Conversations with Customers: Set Power Users Free with Cloud Workstations

We talked with one of our newer customers recently to hear more about the benefits they’re seeing now that their cloud workstations have been in production for a while. Read on for the story of how you can set your power users free to work anywhere, improve collaboration and productivity, and bring new growth opportunities to the firm.  That all sounds pretty promising, right? It’s more than a promise – here is the story of how one customer is achieving these goals.

Outdated Technology Slowed Power User Productivity

This fast-growing architecture firm was expanding the number of offices around the country. Remote workers used a VPN to access a remote desktop, but with the heavy BIM and 3D app use that is typical of firms in architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries, remote desktops were not working well for them. They also tried server-based remote desktops which worked slightly better, but latency and app response ultimately took a toll on power users who really can’t compromise on performance. The solution left these users frustrated and less productive. Not only was it difficult to collaborate on designs with in-house team members, but that difficulty was exacerbated when the project involved joint venture partners and collaboration was needed across firms.

Time for a New Strategy: Cloud-First

Two or three years ago one of the IT leaders at the firm attended an industry conference and connected with a current Workspot customer, where the initial discussion about using Workspot took place. After that initial conversation, the firm went down the path of evaluating and testing several VDI solutions, both from major vendors and from Managed Service Providers. They found all the traditional VDI solutions to be inadequate for meeting their simplicity and agility goals. They were also shocked to see that the upfront cost of VDI was going to be $250K-300K before ever getting their first desktop launched! Even the cloud-based solutions would be difficult for them to manage since they would need Azure expertise and would still need to worry about managing complex infrastructure. As they began to experience faster growth, they realized that the cost and time it took to continue building out physical workstations was not sustainable, nor did it provide the flexibility and agility they needed to take the firm into the future. The decision was made that taking a cloud-first approach to technology acquisition was the right choice, and the firm formally adopted this strategy to become more agile, simplify IT, and support the firm’s accelerating growth. Fast- forward a year and our soon-to-be-new-customer had Workspot in mind when they attended AutoDesk University in 2018. A visit to our booth and speaking sessions provided the details they needed to move forward with a proof-of-concept (POC).

The Workspot Difference

During the POC phase, the firm was able to quickly validate the technology and the go-live services, as well as make sure that performance was going to meet the requirements of their power users. While performance was clearly a gating item, the IT team also came into the project without an Azure experience or skillsets, so they really needed to know that when we say our cloud workstation and desktops service is “turnkey”  – we really mean it. Our customers don’t need any Azure skills, because our platform abstracts all those wonderful services so IT teams don’t have to worry about them. These were all key decision criteria, which no other vendor could meet. Once the POC phase was complete and met their goals, transitioning to production was almost immediate. The Workspot customer success team did all the heavy-lifting required to ensure a successful implementation, yet the IT team was also had access to training and enablement that allows them to stay in control of their environment and respond to new requirements.  This is vastly different than working with an MSP. The customer found this tight partnership with Customer Success to be unique and extremely valuable.

Expansion to New Use Cases

Now that the initial implementation is delivering substantial benefits, the firm is looking to expand Workspot into additional branch offices. They plan to start with those that have the oldest infrastructure as well as offices that are growing quickly. While the firm maintains branch offices around the country, they now have the ability to add people without having to implement IT infrastructure – it’s as easy as spinning up a new cloud workstation, which happens in a few minutes. They can also support anywhere-productivity, whether that means enabling engineers and designers to work from a client site, from home, or a hotel and they can hire new people anywhere in the world. They are no longer constrained by geography, either in who they hire or how they grow. And they are looking forward to introducing Workspot into joint venture projects to improve collaboration and simplify IT operations across the partner firms.

The ability to address all of these complex use cases, better secure IP, and gain the agility to accommodate accelerating growth has been truly transformational for this team. The icing on the cake is that power users, who are no longer tethered to their physical workstations, have the freedom to be creative and productive wherever they are. Meantime, IT is enjoying the rave reviews about Workspot performance, along with reduced costs and simplified IT processes. That’s a formula for success!

Ready to learn more? Schedule a live demo to see how it works.

It’s that time of year again – Autodesk University is happening in Las Vegas November 19-21, 2019, and many of our customers will be there – both IT leaders and end users of Workspot cloud workstations.  Be sure to visit our booth #AE402; you’ll see us as soon as you enter the Expo Hall.