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: Conpute from Oshawa, Ontario

Describe the solution or service you provide.

Conpute was contracted by a K-12 school board client that could not meet the aggressive deployment timelines associated to their technical infrastructure refresh deployment of 5,000 desktops, 2,500 laptops and 350 printers.

This deployment needed to be completed in an 8 week window across 135 locations. Conpute had six weeks to plan and prepare for the deployment which had to be completed during this window before the students returned to school in September.

Conpute’s project management team quickly developed a detailed project plan in collaboration with the client that outlined the entire process and contacted all manufactures to ensure staging and delivery dates of the equipment were properly scheduled. Conpute also worked closely with the school board staff to ensure proper coverage for school closures, and building maintenance upgrades which commonly take place in the summer months in conjunction with this project.

Conpute reviewed all technical requirements, trained internal staff and hired additional resources to ensure a complete team to meet the timelines. The teams ran mock deployments to assist in the training process and also identified individual team leads to coordinate with the joint project management committee.

In addition to the 7,850 devices that Conpute was responsible for deploying we were also tasked with the removal of 6,600 existing systems that needed to be skidded and returned to the leasing company for proper disposal. All in all, throughout the eight week time window Conpute was tasked with handling a total of 14,450 unique individual devices.

What made your service of the highest quality? Provide measurable evidence of how you benefitted the customer’s business.

The two key success factors for the deployment were:

1) Ensuring that the all systems were deployed within the eight week window

2) That all systems were fully functional for student/admin use

We were able to exceed in both these categories:

First, Conpute was able to increase capacity throughout the project and as such finished all deployment related activities in six weeks, a full two weeks ahead of schedule.

This additional time allowed the client to run testing scenarios to ensure that all systems were configured correctly and were ready for student/admin use. This created significant cost savings for the School Board as they had budgeted for this testing process to happen in September when most of their internal resources are extremely busy. With it being completed in advance they no longer needed to contract a third party to assist in the testing phase. In addition, the testing was now carried out by School Board staff so their “false positive” metric was greatly reduced.

Second, Conpute was tasked with other activities that were not initially planned for. They were able to review and understand the processes associated to these activities and quickly train resources to complete these unplanned tasks.

Describe how services were delivered in a timely fashion, or how the response to a crisis was above and beyond the usual.

During this eight week process the school board was also attempting a major upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. This would require all 13,000 computing devices currently in the system to also be upgraded.

The board quickly realized that this task would be too large for Board staff to handle so they asked if we could come up with a solution. Again the Conpute project managers put a detailed project plan together to create separate teams responsible for the upgrade process. They quickly secured and trained resources to carry out the tasks and scheduled all activities to be completed during the same eight week window.

We were also told that the upgrade had dependencies, meaning the systems had to be refreshed first before being upgraded. The Conpute project management team was able to re-align the schedules on the fly so that all client requirements were met.

How does your service surpass competitors in meeting the needs of customers?

Conpute’s service excellence is truly in the flexibility to work in a changing environment. Handling 14,450 systems as well as upgrading 13,000 existing systems in a six week period is impressive, however this could not have been done without flexibility and extensive communication.

There were many times throughout the project where situations would arise with manufactures deliveries, schools not able to receive equipment or incorrect information provided to project managers. Conpute was able to evaluate each scenario quickly and re-schedule the activity. In some cases they were not able to reschedule and made arrangements to keep staff onsite until the situation could be resolved.

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

By ensuring that all of the devices were skidded, shrink wrapped and returned for proper disposal by the existing leasing provider, Conpute was able to ensure that the devices were disposed of or recycled in an environmentally sustainable manner as requested by the school board.

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