CASE STUDY: Computacenter / Acronis Academy

Acronis academy conference

Formed in 1981, Computacenter is today one of Europe’s leading independent providers of IT infrastructure services. With more than 10,000 employees and group revenues of over £2.5bn, Computacenter works closely with private and public sector organisations to advise them on their IT strategy, including storage, and implement the most appropriate technology to match their needs.

The Challenge

Brendan Bourke, senior technical consultant within the Storage Practise Group at Computacenter, works with a team of 15 to design, implement and support a storage infrastructure solution that will fit within specific customers’ environments.

Although Computacenter offers a wide range of enterprise class storage products from several leading vendors, many did not meet the needs of SMBs. With 4.8m small businesses alone in the UK, Computcenter recognised the need to widen its product portfolio to include solutions for SMBs.

Bourke explains: “When it comes to backup and recovery solutions, many of our SMB clients, especially public sector organisations, require a solution that is quick to implement and easy-to-use as they don’t always have the necessary skills or the time to spend to put an enterprise solution into practice. They need a solution that they are comfortable with and can use to quickly to easily protect and recover their digital assets.”

Acronis Training Opportunity

With the sales team having worked with Acronis for a number of years there were already a number of prospective customers in the pipeline. Acronis decided it would be beneficial for Computacenter to join the Acronis Academy training programme.

David Blackman, general manager for Northern Europe, Acronis, explains the benefits of the academy: “To succeed in the business world today, vendors need to equip their channel partners with the skills to successfully roll out projects using their technology. Creating a professional education programme aiming at providing in-depth technical and sales training for channel partners and end users, provides partners with valued added guidance on project implementation, roll out and troubleshooting.

“Offering training as a value added service helps partners with best practice advice on a businesses’ disaster recovery strategy and how to take advantage of technologies such as virtualisation and deduplication. But most importantly it helps build revenue streams, which becomes a win-win for everyone involved.”

“We saw the training programme as an opportunity to learn everything there is to know about the product and be able to add it to our portfolio and offer it to SMBs. The aim was to learn best practices for installing and configuring Acronis’ solutions and solving common challenges. We also saw it as a useful way to generate extra revenue for Computecenter, by handling the sale and implementation process ourselves,” recalls Bourke.

Bourke took part in the two-day Acronis Certified Engineer course, which is part of the Acronis Academy, in mid-February this year. The course, led by a professional trainer, gave him broad knowledge and background information about the use of Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 software and Acronis’ patented disk imaging technology. The hands-on training also allowed Bourke to test all the functionalities and features on a local machine and culminated in an online certification test.

Bourke adds: “The course was well laid out and straightforward. The training was easy to follow and achieved exactly what it set out to do.”

Acronis Academy Benefits

The Acronis Academy course has allowed Bourke to understand how to fully leverage the features and functionalities of the Acronis solutions, including virtualisation and deduplication, and how to better manage clients’ IT infrastructures and save them costs. It has given Bourke the confidence to recommend the product to his SMB customers and to implement it successfully without needing Acronis’ technical support.

“The Acronis Academy Programme is invaluable. It was worthwhile seeing and understanding all the capabilities of the Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 product portfolio and to understand the architecture. I am already using this knowledge to boost sales and improve customers’ experience. I would even recommend the course to some of our customers that have chosen to manage the solution themselves, as it teaches best practices on how to implement a sound backup and disaster recovery strategy,” concludes Bourke.


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