Cloudreach Renewed As An Azure Expert MSP

Jeff DeVerter, Cloudreach CTO of Microsoft Technologies, explains what it means to be a part of the Azure Expert MSP Program.

tl/dr

    • Cloudreach was renewed as an Azure Expert MSP
    • Choosing an MSP is hard as there is a lack of consistency between the many MSPs in the world
    • Microsoft has created a very high standard for Azure Expert MSPs to aid companies in finding competent and reputable Managed Service Providers

Cloudreach is delighted to announce that it has been renewed into the Azure Expert MSP program.  

We were part of the original “cohort” of MSPs who were part of the beta of the program back in January of 2018.  That program went “live” in July of 2018 and a few additional MSPs were added to the group. This still kept the number in the low 30’s worldwide -we were certainly part of a very select group.  As we’ve moved into 2019, that original list of MSPs needed to go through a “recertification” which is an annual process. 

This brings us to the heart of this announcement - Cloudreach has met the requirements to remain in the program!  Below are a few of the hurdles we had to cross to remain in the program:

    • We have a systematic way of moving customers into the cloud.
    • We have systems, tools, and processes to handle all aspects of moving into the cloud in a consistent fashion.
    • We have proven that we can move customers to the cloud at scale.
    • We have met and exceeded the number of certified employees at Cloudreach

This is just a few of the requirements that we had to meet that set us apart from other Managed Service Providers.

The Cloud Journey

When understanding the history of the Azure Expert MSP program, it is important to know what the impact is to our customers.  In order to get the whole picture, you need to think about the part of the cloud-journey that an MSP would impact. Let’s break the cloud-journey down into the following phases:

  1. Strategy - why are we doing this and what do we expect to get out of it
  2. Migration / Transformation - This is the physical move to the cloud that sometimes takes the form of a “lift and shift” of the workloads into Azure
  3. Cloud Operations - This is, as the name implies, the part of the lifecycle where the workloads now moved into Azure is “operated” or “managed”

It’s the third phase where an MSP or Managed Service Provider gets involved. It should be pointed out that many MSPs have services around phases one and two (like Cloudreach), an Azure Expert MSP is only graded on our abilities as an MSP. Companies have a choice when they make the move to Azure if they want to continue to manage their applications or if they want to outsource the day-to-day management of the applications they’ve moved to the cloud.  

Choosing a 'Next Generation' Azure Ready Managed Service Provider

So why would they consider doing this when they’ve managed these applications for their entire life?  Here are a few reasons:

      Managing services in the cloud are quite different than on-prem.  

    • There are native tools available
    • There are new security challenges
    • The application lifecycle should now be greatly accelerated creating new sys-admin challenges
    • Sys-admin tooling is different for PaaS based services over IaaS based
    • Cost management is a challenge [your bill varies from month to month]. You need to ensure best value for money

       The business of managing cloud applications is different

    • Now that you have outsourced your datacenter - does it still make sense to manage that infrastructure?
    • There are almost always business advantages to repurposing the folks that “patched servers” and are well versed in your company to helping drive a technology roadmap that benefits their company.
    • The cloud isn’t just about cost savings - but about capturing business opportunities 

In conclusion, once a company has come to terms that they are going to engage with a cloud MSP, choosing one that has been vetted by your cloud of choice is an excellent way to hedge your bets against a sour experience. I’ve been working in the Cloud MSP market for over 12 years and have had the opportunity to build several of these offerings and see first hand when a customer has a “negative experience”. If you would like to have a conversation around this topic, please feel free to email jeff.deverter@cloudreach.com and I’ll reach out personally.

  • azure
  • microsoft-azure