Each year, our sister publication Computer Dealer News hosts the Channel Elite Awards to recognize IT Solution Provider for their innovation, leadership, and commitment for creating value for their customers. As Canada’s leading IT channel publication, CDN invited solution providers to submit their best work to nine different categories for 2013’s awards. Here, we present the case studies these award nominees put forward to us. Find out who the big winners are on Sept. 11 when CDN presents them at the CEA Awards Gala.

Learn more about CDN’s Channel Elite Awards 2013

Nominee: Audcomp Managed Services from Ancaster, Ontario

Managed Services Solution description

Audcomp Managed Services (AMS) provides an affordable proactive IT management and support service to growing businesses. It impacts the customers’ user productivity, decreases risks and keeps costs under control. Utilizing a unique framework for providing managed services, AMS keeps an eye on our customers’ application software, network infrastructure (servers, printers, data, routers, switches, firewalls, etc.) and connection reliability, and takes the necessary measures to ensure their IT network is running at an optimal performance level. AMS carries out critical tasks to keep customer’s systems up and running with the following on-going Managed Services: • User Account Management • Security Patch Management • Software License Reporting • Client Network Configuration Management • 24×7 System Monitoring • Disk Space, Partition and Usage Management • Software Deployment • End User Remote Control • Management Reporting • System Inventory Reporting • Quarterly Business Review – Onsite meeting • Annual IT Budget Review & Forecast

What makes your Managed Services innovative or original compared to the competition?

Audcomp Managed Services (AMS) targets companies that are facing unpredictable networks, rising IT costs and shortages of in-house IT skills. AMS utilizes a robust, proactive and complete network monitoring framework that ensures a secure IT infrastructure with a customized environment that aligns with the customer’s business. What sets AMS apart is its superior customer experience. Audcomp uses a consultative approach to evaluate the customer’s business and technology needs. By leveraging their client computing and enterprise knowledge, our specialists recommend the best solution that is uniquely customized to the customer’s business needs. Audcomp provides a dedicated account manager to every AMS client. For maintenance, knowledge transfer and other support, the customer can contact their assigned manager. These managers regularly update the client, offering feedback and recommendations. With unlimited remote (email, phone, online) support, clients have access to their technical account managers for inquiries and day-to-day IT issues. AMS provides fast response rate, one point of contact, consistent communication and increased efficiency at all levels. AMS involves the customer every step of the way, providing regular and transparent reports on how their system is being monitored and maintained, including how threats are flagged, investigated and resolved. Customers are made aware who has access to their network. With customizable subscription levels, customers can utilize other cloud services including Security as a Service, Managed Print Services, Cloud backup, hosted exchange and so on. Audcomp offers an array of customizable services so customers can grow their systems easily and adapt them to their growing business demands.

What were the benefits of your Managed Services Solution for your client and what evidence can you provide to show this?

The benefits for AMS for customers are the ability to align IT to their business needs and budget. AMS improves system uptime and performance, which in turn increases user productivity and ensures IT cost predictability. For instance, a law enforcement agency has delegated the responsibilities of their network infrastructure to Audcomp. Prior to that they were experiencing several challenges including: regular downtime, soaring IT maintenance costs, failing hardware and lack of IT skills. Some of the staff were wearing the IT helpdesk hat to administer their aging infrastructure. With the help of Audcomp, they upgraded their infrastructure to handle their mission-critical applications. Over the one-year period after Audcomp took over the responsibilities for maintaining and monitoring their network, downtime has been minimized from at least once a month to almost none. This has boosted user productivity, and the client reports they now have greater peace of mind and have been able to focus on what they do and the services they provide.

What are the main reasons that your Managed Services are better for the customer than an on-premises solution?

Audcomp Managed Services allows our customers to delegate the responsibilities of their network maintenance and monitoring to our IT professionals. Here are the main reasons why our Managed Service is better suited for customers than an on-premise solution: 1. The Audcomp Managed Services support team is comprised of professionals with diverse skills and certifications. This allows our customers with no IT team or with IT staff with limited skills to have access to top-trained and certified professionals, with experience in managing multivendor converged environments. With unlimited remote support and monthly on-site visits, they are ensured that their network is being monitored and maintained by professionals with diverse backgrounds. Hiring IT professionals in-house is not usually an option to our customers. It is time consuming and expensive. 2. On-premise solutions usually follow a break-fix model, where the customer calls support when there is a problem. Our proactive approach tackles issues before they become problems. Our state-of-the-art remote monitoring framework provides us with advanced notice about problems with customers’ network environment before they can affect their business. 3. Our around-the-clock security monitoring is constantly searching for weaknesses in their network, allowing clients to have highly reliable, secure and stable networks. 4. Our AMS staff responds to client inquiries and issues related to day-to-day IT problems, providing unlimited e-mail, phone, and online support. Our SLA includes guaranteed response time tailored to the client’s needs. 5. We provide quarterly business reviews and monthly reporting to help customers understand their network trends, hence allowing them to make better business decisions and adapt to ever-changing markets. 6. Compared to on-premise solutions, Audcomp Managed Services are cost-effective. AMS helps customers align their IT with their business and provides a customized pricing model to accommodate their needs. 7. Our customers have the option to bundle our Managed Services with other cloud solutions like cloud backup and Security as a Service. Audcomp tackles the different task of managing clients’ network while at the same time integrating the power of the cloud in such tasks as spam filtering, cloud backup, hosted exchange servers and disaster recovery.

How did the Managed Service improve the customer’s ability to server its internal or external clients?

Our customers can focus on their business without worrying about their network and data. With minimal downtime, they can serve their internal and external clients securely. Client benefits include: 1. Cost Predictability: AMS has helped customers to keep their IT budgets on track. 2. System uptime and performance: The law enforcement client used to experience downtime 2-3 times a month. Now that their system is being managed with Audcomp’s professionals, they are experiencing a guaranteed 99% uptime, which has a huge impact on their user productivity and service provision. 3. Staff Augmentation: Clients don’t have to think about hiring an in-house IT team. Audcomp takes care of IT from procurement to managing client networks. Clients don’t need to worry about recruiting and managing IT personnel.

How does the solution further your client’s green or environmentally friendly plans?

AMS utilizes automated power management and handles equipment disposal properly. Audcomp ensures energy savings to customers by matching up the best suited technology and solution for their environment to fit the company’s current and future needs. One client, for example, was able to reduce power consumption by 45% after Audcomp helped them to virtualize their environment, utilizing the advanced automation features of VMware vSphere. The old equipment were also properly disposed and recycled. AMS customers have access to expert consultation on outdated hardware to enable them make smart business decisions to keep their systems current and more energy efficient. Furthermore, AMS add-ons like Managed Print Services (MP) provide visibility into business print output in order to optimize placement and print utilization, and to reduce overall print and emissions.

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