Here’s some powerful advice: “Never change your business and how it functions or needs to function to work around a technology solution. Find the technology solution that works to fit your business,” says Matthew Davidson, former Vice President of Technology at NELSON Worldwide, and now Field CTO at Workspot. After executing the strategic vision for Cloud PCs and workstations at NELSON, Matthew is a true believer and joined Workspot to help other companies realize the same benefits. Wow!
In conjunction with the highly regarded Engineering News Record (ENR), I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar featuring Workspot customer NELSON Worldwide. If you’re in the AEC industry, you’ll be familiar with ENR as one of the most authoritative sources for construction related topics. You can watch the full webinar here, but I wanted to also share some of the key insights they shared in this blog. You can also schedule a demo to see the SaaS Cloud PC platform that is delivering so much value to NELSON in action!
So back to THE definitive list, and to the sage advice that accompanied it.
The Cloud PC List for IT Leaders
If you take Matthew’s advice to its logical conclusion, you end up with a list of business requirements that make sense for organizations in any industry. NELSON Worldwide happens to be in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, but their strategic vision for the value that Cloud PCs needed to deliver should be your vision too:
- Hire from a worldwide talent pool
- Streamlined on-boarding process
- M&A: Incorporate new people and processes in hours, not months
- International expansion and growth
- On-demand workstations: add/moves/config changes to meet business demands
- Built-in disaster recovery and business continuity
- Reduce costs while increasing functionality and capabilities
NELSON sought a Cloud PC platform that could fulfill these business requirements without compromises, and they found it in Workspot.
The Cloud PC and Workstation Evaluation Process
Vendors! Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
NELSON reached out to six vendors with their requirements, including the obvious players in the VDI space. Their first requirement was a free proof of concept (POC), or proof of value (POV) because they believe the vendor needs to prove that what they are saying is true and show their value upfront. Would the solution replace a desktop or laptop computer, and would the compute environment be exactly the same? This eliminated four vendors, who were apparently unwilling to take that risk. On the other hand, the Workspot team knows we’re adding tremendous value and we knew we could deliver an environment that was exactly the same as what NELSON’s end users were used to (or better!), and we were happy to conduct the POV.
Cross Platform and Cross Cloud Support
NELSON supports a variety of endpoints, including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS environments. Additionally, with NELSON’s offices scattered around the country, their intention to expand into global markets, and the need to support remote work, latency was a major concern. They needed the ability to place Cloud PCs and workstations across multiple cloud regions, and ultimately across multiple cloud providers. Workspot is the only SaaS Cloud PC platform that is easily scalable across multiple cloud regions and providers – you can add Cloud PCs and workstations in a few minutes, anywhere in the world. Your end users can use their device of choice – whatever best fits where and when they are working.
Incremental Production Rollout
NELSON’s strategy was to step into the solution in increments. They wanted to roll out the Cloud PCs and workstations office by office to allow the change management process to unfold. This is where vendor flexibility is critical, and NELSON did not find it anywhere other than Workspot. Although the Workspot solution can be deployed all at once for hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of end users, NELSON chose to focus on cultivating buy-in from their end users. Workspot and NELSON worked together on extensive User Acceptance Testing (UAT) across departments, which is an important part of our Customer Success process. The NELSON team provided feedback that informed how our team would fine-tune the implementation to ensure outstanding performance that everyone would be happy with.
A Healthy Marriage: NELSON IT + Workspot
The relationship Workspot has with its customers is unique in the tech world. Most come to view us as an extension of their internal IT team – it’s a natural evolution. With NELSON, it was an explicit requirement. During their first call with us, they stated that they wanted a “marriage,” in which they would work closely with the vendor on an ongoing basis to ensure their requirements could be continually met as they grow and change. This is another area where Workspot shines. Beyond the benefits of our SaaS Cloud PC technology innovation, our Customer Success Team stays with our customers during the lifetime of their engagement with us. The cross-company team held weekly tech calls, worked on problems together, and discussed solutions together. Additionally, the Workspot team can monitor every customer’s environment to see exactly what they are experiencing, which accelerates resolution. Often we see a potential problem before it disrupts the customer’s environment – that’s powerful oversight to have, and no other vendor has it. We’re also able to interface with cloud providers to facilitate problems originating with them, which is a tremendous help to our customers, since navigating large public cloud provider support services can be daunting.
NELSON’s Business Benefits: How About that Cloud PC Vision List?
We’re pleased to be delivering value against each item on the vision list. Workspot Cloud PCs and workstations provide the freedom to hire people anywhere, so they can apply the best talent to the project. People can be on-boarded in minutes and productive on their new Cloud PC immediately. The business can grow beyond prior geographical boundaries, because now there are no boundaries; new branch offices are not needed, and latency is a non-issue, so work can be anywhere. Flexible configurations and flexible pricing models allow you to provide exactly the right compute resource for every organizational role – on-demand. Disaster recovery and business continuity are built in, because people can work from anywhere that is safe after a disaster and from any device. Plus, Workspot innovation take DR and BC preparation to new levels with Cloud PC high-availability options you won’t find anywhere else. Finally, NELSON describes several areas where they are realizing cost savings, including less expensive endpoints, break/fix schemes, fewer servers and domain controllers, no hypervisors, no VPN concentrators, no data center or colo, no costly redundancies, no duplicate internet connections. Additional financial benefits are derived from increased productivity, application and OS consistency and greater agility to pursue new opportunities.
Be sure to watch the entire webcast when you have time – it’s pretty cool to hear them tell their story of how NELSON and Workspot worked together to fulfill their vision and meet their list of requirements.
Ready to see how Workspot SaaS Cloud PCs work? Just schedule a demo and we’ll set it up!