeping a keen eye on the Microsoft Azure platform and saw real promise in what Microsoft was doing with desktop virtualization.

“I watched the evolution of Windows Virtual Desktop and then Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), and I could tell this technology had the potential to solve a myriad of our clients’ problems,” said Topping. “We started playing around with the AVD platform for internal use to enable our engineers to work from home, but quickly discovered how challenging it was to manage even only a few users.”

Despite Ceeva’s strong Microsoft partnership, the team struggled immediately with the initial builds, followed by complicated maintenance and knew it’d be impossible to do at scale.

Microsoft Azure Catered for MSP Operations + Priorities

Topping engaged with Nerdio somewhat early in Ceeva’s Azure journey in an effort to simplify management of Microsoft’s powerful platform.

“As soon as I saw the demo, I knew Nerdio Manager was what we needed to make Microsoft’s cloud VDI technology scalable and manageable for our MSP,” Topping noted. “From there we had two users fully up and working on remote desktops within 90 minutes. I was blown away. I didn’t need to do any more digging – the value was immediately clear.”

In addition to expedient onboarding and deployment, the Ceeva team also benefited greatly from Nerdio’s patented auto-scaling. With Azure’s consumption-based billing, automating certain resources such as virtual machines (VMs) had historically created a lot of anxiety as it was always unclear how that would manifest on the monthly bill. This was something they wanted to shield customers from at all costs, and of course avoid eating excess Azure costs themselves.

With Nerdio Manager for MSP, Ceeva can scale properly without fear of surprise charges. Nerdio makes billing much easier to understand. Because it is installed directly from the Azure Marketplace, it simplifies the billing and procurement processes by simply becoming an added line on the MSP’s Azure bill.

The ease-of-use of the platform made the entire Ceeva team operate more efficiently, removing boring administrative tasks so they could focus on mission critical activities and ones that contributed to revenue growth. But more importantly, for a company that greatly values the employee experiences they provide, the drastic reduction in unnecessary minutiae generated a better work/life balance for all Ceeva employees involved.

A Success Story in Professional Services

Following Ceeva’s successful implementation of Nerdio Manager for MSP, Topping was eager to introduce the technology to customers as a way to more efficiently manage AVD while bolstering security.

A prime candidate emerged when the CIO of an insurance provider approached Ceeva with his mandate to imminently eliminate hardware and transition to a 99% remote workforce. The customer had quite a mess on its hands from a previous, legacy on-prem DaaS vendor, but with Nerdio Manager, Ceeva was confident in its team’s ability to execute.

Not only did Nerdio enable the MSP to react quickly to the request and support the client as needed, but without it Ceeva would never have been able to keep pace with the insurance provider’s rapid growth over the past two years.

“Nerdio is an Azure management tool made for MSPs. With the product we were able to accomplish tasks at speed that would normally take us weeks of many, many billable hours,” recalled Topping. “We also added additional layers of security with just a few tweaks with the tools now at our disposal.

“Because of the agility and improved performance Nerdio provides, we’re able to deliver better service at a better price point. And that’s exactly how I want to grow this business – through providing value and strategic recommendations that will foster strong, decades-long customer relationships.”

Become a Better Business with Nerdio

The savings Nerdio enables Ceeva to pass along to its customers is a clear value add, but the business partnership Nerdio has built with the team over time has proven to be priceless.

To start, Nerdio was integral in onboarding the Ceeva sales team and making sure they were set up for success. The support staff proactively dedicated ample time to training up non-technical members of the sales team and has helped them identify opportunities for new growth.

“Anytime sales hits a snag, they know they can just pick up the phone and connect with Nerdio,” Topping stated. “The sales engineers have been invaluable when it comes to helping us develop new proposals and making Microsoft’s pricing structure, licensing, et cetera easier for prospects to understand. Nerdio’s top priority has always been to position us as the ideal partner to our customers, whatever it takes.”

Over time, partnering with Nerdio has fundamentally transformed Ceeva’s business. The MSP even created a new role to reflect they now have a dedicated virtual desktop (and Nerdio) expert who is able to speak to the immediate value for the customer/prospect and execute quickly on DaaS initiatives.

While the MSP was previously hesitant to chase business of a certain size for fear they couldn’t deliver, Nerdio has opened up a whole new world of growth potential. Not only is the entire Ceeva staff now more knowledgeable about the expansive world of Azure and AVD, but the Nerdio technology and team of industry experts behind it provide the backup necessary to succeed.

“Nerdio has given us the confidence to approach any market, any size organization with our DaaS services,” Topping declared.

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