Transforming Business with Office 365
Managed IT Services
Office 365 bundles boost SureTech revenue by 21 percent
SureTech is riding the Office 365 wave by teaming up with SherWeb, an Indirect Partner (2-Tier) in Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. Building on its success with other managed and hosted services, SureTech has added Office 365 to its portfolio of cloud services. New billing capabilities under the CSP enable SureTech to bundle Office 365 subscriptions with its other core offerings like PCs and MACs. The result? Customers have access to a one-stop shop that includes managed services. These new bundles have helped SureTech to increase revenue.
“Being a CSP partner with SherWeb gave us a chance to take Office 365 and align it to our existing business model.”
The New York-based company offers critical IT services to its clients. These include on-site management of networks, servers and workstations, virtual desktops, cloud computing, datacenters and data backup. The company also offers custom web and interactive applications, office communication tools and 24/7 support. SureTech specializes in customized workflow solutions tailored to its clients’ IT resources, needs and budgets. They have successfully bundled, branded and trademarked added value into their core product, SureOfficeTM.
Catching the Office 365 Wave
Dana Molina, VP of Sales and Operations for SureTech, said customers began asking last year if they could subscribe to Microsoft Office 365 along with other SureTech services. SureTech currently offers centralized monthly billing, local support and a simple ordering model that lets customers configure the precise service combination they need.
“The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program gave us the chance to take Office 365 and align it to our existing business model,” said Molina. “This program gave us the chance to provide customers with more flexible and valuable managed services.”
Painful Challenges with Ingram Micro
SureTech’s first thought was to contact Ingram Micro, their existing distributor for Office 365. However, they soon found some pain points that made managing the project difficult and frustrating.
First, they had problems with the Ingram Micro portal.
“It was too complex and we were also running into dead-ends or system errors” said Molina. “We often needed to do the same procedure twice for it to work”.
The provisioning process didn’t seem to be fully automated either. Molina said they often had to wait hours before they could access their clients’ Office 365 services.
Molina said SureTech could have lived with the portal problems, but the fact that Ingram Micro would only accept one contact point at SureTech was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“At SureTech, everybody is involved in solving clients’ problems and that’s what makes us responsive and valuable,” she said. “We tried for a couple of weeks, but it was really painful to rely on that one person who had to deal with all open issues. In the end, it slowed down our productivity, and clients’ response time.“
Accounts Transferred in One Day
SureTech was already selling Hosted Exchange services as a SherWeb partner. The company knew that SherWeb was also one of the leading Indirect (2-Tier) Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers. In the short term, SureTech needed a solution to transfer its existing Ingram Micro accounts to SherWeb without affecting its own customers. Using SherWeb’s integrated process with the multichannel feature enabled SureTech to consolidate its Office 365 business under one partner account.
“We knew SherWeb had a great team of migration experts but the result was even better than expected!” said Molina. “In fact, there was no migration involved at all; it was a simple authorization button to click.”
Using SherWeb’s portal enabled SureTech to transfer each account in less than an hour. In the end, all accounts were transferred in a single day.
SureTech sells standard Office 365 subscriptions but also specializes in combining Office 365 with its SureDesk™ hosted desktop and integrated PC management and HelpDesk user support. Its most popular package combines a customized professional hosted computer with Office 365 Business Premium applications. After all, most employees requiring a PC also need email and Office Apps. Microsoft requires enterprise licenses to run MS Office on hosted desktops. Molina said the beauty of partnering with SherWeb is rather than using the traditional SPLA, SureTech can now provision ProPlus licenses for desktop customers and have one partner for all its Microsoft Office licenses.
“The addition of the Microsoft Office productivity applications to our existing PCs, servers and hosted solutions was very attractive to customers who like the ability to update these applications continuously with no big upgrade bumps,” said Molina.
Give SMBs Power of Choice
SureTech has discovered that its Office 365 sweet spot is organizations with 1 to 200 employees. These companies have many mobile workers who spend a lot of time collaborating remotely with their colleagues.
Adding Office 365 to its portfolio helped SureTech win an important contract with a New York City real estate broker.
“This client was clearly looking for a single provider and advisor, but they were also really informed and specifically requested Office 365,” she said. “Without Office 365, it would have been really tough and impossible to win this 150-seat deal.”
Reduced Customer Response Time
Molina said having access to SherWeb’s support department had a tremendous impact on SureTech’s productivity with Office 365.
“We really see a difference in the type of support we now receive. We don’t feel like a number anymore. We feel like we’re working with humans who care about our business as much as we do and that makes a huge difference in the end.”
SureTech is also using SherWeb’s migration services for its clients.
“SherWeb is really implicated in every deal that we are working on,” said Molina. “It allows us to focus on the implementation process, use cases and workflows for the customers. And we know the data migration is going to be handled properly by SherWeb’s migration technicians.”