CenturyLink

Brannan Matherson

Why an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider Matters

CenturyLink becomes a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP

“The cloud is more efficient.”

“It immediately simplifies how we operate.”

“Using individual cloud tools and services on-demand (in isolation) is best.”

“It will make our life better.”

And of course … “Oh, it’s cheaper!”

All too many times we hear these assumptions in the marketplace.  Yet time and time again, we hear of one reputable company after another speak to the horrors and struggles of implementing cloud methodologies on their own. Finding service providers who are truly a trusted partner is difficult, but when found, they can unlock a significant amount of value for an organization’s journey to the cloud.

In the case of Microsoft, they launched a program in early 2018 which certifies partners on the Azure platform, solving the problem of customers not having business and technical partners that fully understand the Azure platform. As a result, customers are better able to take full advantage of the platform as they work with their partners. As of September 18th, CenturyLink has achieved certification status for Microsoft Azure, version 1.5 by going through an extensive onsite audit of the entire Azure business unit for managed services, including the following:

  • Overall business and company health
  • Proficiency in all the Azure native services (proven with customer evidence)
  • Assessment and design
  • Build and migration
  • Cloud operations and service management
  • Security and governance
  • Cloud SLA’s, customer satisfaction and cost optimization
  • Continual improvement and process optimization

Having a structured and validated practice provides organizations with technical experts that can translate business needs to solutions based upon the breadth of multiple tools and products offered by Microsoft. Many times, Microsoft customers are bringing forth portions of their on-premises private cloud technology stacks, so having a partner certified in the Microsoft capabilities ensures continuity in the hybrid cloud environment.

It’s one thing to enable members of teams to create their own subscription and begin using one tool after another without concern for other business units.  But having insight into the impact across the enterprise is where implementing such complex solutions on Azure via an Expert MSP becomes key.  When considering a transition to Microsoft Azure or expanding existing business unit initiatives, seek out a partner that has:

  1. Experience managing Azure environments
  2. Ability to make recommendations and prevent unknown pitfalls
  3. Validation against the Microsoft best practices