3 min

MCA: A Gateway to Managed Services

CDW’s Managed Collaboration Anywhere offers a starting point for driving cost savings and value across IT services.

When I talk with customers about the business value of CDW’s Managed Collaboration Anywhere (MCA), I sometimes ask them to think back to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. As they moved quickly to follow social distancing guidelines, many organizations that typically relied on an in-person, on-premises workforce scrambled to find the technical resources needed to quickly set up or scale up a remote work strategy. 

One group that did not scramble quite as much amid these dire circumstances was our MCA customers. They already had a collaboration platform in place that could serve both on-premises and remote workers. It was not a heavy lift to push out collaboration tools to a now fully remote workforce.

How MCA Has Evolved

When CDW launched MCA in 2019, it was built around our close partnership with Cisco Systems. We offered a customizable Cisco Collaboration platform tied to Cisco Flex to manage an organization’s collaboration environment, whether it was on-premises, hybrid or in the cloud. This offering included licensing for Cisco IP phones, video devices, Jabber, Webex and Webex Teams. 

We focused this managed solution on collaboration technology for multiple reasons. First, we were seeing many organizations moving their collaboration platforms to the cloud. In general, these initiatives were in response to a growing recognition that collaboration solutions in the cloud are easier and less expensive to manage.

Second, CDW has a very mature collaboration practice, with more than 20 years of installing and working with these workplace technologies. Our familiarity with these solutions allows us to augment our services, such as enabling features, creating new sites and other everyday changes. This is where we are best able to bring value to our customers.

Expanding MCA’s Reach (and Value)

In the three years since CDW began offering MCA, we have expanded the service beyond Cisco. We have grown to include many providers’ platforms, including Microsoft, RingCentral, Zoom and Five9. Even if your organization relies on more than one collaboration platform, we can build out and deliver a singular managed collaboration experience for your staff.

IT leaders appreciate how MCA can free their staff from time-intensive, everyday tasks such as onboarding new users and managing help desk tickets. They can then focus more on how IT can support the business itself. Organizations have also noticed that handing off collaboration platform management leads to quicker resolution of any problems that come up with the technology. We have strong ties with many manufacturers — relationships we can leverage to efficiently troubleshoot problems.

Our expansion of collaboration provider support not only helps IT teams in the management of their collaboration resources, but also opens opportunities for offloading other management-intensive IT areas, including networking and security. When organizations begin to see positive results from moving collaboration solutions to a managed service, they may look to drive value in other areas. CDW is prepared to help with our array of CDW Amplified™ services.

When Is MCA the Right Move?

As many of our pre-pandemic MCA customers can attest, it is better to get ahead of a potential problem than to be stuck reacting to a challenging situation. If your IT help desk tickets are consuming an inordinate amount of time, or your resolution times are too slow, that’s a good indicator that your organization could benefit from a move to MCA. Reach out to your CDW account manager to learn more about how MCA can support you.

Story by Quan Nguyen, a principal solution architect for collaboration with CDW. Quan began his career over 20 years ago with Cisco technologies, starting with network and security infrastructure and transitioning to collaboration 10 years ago. He has designed, implemented and supported solutions of varying sizes and needs during his time as an engineer in different capacities. Quan brings a technical skill set complemented by his strong consulting experience developed over several years.