While we are a company that focuses on delivering services to Microsoft Partners, every now and then we also talk to customers. Typically, customers call us because they want to build their cloud infrastructure themselves, with our assistance, instead of engaging a Microsoft Partner to build a complete solution. Some customers have had bad experiences with hiring external solution providers while most companies just don’t understand the overall value a Microsoft Partner can provide.
One of the things I keep coming back to during these customer discussions is: Do you already have the expertise in house to build this solution, or are you going to learn as you go? Very few customers, or even Microsoft Partners, can build a solution correctly the very first time. Trial and error is part of the natural learning process, and to assume you are going to “get it right” the first time is naive. Even with our automation, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to mapping the business needs to the technology. That is where a Microsoft Partner can truly shine. They know the questions to ask so they can quickly determine the correct direction for your project.
What does DIY mean?
Some companies have their own IT staff and build business solutions internally. I started my career as a developer working for an Insurance company. I was focused on building and updating their custom CRM system. My employer chose to staff a whole development team to support their offices around the world. The company also chose to keep a permanent development staff, even though the company’s primary focus was Insurance, not development. This always leads to several conflicting goals and limits the career growth of the IT staff within a company.
There are Pros and Cons to building your own solution as compared to going with a Microsoft Partner. I’ve tried to detail the high points of each option below.
- Your staff can learn about Azure and how they can extend their business knowledge into a new solution built in the cloud.
- You can build the solution exactly like you want it. This means if the scope of your project changes, your staff can adjust their work plans and schedule to include the new changes.
- Your company will retain the expertise within your staff. This can be valuable as the solution continues to evolve and grow.
- You must hire or train your staff on Azure, then on the solution to deploy. This can be time consuming and will require specialized expertise. Azure’s learning curve is not for the faint at heart since it provides very granular pieces that can be assembled in flexible ways.
- Maintaining the technical staff once the deployment is complete can be difficult. Cloud expertise is in high demand and typically people that build solutions like this want to keep building new solutions, not maintaining existing solutions.
- Building your own solution in house typically takes longer and is costlier since you are either hiring new staff with knowledge of Azure, or you are training your existing staff on Azure. Either way, there is a training and learning curve.
What does using an MS Partner mean?
That means engaging a firm that already has technical expertise and is built to engage in projects, build solutions and then either provide ongoing maintenance or hand off the finished product to the customer for ongoing management.
MS Partner Pro
- You pay for results, not learning and ramp time.
- The Microsoft Partner either has the skills necessary or can quickly obtain the skills needed to build your solution.
- Your company is delivered a finished solution that can be taken into production.
- Microsoft defines standards that each Microsoft Partner must meet to maintain their Microsoft certification. Some of these partners customers are even contacted by Microsoft to ensure the quality of delivery remains exceptional.
- The Microsoft Partner can provide knowledge sharing for the company’s development and / or support staff if they want to extend or customize the solution further.
- The Microsoft Partner can provide ongoing maintenance for the solution if so desired, hence you have the skill and expertise “on hand” without having to hire the individuals as your own full-time employees.
MS Partner Con
- All the construction experience is lost when the Microsoft Partner dis-engages. Usually I do not see this as a negative to the overall solution because there are certain areas that only need to be configured once.
Where does MyCloudIT fit?
MyCloudIT automates the creation and management of cloud-based solutions. We have reduced the provisioning process to 12-15 questions, then our automation builds the solution based on your parameters, in about 90 minutes. We eliminate the need to “learn Azure” before you can “leverage Azure” for your business. Our staff are experts in Azure and they’ve built tools that allow you to immediately take advantage of the scalability, elasticity and cost savings Azure offers. While a customer can leverage our platform, we primarily work with Microsoft partners to automate the routine tasks, so the partner can spend more time focused on the customers desired solution.