Why Microsoft has a new Azure Expert MSP Program
The marathon to the cloud is picking up steam and shifted to a 400 meter sprint, as organizations of all sizes rush to close data centers and server closets. Organizations already taking advantage of public clouds like Microsoft Azure, are accelerating their digital transformation and innovating in ways that are disrupting markets, and with better data analytics and innovation making their on-premises-delivered-IT competitors nervous. AI, IoT, ML, robotics and DevOps – the capabilities and opportunities to leverage these new scalable concepts and tools are expanding every day.
However, the vast majority of organizations are only just now taking their first significant footsteps into the cloud, with email, collaboration and basic use-cases like backup and disaster recovery. For many organizations the thought of closing their server rooms, data centers and existing colocation contracts seems daunting. IT must continue to always deliver applications and protect the organization from the ever-increasing security threats that are targeting a burgeoning amount of data and employee cloud identities.
IDC is predicting that the world will create 163 zettabytes (one trillion gigabytes) of data by 2025 and Deloitte’s State of AI in the Enterprise report stating 63% of enterprises have adopted machine learning. With all this data coupled with the use of AI, the potential value that is or could be derived by this mountain of data is enormous. Organizations and industries that are not taking advantage of these technologies are rapidly falling behind and being disrupted.
With the enterprise adoption of Microsoft increasing significantly from 43% to 58% according to the RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud report, comes another major hurdle – the talent needed to continue to drive the growth in the cloud is tough for any organizations to scale, with over 50,000 cloud computing positions reported in the US alone as of November 2018, according to Gartner’s TalentNeuron.
Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and the numerous analyst firms and cloud and digital transformation organizations and cloud consultants are besieged with requests for guidance to provide paths forward. Microsoft, for its part, launched the Cloud Solution Provider program back in 2014 to help its partners drive new business in the cloud, and help organizations successfully make the transition.
One notable problem culminated from that effort – Microsoft now has over 4,000 CSPs around the world.
Microsoft, is known as channel first/partner driven technology provider and currently has over 90% of their revenues being driven by the channel. How will organizations find, select and then engage with Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers that have the necessary people, processes and technologies to support them in their ever increasing use of the cloud?
Microsoft has begun to solve the problem with their recent announcement of a new tier of CSP, known as the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP. This program elevates the most capable, next generation of Managed Service Providers, to help Microsoft clients find an MSP that has passed a timely and costly auditing process. The prerequisite list for the partner includes Gold Cloud Platform competency status, client references and a pre-audit assessment and on-site audit.
After a lengthy third party audit by Microsoft, Navisite has been awarded the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP status, making Navisite one of less than 50 global Azure managed service providers with this coveted distinction.
The audit covered hundreds of points across Navisite’s teams, from sales and professional services, to delivery, security and operations. Microsoft makes the questionnaire and program guide available to the public, and it’s a great framework for any IT team in providing excellence in cloud management services on Azure.
The program and the audit checklist are publicly available for download here. Navisite found it a comprehensive and a valuable collaboration exercise to gather and present the evidence to the audit firm. We felt this effort and receiving the award was a prime example of the many people, processes, tools, and experience that Navisite possesses to provide our clients a world-class managed cloud experience.
As a 17+ year Gold partner of Microsoft’s, with over 460 certifications achieved by our teams, this Azure Expert MSP achievement is the culmination of millions of dollars of investment across our organization, with the result being elevated to the top tier status by Microsoft.