Dell - Datacom

06/01/2014  |  by Parallels
Categories:  Service Automation

Dell uses Parallels Automation Managed Support Services from Datacom to offer Microsoft Office 365

Dell dramatically increases time to market and reduces the cost of provisioning Office 365 in the cloud with Parallels Automation and managed support services from Datacom.

Business Summary

Founded in 1965, Datacom is a business that has grown right alongside the world of IT and the Internet. In the 48 years that have passed, the company has gone from its first outsourced computer service to the foundation of its own network, the construction of data centers, and international success.

In January 2011, a competitive process culminated in the selection of Datacom as a supplier of support services on behalf of Parallels. While the company began working in conjunction with Parallels own support team, 2012 saw the launch of its own Parallels Automation Managed Services offering.

The first customer of this new service was Dell, one of the largest PC vendors in the world with a considerable range of cloud-based services.

Business Challenge

As part of an ongoing process of moving services and popular applications into the cloud, Microsoft launched Microsoft Office 365 in mid-2011. Dell soon began considering the idea of adding Office 365 to its own cloud services lineup.

“I managed the launch of Dell Office 365, and it was my job to get a syndication platform that could be used to provision the software,” says Bastien Casset, Program Manager for Dell Office 365 at Dell. “We looked at the cost of implementing a solution, and at speed to market. Although we compared several solutions, Parallels was the fastest and most cost effective option for us. It also came highly recommended by Microsoft.”

After a short period of comparison and evaluation, Dell committed to using Parallels Automation to connect with publisher partners and provide a customer-facing interface for subscription management and self-service provisioning.

However, this created a new business challenge for Casset and his team.

“With Parallels Automation, we’d found a solution that could sit at the center of our third-party subscription reselling model,” says Casset. “It could handle all the provisioning, and all the management. The business could not operate without it. But, since this was a third-party solution, we knew from the outset Dell IT would not support it directly.”

To get the most from Parallels Automation and maintain continuity of this critical platform, Dell began to search for a capable and experienced managed support services provider.

The Solution

While Parallels recommended Datacom, Dell considered several managed services companies. However, it was Datacom’s experience with Office 365 in addition to Parallels Automation that led Casset to choose the company.

“Training staff to support customers and manage Office 365 on Parallels Automation would have been a time consuming, expensive task for Dell,” says Clark Hobson, Vice President at Datacom. “By working with us, Dell could focus on the business decisions and go-to-market activities associated with launching cloud services, with absolute confidence the technology would be there to support them.”

Datacom’s attitude to support is complete, comprehensive, and proactive. The Parallels Automation managed services package includes technical engineering support for the platform, business engineering support to provide new and updated cloud services, change management services to retain old functionality while introducing new elements, and ongoing monitoring and alerting.

“In short, we do whatever is required to manage the environment effectively,” says Hobson. “For Dell, this includes assistance in provisioning cloud services and maintaining performance, resolving any technical issues that may arise, and extending support to Dell’s customers.”

Recently, Datacom was tasked with moving Dell’s environment to a new location. This involved migrating large virtual machines without putting stability and data integrity at risk. Datacom completed this process in under 10 days.

“The migration Datacom did for us was really fast given the size of our VMs,” adds Casset. “Datacom is always willing to help with these important projects, and helps us on a day-to-day basis by staying on top of software updates at Parallels and Microsoft.”

With the proven abilities of Parallels Automation and the extensive support of Datacom, Dell has been able to launch its syndicated Microsoft Office 365 offering with great success.

The Results

Since the launch of Dell Office 365, Dell has seen the benefits of choosing Parallels Automation and managed services from Datacom.

“Parallels Automation offers all the features we need, including provisioning, billing, and account management,” says Casset. “Meanwhile, Datacom is a dedicated support provider who can manage the entire platform so Dell IT is not involved. We are very happy with the solution we have in place.”

In fact, Dell was so happy they asked Datacom to provide additional services including a small outbound sales team. Integrating sales, support and management activities in one team has led to a boost in Office 365 license sales of approximately 15%.

“Today, we are 100% dependent on Parallels and Datacom to provide a great experience to our customers,” adds Casset. “I would recommend Parallels Automation to anyone looking to resell cloud solutions, and recommend Datacom to anyone who needs professional, proactive support.”