Case study: intY assures Systems Assurance with Microsoft cloud support

Background

Systems Assurance has been providing IT equipment and services to corporate and government organisations since 1992. Initially focusing on hardware technology sales, in recent years Systems Assurance has moved into the cloud technology market, offering its customers a range of services to help improve the flexibility and scalability of their IT estate. Working with a small team of engineers, Systems Assurance offers a comprehensive variety of services to its clients, including web hosting, software licensing and maintenance, all underpinned by dedicated customer support.

Challenge

When Systems Assurance initially moved into the cloud services market, it worked with several of the large, broadline distributors. However, these were not particularly productive relationships, as Simon Lewington, Managing Director at Systems Assurance, explained:

“Four or five years ago we recognised that cloud technology would enable us to deliver services that give us a stable source of recurring revenue and provide real value to the customer, which we could deliver with our small team. We looked at the large, broadline distributors, but felt that they didn’t understand the services market, and they couldn’t close the gap between what the dealer can’t do and what the distributor can do. As our dealings with these larger distributors progressed, we grew increasingly frustrated at the disjointed process of delivering cloud services to our customers, which didn’t align with seamless way that Systems Assurance does business.

“We were looking for a distributor that had knowledgeable staff that could provide attentive support and engage with us as well as our customers. Our clients are large corporate enterprises and government institutions, so a reliable IT service is critical to business success. It was important to us that we worked with a cloud provider who understood our needs and those of our clients.”

Solution

Since it was founded in 1997, intY has developed unparalleled expertise and knowledge in distributing cloud services, ensuring that its partners have access to the latest cloud solutions, all supported with the necessary training and resources needed to make them as competitive as possible. intY’s breadth of experience and success in the cloud marketplace is reflected not only in its global reach, with operations in the UK, US and main-land Europe, but also in the depth of its partnerships with the biggest names in the industry – something which became quickly apparent to Systems Assurance. Simon continued:

“Having tried a number of the major cloud distributors, we had a conversation with intY. The company may not have been quite as big as some of the other’s we had worked with, but it was its total focus on cloud services that appealed to us. As we discussed our requirements, and those of our customers, with intY, it became clear that not only have they acquired significant expertise in the market, but that the team were focused on ensuring smooth and seamless service delivery.

“Working with intY to access Microsoft’s cloud solutions has been critical to the recent growth in our cloud services business. Our clients are large corporations and government institutions, and they want a name and a brand that they can trust. Everyone knows Microsoft, it is a real industry leader, so when you can offer your clients cloud services from one of the world’s largest, most recognisable technology companies, it gives them confidence in the services we are delivering. When we can go to our customers and tell them that we can have them on-boarded on Microsoft Office365 within a matter of hours, rather than days, that’s a convincing sales proposition, and is really only possible because of the support that intY gives us.”

Over the 18 months that Systems Assurance has been working with intY, the company has purchased a range of Microsoft services through intY, including licenses for Microsoft Office365 and Microsoft Dynamics. It is also rapidly expanding its Microsoft Azure capabilities so that it can offer its clients the full range of Microsoft cloud services.

“As a business we aim to have fewer but larger clients than a typical IT services provider. Quality of service is critically important to our clients. Without intY serving as the bridge between us and Microsoft, I know for a fact that we wouldn’t get issues resolved as quickly, and have the level of support that we do.

“We said to intY when started working with them that we wouldn’t come to them as often as some resellers might, but that we would bring them big deals, that would need a lot of support and advice. We have since found that intY are the ideal partner for our approach to business. They offer us the assistance we need, getting involved with conference calls with the client to put their minds at ease, and offer the skills and expertise that we don’t have in-house, closing the loop where the larger broadline distributors couldn’t.”

Results

Simon concluded: “Working with intY has had an immensely positive impact on our business. We all know that channel partners have to adapt the way they work to profit from the rise in cloud services and intY has supported us and enabled us to make this transition. We have seen a significant growth in customers since working with intY, and intY is also helping us on-board these customers into using cloud services much faster than we would usually. The key differentiator between intY and other distributors that we have experienced is that they are more than happy to be in front of the customer. Many distributors will back out of that engagement, but intY are happy to support us with the customer, which makes the delivery of cloud services utterly seamless and gives our customers more confidence in the solutions we are delivering.”

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