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Microsoft System Center 2012 Partner Solution Case Study IT Firm Sets Up Classrooms Eight Times Faster, Increases Revenues by $200,000 Annually Overview Country or Region: Netherlands Industry: Professional services—IT services Partner Profile INOVATIV is an IT service provider in The Netherlands and Belgium with extensive experience in Microsoft System Center data center and cloud solutions. INOVATIV has its headquarters on Schiphol Airport and has 27 employees. Business Situation INOVATIV wanted to increase the efficiency of its small staff, especially in setting up training rooms. It also wanted to help its customers who struggled with deploying IT resources and managing IT assets. Solution INOVATIV deployed Microsoft System Center 2012 to automate IT processes and improve its own and customers’ IT operations. Benefits Set up classrooms eight times faster Achieved better asset management Sped IT resource provisioning for customers Solved customer problems faster “By using System Center 2012, we can now set up a classroom in one hour versus eight hours and use that extra day to provide training, which generates an extra [US]$200,000 of revenue annually.” Maarten Goet, Managing Consultant, INOVATIV INOVATIV, an IT service provider in the Netherlands, already used Microsoft System Center data center solutions to automate many IT tasks internally and for customers. But INOVATIV and customer IT staffs still had too many manual tasks to perform— from provisioning PCs to responding to server failures—which diverted IT resources from revenue-producing activities. To go further with IT automation, INOVATIV deployed Microsoft System Center 2012 and used it to set up customer training rooms eight times faster. By eliminating a day’s worth of setup time, INOVATIV is able to add an additional day of training each week and bring in an additional US$200,000 annually in revenue. INOVATIV also uses System Center to help customers speed the provisioning of IT resources, resolve IT problems faster, and better manage their IT assets.

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Microsoft System Center 2012Partner Solution Case Study

IT Firm Sets Up Classrooms Eight Times Faster, Increases Revenues by $200,000 Annually

OverviewCountry or Region: NetherlandsIndustry: Professional services—IT services

Partner ProfileINOVATIV is an IT service provider in The Netherlands and Belgium with extensive experience in Microsoft System Center data center and cloud solutions. INOVATIV has its headquarters on Schiphol Airport and has 27 employees.

Business SituationINOVATIV wanted to increase the efficiency of its small staff, especially in setting up training rooms. It also wanted to help its customers who struggled with deploying IT resources and managing IT assets.

SolutionINOVATIV deployed Microsoft System Center 2012 to automate IT processes and improve its own and customers’ IT operations.

Benefits Set up classrooms eight times faster Achieved better asset management Sped IT resource provisioning for

customers Solved customer problems faster

“By using System Center 2012, we can now set up a classroom in one hour versus eight hours and use that extra day to provide training, which generates an extra [US]$200,000 of revenue annually.”

Maarten Goet, Managing Consultant, INOVATIV

INOVATIV, an IT service provider in the Netherlands, already used Microsoft System Center data center solutions to automate many IT tasks internally and for customers. But INOVATIV and customer IT staffs still had too many manual tasks to perform—from provisioning PCs to responding to server failures—which diverted IT resources from revenue-producing activities. To go further with IT automation, INOVATIV deployed Microsoft System Center 2012 and used it to set up customer training rooms eight times faster. By eliminating a day’s worth of setup time, INOVATIV is able to add an additional day of training each week and bring in an additional US$200,000 annually in revenue. INOVATIV also uses System Center to help customers speed the provisioning of IT resources, resolve IT problems faster, and better manage their IT assets.

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SituationINOVATIV is an IT service provider in the Netherlands and Belgium, with extensive knowledge and experience in Windows Server operating system infrastructures and Microsoft System Center data center and cloud solutions. INOVATIV is a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with Gold competencies in systems management and desktop, and it is also part of the Microsoft System Center Alliance.

As a System Center solutions expert, INOVATIV had already used all the efficiencies provided by these programs to optimize its own and its customers’ IT operations. It used Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 to deploy software and centrally track IT assets. For monitoring servers and applications for performance slowdowns and problems, it used Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2. It used Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2010 to automate the handling of service incidents and IT configuration changes. And it used Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 to create and manage virtual machines.

However, INOVATIV and its customers were eager for even more process efficiencies to maximize the effectiveness of precious IT resources and keep crucial IT systems running. INOVATIV’s internal needs centered on its training activities. The company derives significant revenue from training customers in how to use System Center products and the Hyper-V virtualization technology in the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.

