What role can a Microsoft Partner play in easing your Microsoft deployment or upgrade?
When it comes to using Microsoft products in an enterprise organization, a certified Microsoft Partner can serve as a bridge between the organization and Microsoft, one of the largest software companies in the world. Why should you work with a Microsoft Partner? Deciding whether to update or buy Microsoft products through a partner or directly through Microsoft will determine how much time your organization ultimately spends on planning, training and deployment.
Microsoft Partner or Go it Alone?
Microsoft recognizes its own limitations in providing hands-on support to every enterprise customer, so it has created what it calls “an ecosystem of partners”—businesses that are recognized by Microsoft for providing services that support and extend the capabilities of Microsoft products. In order to become an official Microsoft Partner, a service provider must be certified in key technologies at either the Gold or Silver competency level and must meet all of Microsoft’s rigorous partnership requirements.
The time to think about working with a Microsoft Partner is while you’re still considering a Microsoft purchase or a Microsoft upgrade. That’s when you need to ask if your organization is prepared to manage all of the licensing, installation and troubleshooting for your Microsoft products. Alternatively, you can decide to rely on the expertise provided by a Microsoft Partner. If you’re like 86% of Microsoft line-of-business customers, you’ll choose the Microsoft Partner route.
These are some of the benefits you can expect to gain when you buy Microsoft products through a Microsoft Partner.
Microsoft Partners are backed by Microsoft with software tools, training and support. Partners receive timely updates from Microsoft about new functionalities, which they pass on to their clients. Partners also have access to technology news and training courses through the Microsoft Partner Network.
A Microsoft Partner is prepared to support businesses at each step of the planning, purchasing, deployment, and ongoing management processes. One of the benefits of being a Microsoft Partner is that customer support technicians have direct, 24-hour access to Microsoft technicians for issues that require escalation.
Sheer size prevents Microsoft from providing the type of personalized service that most enterprise customers require. No two businesses are exactly alike, so it’s no surprise that the most successful software deployments are those that have been tailored for the requirements of an individual organization. Microsoft Partners are smaller entities that can be more agile when it comes to creating customized Microsoft deployment plans and providing personalized, geographically closer service.
Proven Track Record
In order to achieve a Gold or Silver competency rating, a company must prove that it is well-established in its area of expertise with a proven record of successful customer installations. A Microsoft Partner is also required to have a required number of staff members who are certified in Microsoft product sales, licensing and technology.
Certification Updated Annually
Microsoft updates the requirements for Gold and Silver certification on an annual basis, so the award recognizes only those organizations that are prepared to work with the most current Microsoft technology. Having certifications that update so frequently forces aspiring partners to step up to a bar that continuously rises.
Commitment to Service
Becoming a Microsoft Partner requires a significant effort and resources by the partner company, from employee training to time spent managing the Microsoft relationship. This investment represents a commitment by the partner to provide add-on value to enterprise customers. Microsoft Partners are motivated by their reputation for quality, timely customer service, since that’s where they deliver add-on value.
Easing the Transition to New Technologies
The value of working with a Microsoft Partner can become most obvious during a Microsoft transition to new technology, such as moving to a Unified Communications solution based on Skype for Business and other voice-over-Internet technologies. A Microsoft Partner can play a key role in planning, deploying and managing the most up-to-date voice services for enterprises of all sizes.
Enterhost is among a small percentage of worldwide Microsoft Partners to achieve both Gold and Silver partnership levels in different competencies (Gold in hosting, datacenter, communications, and devices and deployment; Silver in midmarket solution provider and small and midmarket cloud solutions). We have a relationship nearly two decades long with Microsoft and a team of Microsoft-certified professionals who provide support to our clients throughout the world. To find out more, .