Software Provider Shortens Sales Cycles with

Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization
Partner Case Study
Software Provider Shortens Sales Cycles with
Infrastructure Optimization Model
Partner: Peters & Associates
Web Site:
Partner Size: 55
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Information technology
“Core IO has allowed us to transform our business
and increase our customer satisfaction across the
Ric Opal, Vice President, Peters & Associates
Partner Profile
Peters & Associates, based in Oakbrook
Terrace, Illinois, provides comprehensive
solutions to midsize companies, many of
which are in the financial services and
education industries.
Peters & Associates provides software solutions to customers in
midsize companies. To advance customers’ IT infrastructures, the
company uses the Microsoft® Core Infrastructure Optimization (IO)
Model, a systematic methodology for measuring and optimizing an
Software and Services
 Technologies
− Microsoft® Core Infrastructure
Optimization Model
IT infrastructure’s “maturity.” It helps Peters & Associates shorten
its sales cycles; identify multiple project opportunities through a
solution-selling approach; develop richer customer relationships;
and lower its cost of doing business.
Business Needs
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As a solutions provider, Peters & Associates
plays a key role in helping customers take a
longer-term strategic view of their IT
infrastructures. Business growth and rapid
developments in new technologies have
created IT infrastructures that are overly
complex, inflexible, expensive, and difficult
to manage. Undertaken in isolation,
refreshing IT systems and implementing IT
operational best practices are not sufficient
to transform technology from a cost center
to a strategic business facilitator. Peters &
Associates aims to help clients implement IT
solutions and maximize their business
Since June 2008, Peters & Associates has
been using the Microsoft Core Infrastructure
Optimization (IO) Model—a systematic
methodology for measuring and advancing
an IT infrastructure’s “maturity.” It identifies
gaps in product technology, assesses
customer IT capabilities, and outlines the
most cost-effective improvements.
By using the Microsoft Core IO Model, Peters
& Associates has realized many benefits.
Shorter sales cycles
Peters & Associates finds that using the Core
IO Model is valuable as a sales strategy,
because, says Ric Opal, Vice President, Peters
& Associates, “Core IO helps us talk to
customers outside the IT realm. For example,
the Core IO message resonates much more
when we talk to finance people and high-level
executives, as opposed to, in some cases, IT
people. IT people understand it, but they may
also say they don't have the time or the
budget.” When the company talks with
business leaders or stakeholders about Core
IO, they more readily see how adopting the
model can help them to realize value, cut
costs, and make IT more productive in the
After initially implementing Core IO with
customers, the company quickly improved its
strategic selling. Opal says, “We’ve found that
by using Microsoft Core IO, we’re able to get
through sales cycles faster.”
More opportunities with solution-selling
Because the Microsoft Core IO Model
encourages partners and customers to
analyze and address IT infrastructures as a
whole, Peters & Associates typically finds
multiple opportunities for customer
engagement. “From a sales and a strategy
perspective, for a medium-sized customer,
using the Core IO blueprint to show a
customer where they are today and where
they can be, and then filling in the gaps with
the right tools, has been very rewarding,” says
Opal. After doing initial assessments and
identifying customer objectives, Peters &
Associates solidifies the existing
infrastructure. “The Core IO roadmap then
acts as a guide to making further
improvements—for example, adding Microsoft
Office Communications Server 2007 or
something else. The comprehensive Core IO
methodologies have helped us to identify
and benefit from multiple project
opportunities, while taking customers to
where they want to be.”
Deeper, long-term customer relationships
The Infrastructure Optimization Model has
also allowed Peters & Associates to develop
richer relationships with its customers. “We
are now viewed as a strategic advisor to our
clients. The Core IO Model has allowed us to
be proactive with our customers and to focus
on core business drivers,” says Opal. “Our
customers who are following the Core IO
path are adding significant value to their IT
organizations, and our relationships with
these customers are the strongest ones we
have. Core IO has allowed us to transform
our business and increase our customer
satisfaction across the board.”
Lower business costs
Another key business benefit for Peters &
Associates has been a cost reduction in its
delivery methods to its customers. Opal says,
“Our strategic roadmaps are consistent. Our
proposals to clients are repeatable with
measureable benefits as defined in the Core
IO Model. Our sales cycles are shorter
because we have a proven methodology with
which to engage in relevant IT and business
discussions with our customers. Prior to Core
IO, our customer approach was good, but by
adopting the methodology, we’ve greatly
improved our delivery systems and success.”
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published June 2008