For each class, it took INOVATIV a full day to configure the training room PCs and prepare written materials for students. Because its team is small, INOVATIV needed trainers to do this setup work, which took them away from delivering training. “We wanted to have a less expensive person do this setup work and, in an ideal world, just push a button and have it all done automatically,” says Maarten Goet, Managing Consultant at INOVATIV.

Customers wanted more automation, too. They asked INOVATIV to help them push IT automation even further, because many were facing reduced IT budgets and staffs because of the continuing economic recession. Some customers wanted help to provision IT resources more quickly. INOVATIV had helped one large consulting firm set up a self-service web portal using System Center Service Manager, which employees used to request new applications or PCs. However, these many manual steps still took up too much IT time.

Other customers needed help managing their IT assets. They were spending too much on computers, software licenses, and warranties, because they did not know what they already owned.

Still other customers wanted to speed the resolution of IT problems so that they could keep business-critical IT systems running and available. Even though these customers already used System Center Operations Manager to detect issues with servers and applications, their IT staff members often had to go to the office in the middle of the night to troubleshoot problems and restart failed servers.

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“We wanted to have a less expensive person do [classroom] setup work and, in an ideal world, just push a button and have it all done automatically.”

Maarten Goet, Managing Consultant, INOVATIV

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SolutionDuring 2010, INOVATIV began to use Opalis, an automation platform that Microsoft acquired, chiefly for automating the provisioning of IT assets, such as employee email accounts. However, many customers balked at deploying Opalis because of its non-Microsoft foundation. “Most of our customers have primarily Microsoft technology, and Opalis introduced Java and JBoss code that they did not want to manage,” says Goet.

When Microsoft added Opalis to the Microsoft System Center 2012 family of data center solutions, INOVATIV was first in line to get a closer look. “We and our customers were very excited that Opalis was becoming a full Microsoft product, and we joined the Technology Adoption Program for Microsoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator in order to be an early evaluator,” Goet says.

Classroom SetupInternally, INOVATIV used the orchestration capabilities of System Center 2012 to reduce its problems with training preparation. It created a runbook—or series of IT workflows—using System Center 2012 to automate the entire process of preparing classrooms for training, from configuring the PCs to preparing the necessary printed materials.

INOVATIV uses System Center to pull the training course number from a file server to locate the applications and e-books needed for each new course. System Center then deploys the needed applications on the classroom PCs. When a class is over, a technician simply keys the course number

of the next class into the runbook, which reconfigures the PCs and loads the new course materials.

Multiple Customer ScenariosINOVATIV has also deployed System Center at several customer sites to solve a range of problems:

IT resource provisioning. INOVATIV used System Center to help several customers further speed the provisioning of IT resources. For a consulting firm that lets employees request IT resources over the web, INOVATIV added System Center to coordinate the remaining manual steps.

Now, for example, when the firm hires a new employee, the human resources department requests a new computer and an email account for the individual by using a web portal connected to System Center. System Center ensures that the employee’s manager has authorized the request, and it then sends a request to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 to configure the email account and mailbox and send an email message to the employee when the account is active. System Center then configures the needed operating system and applications on the PC and establishes the employee in the company’s Active Directory Domain Services directory.

Asset management. For customers needing help with IT asset management, INOVATIV deploys System Center, which provides a central configuration management database (CMDB) for storing all information on Microsoft assets. System Center automates the

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“We and our customers were very excited that Opalis was becoming a full Microsoft product.”

Maarten Goet, Managing Consultant, INOVATIV

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capture of non-Microsoft assets, such as BlackBerry smartphones, in the CMDB. Previously, the customer had to enter all non-Microsoft asset information manually, but by using System Center, INOVATIV was able to automate the entry of all IT assets into the CMDB.

Server restarts. For customers that use the Operations Manager component of System Center to monitor servers and applications, INOVATIV adds Microsoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator to take action from alerts sent by Operations Manager. For example, previously, when customer IT personnel received text alerts reporting that a server failed after business hours, they still often had to go to the office to resolve problems. To solve this, INOVATIV wrote System Center 2012 runbooks that take action from these alerts and restart the failed servers. This has eliminated the need for IT staff to go to the office and do the work manually, and it also has made servers operational sooner.

Easy Linkage to Other Data Center ApplicationsOrchestrator comes with integration packs for all the other System Center components. Microsoft also offers integration packs for other Microsoft programs, such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. For one customer, INOVATIV used an integration pack for IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, a backup application, so that System Center can keep backup information updated in the company’s CMDB.

“With the broad interoperability of System Center 2012, we can finally fully automate the many IT management scenarios that our customers encounter, without writing lots of code and scripts,” says Goet. “It’s also easy to build our own integration packs; we built one to test automating tasks with BlackBerry Enterprise Server.”

