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Another first! BUI earns Windows Virtual Desktop Advanced Specialization

We are thrilled to be the first Microsoft Partner in South Africa to have earned the new Windows Virtual Desktop Advanced Specialization.

This accomplishment follows our recent accreditation as an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider, and makes BUI the only Microsoft Partner on the African continent with both Azure Expert MSP status and advanced Windows Virtual Desktop capabilities.

Introduced by Microsoft in September this year, the Windows Virtual Desktop Advanced Specialization recognises Partners with the knowledge and experience to implement, optimise, and secure virtual desktop infrastructure that allows remote end-users to access the tools they need safely and easily, on any web-enabled device.

“From the deployment of Windows Virtual Desktop environments to the management of virtual desktop infrastructure on Azure, we are helping our customers to find scalable, cost-effective solutions for their business needs,” says BUI Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Willem Malan.

“Enterprises are already looking to the future and planning for a post COVID-19 world, and we are seeing a greater emphasis on flexibility and security as stakeholders explore remote-work options for diverse employee groups,” continues Malan. “Virtual desktops enable productivity as usual, even in unusual times, and I think the demand for this kind of functionality will continue to grow as companies adapt to the changing business landscape,” he adds.

To earn the Windows Virtual Desktop Advanced Specialization, Microsoft Partners must pass a rigorous third-party audit, which Malan explains is designed to assess more than just technical aptitude.

“Our ability to facilitate a customer’s move to Windows Virtual Desktop is scrutinised and measured from every angle. This achievement is a testament to our top-line expertise as well as our proven success in delivering virtualised Windows desktops and applications that are secure, compliant, and tailored for the modern workplace,” he says.

Empowering people to work remotely – from their homes, offices, or on the go – is critical for business continuity in a changing world. The Windows Virtual Desktop solution delivered through our a2zManaged modern managed services practice offers a comprehensive, end-to-end managed virtual desktop environment, with several advantages:

  • Affordability. Reduce overall costs with pooled, multi-session resources.
  • Accessibility. Immediate access to Windows Virtual Desktop from any web-enabled device.
  • Availability. Windows Virtual Desktop is currently available for all geographic locations.
  • Flexibility. Get a fully scalable desktop virtualisation environment in your Azure subscription.
  • Security. Leverage Azure Active Directory to unlock security features like MFA and SSO.

“Microsoft Azure is an exceptionally powerful platform, and we are leveraging its versatility to help our customers reimagine business productivity. With comprehensive virtual desktop technology and a trusted partner on hand from server to screen, remote work becomes not only possible, but feasible, too,” notes Malan.

BUI is committed to supporting customers through every stage of digital transformation. “We are determined to help organisations unlock the full value of their technological investments,” declares Malan.

“Advanced specializations like this one, alongside our complementary abilities in Adoption and Change Management, position us to deliver tailormade solutions that enable business teams to thrive in the new world of work,” he concludes.

Need help creating a secure remote-work environment for your team?

Our specialists can enable, manage, and support your Windows Virtual Desktop environment – from the server to the screen.

Download our Windows Virtual Desktop brochure for more information on cloud-driven productivity solutions for the modern workplace.

Unite Remote Workers With Microsoft Teams

Bring people together, digitally

As COVID-19 continues to change the business landscape, SMBs need a powerful tool to enable communication and collaboration between remote teams.

Employees working remotely on laptops, tablets and mobile phones

Small and medium-sized businesses are facing unprecedented challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And for those with newly remote workforces, effective teamwork can be one of the biggest issues. After all, how do you work together if you can’t be together in the same location? How do you collaborate from afar when you’re accustomed to in-person meetings and group-level planning sessions? How do you communicate quickly and effectively when face-to-face conversations are no longer possible? Microsoft’s answer is Teams.

Teams is Microsoft’s communication and collaboration hub within Office 365. It’s an integrated software solution that allows people to chatcollaborate, and meet – virtually – whenever they like, from wherever they are.

For the past three years, Microsoft Teams has empowered SMBs locally and globally. Today, more than 40 million people are active on Teams every day, using the secure platform (web and mobile) to carry out essential business tasks and to maintain contact with remote workers, colleagues, managers, customers, and service partners.

Microsoft favourites like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are built into Teams to create a comprehensive shared workspace where it’s as easy to share files as it is to share ideas. Powerful communication tools are integrated as well, to enable one-on-one conversations, group discussions, and online meetings. With Teams, remote workers can:

  • chat from anywhere via threaded and persistent messaging with rich text and @mention capabilities and customised notifications;
  • collaborate from anywhere by co-authoring documents in real time and tracking project chats, notes, updates, and files in one place;
  • meet from anywhere by using high-definition audio, web and video conferencing facilities that support presentation and application sharing.

Microsoft has made the free version of Teams available to everyone in response to the current coronavirus crisis. There’s also a way to explore the benefits of premium Teams even if you don’t have Office 365. 

Free Teams. The no-cost version of Teams gives you unlimited chat, built-in group, one-on-one audio or video calling, 10 GB of team file storage, and 2 GB of personal file storage per user. Explore the differences between free and paid plans here.

Teams via the Office 365 E1 Trial. In early March 2020, Microsoft announced a free six-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Teams, because of the increased need for people to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us to learn more about this special offer.

Teams via your existing Office 365 licence. Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365. If your organisation is correctly licensed for Office 365, then you already have access to Teams. Talk to your IT staff (or your BUI account manager) about activating Teams if you haven’t already done so. And share the in-depth resources below to help your people maximise Microsoft Teams while they’re working remotely during South Africa’s national lockdown.

BUI is an official Microsoft Partner in South Africa, and an award-winning leader in identity and security solutions.