Most information age workers have had an experience worth telling about their company’s on-site technology support guru. And most experiences are about the petty tyrannies the support guy leverages over his co-workers, or the small non-monetary favors (like lunch at the local steakhouse) they require to keep the computer system running. Have you ever seen the Saturday Night Live skit about “Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy”? If not, it’s worth a look, here.

But ole Nick has met his comeuppance with the advent of cloud computing, as the delivery of IT services has moved to on-demand models.

Take for example the recent announcement that Mainstream Renewable Power has contracted with Auxilion to provide its Virtual Service Desk to all its employees and affiliates across five continents. MRP designs and operates renewable power installations around the world, so it needs robust IT-support systems to keep the turbines turning, so to say. It’s choosing Auxilion to create a virtual agent – colloquially called the IT Guy – is a major move, and their strategy to keep MRP an all-Microsoft shop continues. Auxilion is a Microsoft cloud technology provider.

As MRP says in the press release:

"We are experiencing exponential business growth and realised that traditional on-premise, localised and multi-vendor approaches to IT support simply aren't scalable," commented John Shaw, CIO at Mainstream. "With end-to-end global IT support services from one partner, our Information Services team focus on priority IT improvement projects, safe in the knowledge our employees and affiliates are well supported at all times."

And that’s yet another great thing about the cloud: Nick Burns can put away his passport. – Jon C. Arnold