The INOVATIV staff has found System Center 2012 extremely easy to use. “It’s as easy to create a runbook in System Center as it is to create a flowchart in Microsoft Visio [drawing and diagramming software],” Goet says. “Without any prior training, we set up runbooks in minutes. Advanced runbooks took a bit more work, but we set up even those within days. We also love the new Microsoft Silverlight web console, which we use to diagnose problems.”

INOVATIV also uses System Center 2012 to gain new efficiencies in managing—and to help customers manage—private cloud environments. “System Center 2012 is a clear example of Microsoft ‘getting’ the private cloud challenge,” Goet says. “The focus is not on the hardware or even on the virtual machines, but rather on the applications running in the cloud fabric. By using System Center 2012, we are better able to deploy applications as services to our cloud environment and then monitor their performance.”

INOVATIV uses the Service Template Designer feature in the Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 component to deploy, start, stop, and reconfigure application services. It also uses the virtual machine management and server monitoring capabilities of System

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Center to see the health of all cloud resources and services.

“With System Center 2012, we are able to tie all our System Center components together and coordinate complex workflows that span multiple IT products and groups,” Goet says. “It has helped us get closer to the push-button simplicity that we have wanted for a long time.”

BenefitsBy moving to System Center 2012, INOVATIV has achieved dramatic increases in its own IT processes and helped customers do the same. It has also helped customers manage their IT assets more carefully and recover from IT failures sooner.

Set Up Classrooms Eight Times Faster, Gaining Additional Revenues of $200,000 a YearBy using System Center to automate the setup of classrooms for training, INOVATIV has reduced a one-day process to less than an hour. “By using System Center 2012, we can now set up a classroom in one hour versus eight hours and use that extra day to provide training, which generates an extra [US]$200,000 of revenue annually.”

Increased Speed of IT Resource Provisioning for CustomersINOVATIV has also been able to use System Center to speed the deployment of IT resources for customers. The company has created automation that is saving customers at least eight hours of work each week in performing routine tasks such as setting up new PCs and email accounts for new employees. Customers are able to make better use of their IT teams by

focusing them on new customer- and revenue-focused projects, rather than on mundane chores.

Achieved Better Asset Management for CustomersINOVATIV has been able to help better track and manage IT assets and thus eliminate unnecessary expenses. “By using System Center 2012, we are helping our customers save thousands of euros annually in unnecessary PC, server, and software licensing expenses, as well as IT staff time doing manual asset management chores,” Goet says. “With System Center, we can automate and orchestrate tracking tasks that previously consumed many hours of IT staff time and also gain more accurate data.”

Solved Customer IT Problems More QuicklyINOVATIV is also able to help customers resolve IT problems faster by creating System Center runbooks that automate remedial actions. “We have been able to create runbooks that restart servers and notify IT staff of failed servers or services so that they can take faster action,” says Goet. “This helps customers keep IT service levels high and minimizes overtime hours. We set System Center to watch over their computer systems and take immediate action so that their staffs don’t have to.”

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“By using System Center 2012, we are helping our customers save thousands of euros annually in unnecessary PC, server, and software licensing expenses, as well as IT staff time doing manual asset management chores.”

Maarten Goet, Managing Consultant, INOVATIV

“By using System Center, we can automate and orchestrate tracking tasks that previously consumed many hours of IT staff time and also gain more accurate data.”

Maarten Goet, Managing Consultant, INOVATIV

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Microsoft System Center 2012Microsoft System Center 2012 helps your organization achieve IT as a service by enabling productive infrastructure, predictable applications, and cloud computing on your terms. With System Center 2012, use a self-service model to deliver flexible and cost-effective private cloud infrastructure to your business units while capitalizing on existing data center investments. Applications run your business, so System Center 2012 is designed to offer deep application insight combined with a service-centric approach to help you deliver predictable application services. Finally, by using System Center 2012, you can deliver and consume private and public cloud computing on your terms, with common management experiences across both.

For more information about Microsoft System Center 2012, go to:www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/system-center/2012.aspx

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For More InformationFor more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:www.microsoft.com

For more information about INOVATIV products and services, call (31) (20) 8909100 or visit the website at: www.inovativ.nl

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published February 2012

Software and Services Microsoft Server Product Portfolio− Windows Server 2008 R2− Microsoft System Center 2012− Microsoft System Center 2012

Orchestrator− Microsoft System Center

Configuration Manager 2007 with Service Pack 2

− Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2

− Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2010

− Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

− Opalis Technologies− Hyper-V