Advancing our digital platform proposition with MS Azure


4 min read

Posted by Matteo Granara on April 20, 2021

Advancing our digital platform proposition with MS Azure

Modern digital is a seamless operation, run securely and built on your terms. To ensure our clients get the best uninterrupted digital service, for 13 years, we have been partnering with Microsoft and for 4 years with Microsoft Azure. The Azure cloud platform offers more than 200 products and cloud services designed to help you bring new solutions to life. Build, run, and manage applications across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge, with the tools and frameworks of your choice.

We value our long-lasting partnership with Microsoft, as it illustrates our commitment to our clients and ensures that we are delivering solutions as intended by our partners. Keeping up to date with innovation is a must in the business we are in.

We are proud to be Microsoft Gold Partners in Ireland. Our journey with Azure started back in 2017 and has delivered multiple client success stories since. Let me walk you through how it all started.

Why Microsoft Azure?

Of the Fortune 500 companies, 95 percent rely on Azure for trusted cloud services. Companies of all sizes and maturities use Azure in their digital transformation. There are 3 main reasons why we chose to work with Microsoft Azure. Firstly, security. Yes, security and privacy are the foundations upon which Azure is built. Microsoft is committed to the highest levels of trust, transparency, standards conformance, and regulatory compliance—with the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings of any cloud service provider. Secondly, with no upfront cost, you only pay for what you use. Azure provides flexible purchasing and pricing options for all your cloud scenarios, such as the Azure Hybrid Benefit, and offers extensive tools to help manage your cloud spend. Finally, seamless integration. IT partners use Azure to deploy, manage, and support customers’ existing solutions, and to offer ready-made or bespoke solutions.

Silver First

In my early days in Arekibo I was a strong promoter of Microsoft's Partner program. After sitting my first exam in 2007, I quickly realised how the preparation required to succeed in the exams gave me both the know-how and the confidence to solve numerous challenges that I would face while delivering projects. It was also immediately clear to the entire team that being certified was a huge advantage to the business. In 2008 we committed to becoming part of the Microsoft Partner Network and became Silver Partners across a number of disciplines, a status we have maintained since.

Enter Azure

Fast forward a few years and, suddenly, The Cloud is a 'big thing': everybody is talking about it and is beginning to explore its possibilities. When Microsoft initially entered this business - notably later than some of their main competitors - we decided to investigate what Azure could do for us, but it still felt a bit too experimental to be used in production to our taste. We kept monitoring Microsoft's progress on Azure until four years ago or so we decided that the technology was ripe enough to be adopted and implemented in production environments without risks.

Embracing the Cloud Revolution

A few years back, we began incorporating Azure into our solutions and we haven't looked back since. Our starting point was migrating our hosting services to Azure, and eventually we expanded to delivering and managing services for numerous clients. Azure's ever-expanding array of services and solutions is a perfect fit for our culture, and it works like a charm. 

Obtaining the Golden Status

Becoming a Gold Partner is a lengthy process. The requirements include having our team trained at very high technical standards and meeting specific revenue targets over a 12-month period. After working side by side with Microsoft on several projects in the past few years, we began to build our team and increase our annual revenue targets until the long-awaited email finally arrived: "Congratulations on qualifying for Gold Cloud Platform competency!".

What's Next

Maintaining the Gold Partner status is a priority for us, and it is just as demanding as obtaining it in the first place. As the platform expands, so does the number of topics and features that we need to be knowledgeable about to provide the best solutions. Microsoft are rolling out more and more services every month and, at the same time, new exams are released with the intent of testing both our knowledge and our practical thinking while building tailored solutions. Each exam requires time to prepare and a fair share of real-world experience, but ultimately, each of them are worth the effort to be recognised as SMEs.

This is a partnership we are very proud of, and the numbers show that this has been a company-wide success: the sales, management, dev, and devops teams all played their part and made this result possible.

If you are interested in having a chat with us about how we can help you plan and adopt Azure to support your digital platform, please feel free to contact us.

About the Author

Matteo Granara
Matteo Granara

Matteo is a certified Azure Cloud & SQL Server specialist. He has worked in Arekibo for over 10 years and is Head of Cloud Hosting Solutions at Arekibo.