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Conversations with Customers: “We’re Switching to Workspot Cloud Workstations? No We’re Not.” (!)

Workspot is laser-focused on customer success. When we re-invented VDI technology to suit the massive scale of the public cloud, we also reinvented the business model for virtual desktop success. To us, it’s unthinkable that we’d sell you something, declare our job done, and wave goodbye with a jaunty “good luck”! That’s not how we operate. Once we prove the value of our cloud PC solution to your business, our Customer Success Team steps in to make sure you’re successful. Those services are part of our turnkey, SaaS service; with Workspot you don’t pay extra for success!

This week I wanted to share the story of an IT team that was unafraid to transform their IT systems. Their primary goal? To better serve their clients. What makes this story really unique is that there was some pretty fierce resistance to moving to Workspot. Here’s the story of Barge Design Solutions’ journey to cloud workstations.

How Can We Be Better?

Barge Design, a leading U.S. firm specializing in the design of healthcare, education and community architecture, was looking for a differentiator. Like many IT teams who have become business strategy leaders in addition to their technology prowess, the team at Barge realized that the time and expense spent managing all of the infrastructure across their offices – including servers, routers, switches, and local file controllers, not to mention managing and updating a whole fleet of big, heavy CAD laptops for each designer – was clearly not strategic to the business. They asked themselves if there was a better way to take care of end user computing that would free them from applying so many resources on IT operational issues and instead focus those resources on providing even more services to their clients. It’s really brave to ask these questions: Can someone else manage these systems more efficiently than we can? Can we achieve better security through IaaS than we could running this infrastructure ourselves? If we make a change, will we be able to keep our power users happy?

These are great questions and the Barge IT team wasn’t afraid to ask them. As they added more sophisticated technology, including the use of drones and laser scanning into their IT mix to better serve clients, it was time to reconsider spending precious IT resources on “keeping the lights on” tasks such as physical desktop provisioning. That’s when they established their cloud-first strategy¬† and shortly thereafter discovered Workspot cloud workstations.

“No, We Are Not Going to Workspot”

The ultimate deal killer is if users are unhappy with application performance. This has been the hallmark of legacy VDI solutions – users are frustrated and the business takes a productivity hit. So when Mechanical Engineer Andrew Christiansen was told the firm was moving to Workspot, his first reaction was “Nope, no we’re not. We’ll have to remote in and that is not going to work for me.” According to Andrew, he had a long list of objections. What if I’m in an airport? What if I’m flying? What if I’m at a client location and they don’t know their WiFi password? I won’t be able to get anything done. And so on. What does Andrew think now? “I absolutely love it. I have used it on a whole bunch of different systems. I love my iPad – it’s so easy to travel with. One of my favorite features of Workspot is being able to leave one computer and pick up somewhere else and keep working exactly where I left off.” Andrew notes that anyone who uses CAD or other GPU-intensive apps knows that any glitch – maybe your keystroke doesn’t happen fast enough – causes you to lose several minutes of train-of-thought as you try to figure out what your computer is “stuck” on. With Workspot cloud workstations, the power users at Barge are experiencing a whole new world. “I can do anything – it’s great,” says Andrew.

First Group of Power Users Goes Live

From a deployment and operational standpoint, the implementation went well overall, but there were a couple of glitches along the way. That’s where our Customer Success Team really shines. Whether the issue our customer is experiencing is a Workspot-specific issue or something outside of our solution that is affecting user experience, we’re on it for you. “Workspot was very responsive to help us get over any hurdles; they really wanted to help with the user experience,” says David Ferguson, IT Director at Barge. The firm quickly began experiencing the benefits of their end user computing transformation, including their ability to use low-cost endpoints, avoid additional hardware refreshes, and open serverless and infrastructure-free offices, making it easier and more cost-effective to grow the business. Additionally, the improved business continuity that is built-in to cloud workstations allowed them to stay productive through some serious weather events by working remotely.

It’s a Pandemic

Everything was going along just great. Then we heard the official words from WHO – it’s a pandemic. There’s no doubt that we were all shocked by the pandemic declaration, but for IT teams who suddenly had to scramble to figure out how to support people working remotely, there was surely some panic. For many businesses, it was an existential situation; indeed some businesses have not made it through the downturn. Fortunately our friends at Barge are still going stronger than ever. Having just finished their initial Workspot deployment, the shelter-in-place orders were issued. Barge was easily able to scale their Workspot implementation and keep serving their customers while working remotely, by simply adding the licenses they needed to bring additional users onto the Workspot platform. Those users were up, running and productive in a couple of days. No hassles, no dread. What was unknown, however, was how productivity would be affected, and how people would fare working remotely. The results? Barge reports that productivity is up. They have also surveyed their users about their experience; aren’t these comments every business and IT leader’s dream?

“We work for a great company.”
“It was fantastic.”
“Leadership was flexible.”
“Collaboration of the teams has been awesome.”
“Barge stuck with me during this pandemic.”

Workspot is very proud and happy to be working with a company that is not only as committed to its customers as we are, but a company with heart. Thank you Barge Design Solutions for being a part of the Workspot family!

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo and we’ll show you how it works!