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Case Study: SmartSource & PCmover Enterprise for PC Refresh

PCmover Enterprise Slashes Expenses, Saves IT Labor for Multi-Site PC Refresh

Global IT staffing and consulting firm SmartSource relies on PCmover for PC refresh cost-savings and ease of use when compared to Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool (USMT).

Benefits of PCmover

  • Greater ease of use and functionality compared with USMT
  • Out of the box usability, intuitive operation
  • Reduced PC refresh costs and IT staffing requirements
  • Increased level of security when transferring data and applications, especially for industries that are regulated by laws in the financial services industry like Sarbanes-Oxley or in the healthcare industry like HIPAA
  • Superior product support

Situation: Multi-Site PC Refresh

SmartSource, located in St. Charles, Illinois just outside of Chicago, is a leading provider of technology staffing, multi-site PC deployment, and technical solutions. For over 25 years, the company has worked with a wide variety of customers across many vertical industries including retail, financial services, government, and healthcare. While small and mid-sized companies make up part of their customer base, SmartSource also works closely with large enterprise customers by consulting, assessing and deploying new technological solutions that improve overall business performance. With additional offices located in Boston, Houston, Dallas, and New York, the company employs a large staff of IT professionals who are dedicated to helping global customers streamline operations and increase employee productivity.

One of the requests that SmartSource often receives from customers is help with PC upgrades and data migrations to new computers. In many cases, customers would attempt to use Microsoft’s User State Migration Tool (USMT) for data migration, but found it cumbersome and extremely time consuming. USMT lacks a graphical user interface and requires that customers invest in developing XML scripts to support migrations. USMT often “does not transfer certain user data due to the difficulty in creating appropriate XML scripts and requires that all applications are reinstalled on the destination PC.”

In addition, USMT also places a burden on customers’ employees, leading to many hours of lost productivity. While considering cost is important, it’s critical to understand what you are really getting in a technology solution. Jim Keck, Senior Executive, Enterprise Accounts at SmartSource says about USMT, “Free is not always free. Time is money and, from a total cost of ownership perspective, you get what you pay for.”

Overall, enterprise customers said that they felt using USMT didn’t support their needs and ended up costing a lot of money in wasted time for both IT staff and employees.

“PCmover is so easy to use. It allows us to customize our approach to upgrading PCs or data migration situations.”
–Jim Keck, Senior Executive, Enterprise Accounts at SmartSource.


When SmartSource initially meets with customers, a team reviews the customer’s entire IT infrastructure, not just their PC or data migration needs. In many cases, the customer doesn’t have a true picture of the overall situation or know the pitfalls of cutting corners or looking for the quickest solution. For instance, they may know that they need to upgrade from old laptops, but they aren’t aware of what it takes to migrate apps and data and the potential impact on users. It’s important for the consulting team at SmartSource to get a clear picture of the entire situation in order to provide customers with the best options to meet their needs. In addition, when dealing with a multi-site environment, the scope of the project often expands.

In the past, there were times when SmartSource used USMT but often found that it lacked the capabilities to properly execute a large migration. A particular pain point was migrating legacy applications. Keck says, “In many industries, such as financial services, legacy systems and applications need to be migrated to new systems. USMT just can’t deliver when compared to PCmover.”

In addition, companies don’t want to get bogged down using a solution that is hard to use, especially when it comes to migrating user data. Say Keck, “The ability to customize PCmover software allows us to work quickly with the client to customize the application when we’re doing a user migration. It’s just so easy to use and the support from the Laplink team is outstanding.”

While speed and ease of use are especially important to SmartSource, Keck feels that PCmover stands out in another important way. “Being able to standardize across one platform is critical. Having the same look and feel of the processes for our technicians across 500 sites at the same time, across different time zones is so important to us,” he explains. “We have complete confidence in using PCmover for these scenarios.”

“The ability to customize PCmover software allows us to work quickly with the client to customize the application when we’re doing a user migration. It’s just so easy to use and the support from the Laplink team is outstanding.”
— Jim Keck, Senior Executive, Enterprise Accounts at SmartSource.


The speed at which PCmover performs migrations has a direct impact on SmartSource’s customers. “When our team is migrating 500 gigabyte hard drives I know exactly how much time it will take which translates into the budget for the project,” Keck says. “We know what the downtime will be when we’re migrating from old to new computers, and know how to estimate and measure milestones throughout the project.”

Another example of the cost savings from using PCmover recently occurred in a multi-site migration. The customer had an exceptionally large rollout to the tune of over 800 sites, with anywhere from 5 to 25 PCs at each site. The team estimated up to eight hours of IT labor per site to complete the data migration. “It was a safe estimate but in fact Laplink helped us perform the migration in half the time.” Keck reports. “This allowed the client to re-direct valuable IT resources to other more important areas of the project.”

“Free is not always free. Time is money and, from a total cost of ownership perspective, you get what you pay for.”
— Jim Keck, Senior Executive, Enterprise Accounts at SmartSource.

To learn more about PCmover Enterprise, visit enterprise.laplink.com or contact corpsales@laplink.com. For more information about SmartSource or to contact Jim directly, email: jkeck@smartsource-inc.com or call +1-630-607-7217.

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