3 min

Delivering a Great Out-of-Box Experience to Users

CDW Configuration Services help organizations successfully deploy devices, reducing costs and quickly getting users to work.

First impressions matter. That’s what we advise our customers when we begin a CDW Configuration Services engagement. There are many steps to a successful end-user device deployment, but none as crucial as when your users open up that box filled with new technology. That moment will color their experience with your organization — and if it’s done correctly, it will save your organization a lot of staff time and money in the process.

Asking the Right Configuration Questions

Throughout the pandemic, we have had many customers — medium-large corporations, K–12 districts, small businesses, universities, government agencies — that needed to deploy device bundles to groups of users, often located in remote locations or at their homes due to work-from-home requirements. These bundles include some mix of common user technologies: cellphones, tablets, notebooks, Chromebooks, workstations, peripherals and even entire home-office solutions. 

Whatever the scale of the device deployment, there are important decisions that need to be made for a successful engagement. In the planning phase, we work with customers to determine their specific configuration requirements. We ask some crucial questions, including:

  • How do you currently deploy your client devices?
  • How will devices connect to your network?
  • How can we provide the best out-of-box experience to the user while reducing calls to your help desk?
  • What do you want the future solution to look like, including additional services such as asset tagging, laser engraving, inserts and kitting?
  • How can we ship fully configured devices directly to the user’s location?

Configuration Services Save Time and Money

From these questions, we can get an idea of the scope of the deployment. We advise customers on Configuration Services options for imaging and provisioning devices and on related pre- and post-provisioning tasks. We recommend this because it helps the organization save time and labor, and they often want to know what other organizations do.

Rather than having IT staff spend hours imaging or provisioning individual devices and configuring kits, allowing CDW to handle these tasks means that IT staff can focus on work that more directly supports the organization’s mission. If the organization needs laser engraving (for branding devices with organization identifiers or logos) or wants to apply custom asset labels (linked to order reporting and potential integration with the customer’s hardware asset management solution), our technicians can take care of this as well. 

Another area where customers really benefit from Configuration Services is the deployment scenario laid out above: shipping kits to multiple locations — anywhere from a handful to thousands of destinations. When our team configures your devices before shipping them directly to your end users, we reduce the number of touches on the devices prior to reaching the end user. This streamlined approach saves your IT team the added time and labor needed to process new devices and eliminates the cost of reshipping devices to individual users.

The Value of a Successful Deployment

As for that end user unboxing experience: This is where our Configuration Services really shine. We are focused on helping you deliver a great experience to your users. Our deployments typically include a welcome letter that provides basic information and instructions on how to get started with the gear that’s been delivered. The welcome letter provides clear, simple guidance on how to set up the new equipment quickly and correctly. And if issues do arise, we provide instructions on how to troubleshoot problems so users can quickly begin to use their technology. 

Getting this right is very important. A great user experience reduces the number of calls to the IT help desk, and when a call is necessary, it reduces the time needed for problem resolution. Less time dealing with end-user devices issues means less time and money spent on help desk outreach. IT staff can instead focus on mission-critical projects and tasks. Getting that first impression right can make all the difference.

Story by Phil Sammons, the Solution Practice Lead for CDW Configuration Services. Phil Sammons works with customers and account teams to develop custom turnkey solutions to deploy their IT projects. Phil has been with CDW for over 20 years.