The busy, understaffed IT director knew he needed to accelerate his plans to fully virtualize the environment when his nonprofit leaders decided to close their secondary office housing the organization’s data center. Fortunately, he was already working with Microsoft Gold Partner MicroAge, a leader in Azure consulting services.

Recognizing a Knowledge and Service Deficit

“I started helping this IT director about a year earlier,” says MicroAge’s Rory Tobin. “We began with minor hardware projects, like laptops, and as we worked together, I shared our full suite of capabilities. The IT director likes that MicroAge is not just an IT hardware provider or an IT consultant, but a ‘one-stop-shop.’ He appreciates that MicroAge provides him with the consultation and delivery as well.”

During client conversations, Rory learned that the organization—with more than 100 employees in the U.S. and thousands of volunteers worldwide—had partially implemented an Azure tenant directly with Microsoft. The IT director engaged an IT consultant for support. Unfortunately, however, the consultant was inexperienced in Azure environments.

“The director told me he had the impression that the consultant, once given a request, would just Google ‘how to…,’ which made the director feel like he was paying for the guy to learn,” adds Rory. “He was frustrated.”

Enlightenment: MicroAge Azure Consulting Services

After suggesting that the IT director would benefit from a discussion with MicroAge’s Microsoft-certified experts, Rory brought in Jason Lane, a MicroAge pre-sales engineer; and Sean Philips, a MicroAge cloud solutions engineer, to understand the nonprofit’s needs and present MicroAge’s capabilities.

MicroAge is a Microsoft Gold Partner“The IT director needed deeper expertise than what his consultant was providing,” says Jason. “The purpose of our Azure Consulting Services is to educate the client with a comprehensive overview of Azure’s capabilities. In the process, we uncover more hands-on projects that we can better address via Azure. The best part for the client is recouping the fee for the consulting session by applying it toward these projects we uncover and take on as a result.”

The discussion began around the client’s Microsoft Azure subscription. The organization had gone direct through Microsoft. However, given his limited expertise and resources, the IT director wanted to move the subscription to MicroAge.

“Transferring your subscription from Microsoft to another tenant isn’t free,” Jason continues. “Microsoft assesses fees for transferring a tenant, but we were able to obtain Microsoft funding through one of our partners to cover it, a major budgetary win for this client.”

With their subscription transferred to the MicroAge tenant, the next step was onboarding with MicroAge Azure Consulting Services.

Jason and Sean quickly got to work with the client, scheduling a two-hour session to conduct an infrastructure assessment, later followed with a two-hour Azure IT Pro training.

“These sessions were eye-opening for the IT director,” says Rory. “What he learned was beneficial in reassuring his leadership team that he had received vital training and relaying how they can leverage Azure to the best of its capability.”

Fast Tracking Without Shortcuts

MicroAge identified a lengthy project list during the sessions. In the process, the director learned that the organization was shutting down the office with the data center and selling the building, so speeding up the Azure virtualization became priority number one.

“He was not going to move to the state where the organization was consolidating; he was staying, raising concerns about getting virtualized fully before the move-out date. As he put it, ‘I don’t want to end up with servers in my basement.’ So, migrating his on-prem Active Directory to Azure Active Directory was critical.”

Microsoft 365 Licensing Upgrade

Microsoft licensing was another area addressed in the review. The nonprofit obtained their O365 E3 licensing through Microsoft directly, and Jason recommended upgrading to M365 E5 licensing.

“M365 E5 licensing offers a multitude of upgrades and benefits,” shares Jason. “The organization will gain several security features, including Defender for Endpoint, protecting against malware in email messages, attachments, and links. The IT team will also tap into more insight with E5’s advanced analytics, including Power BI Pro.”

Along with these benefits, moving to M365 E5 also enabled a move to Teams Voice, a project at the top of the IT director’s priority list.

Support You Can Count On

The client was so impressed by MicroAge’s knowledge and expertise. He signed on for its Platinum Service level for his ongoing IT support.

“The IT director and his team are well covered now,” says Rory. “Now, MicroAge actively implements his project list. He has 24x7x365 US-based support, MicroAge monitors his environment, license provisioning is a breeze, and so much more. He can sleep at night knowing MicroAge has his back.”

Is a move to Azure right for you? Let’s talk.

MicroAge Azure Consulting Services provides the expertise and training to elevate your cloud strategy. Call us at 800-544-8877.

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