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Tuesday, 16 August 2016 11:47

Ingram Micro Cloud case study: TechQuarters

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A dedicated Microsoft Cloud house

IT support full managed service provider, TechQuarters, is a cloud-based consultancy and reseller. Since 2010, TechQuarters has provided IT support, procurement and training (via its 365 Cloud Academy) for its SMB and enterprise customers in the UK, working with customers such asPollen Street Capital, Roedean School and The Biochemical Society.

Focusing on both pure and hybrid cloud projects for a range of market verticals, including financial services, third sector and media, TechQuarters was previously a vendor agnostic reseller before working with Ingram Micro Cloud. As a “Microsoft evangelist”, it proactively markets its extensive expertise in Microsoft Azure, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Office 365, among other Microsoft applications.

With its reputation and position as the UK’s biggest cloud distributor, TechQuarters was keen to work with Ingram Micro Cloud to enhance further its extensive knowledge of Microsoft and how its products could resolve its customers’ pain points. The reseller was quickly introduced to new applications and exposed to Ingram Micro Cloud’s consultants’ extensive knowledge about all things cloud.

Maturing customer journeys to the cloud

With the majority of its customer base falling under the IT support category, TechQuarters’ customers are all at different stages of their individual cloud adoption journeys.

Martyn White, Head of Business Development at TechQuarters said: “More of our customers are maturing in their use of cloud services, so we can look at where else cloud could be applied to enable, streamline and save costs. We chose to become a Microsoft Cloud house because the services fit seamlessly with many existing infrastructures.

“Our customers’ typical cloud journeys start with a migration from on premises Exchange to Office 365, then we may end up having a conversation about Sharepoint. Also, legacy hardware and infrastructure is coming towards the end of their lifecycles;for example, local servers are typically replaced with Microsoft Azure because it just makes sense for most verticals to remove that risk of on-premises hardware failing, especially in the age of data and mobility,” White stated.

TechQuarters fully commits itself to the Microsoft objective of business consumption of the full cloud suite, and proactively markets it to its existing and prospective customers, as well as encouraging customers to join the 365 Cloud Academy online training platform.

Easily attaching services using the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace

TechQuarterswas one of the first adopters of the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace, and now has over 2,400 seats onthe Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme.Previously, TechQuarters was using the Microsoft Advisor programme to manage customer procurement and billing for Office 365; today, 100 customers have now moved to CSP.

White added: “CSP ensures that each customer contributes contractual revenue; the billing relationship has been hugely simplified since migrating customers from Advisor. Billing takes place each month, and we have a clear view of money coming into the business from licenses, support calls, attached services and so on. It is much easier to upsell and wrap our services around it. This creates stickier customers, as they are increasingly less likely to venture to another partner for the service they need.”

TechQuarters’ biggest success with attached services is Skykick as a migration tool for, Microsoft’s Office 365. According to White, on an average 10-seat project, Marketplace saves TechQuarters a third of the time usually taken to migrate a customer to Office 365.

“We’re able to set customers up very quickly. When we moved Pollen Street Capital’s domain controller and file server to Azure prior to an office move and to support mobile working, we also migrated emails to Office 365 and implemented some functionality from Sharepoint. The whole migration took less than two weeks,” added White.

Sales account managers can register customers on CSP within a few keystrokes, and both Ingram Micro Cloud and Microsoft can see who is using what from a central portal. Licensing is fully managed from the Marketplace, and they can be added and taken away with minimal effort.

“It is obvious that Ingram Micro Cloud has put in the work to ensure that they are partnering with vendors whose technology complements each other. This process is simple and gives us increased cross-selling opportunities, positively impacting our profitability per customer,” White explained.

A strong partnership

The relationship with Ingram Cloud Micro is strong, andthe distributor regularly offers strategic advice and benchmarking to TechQuarters.

White said: “Ingram Cloud Micro has been integral in helping shape and develop the strategy behind marketing our 365 Cloud Academy training programme. It also ensures our sales workforce is pitching the business benefits correctly throughout the sales cycle. Ingram Cloud Micro is a new breed of cloud distributor, and for TechQuarters certainly, it demonstrates its added value every step of the way.”

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