Cloud Converts: how our own migration became a template for our customers

Blog by: Mike Williams, CTO, Adept4 - 10-Aug-2017

Four years ago we were anything but cloud converts. Our core business had always been around on premise solutions, there was still a great deal of confusion over whether Cloud services would live up to the hype and whether data in the Cloud would be secure. We were perhaps even more wary of the implications because we knew it would lead to customer data going into the Cloud. But we also knew our business model needed to change. 

Email was a real bottleneck, so we started by tentatively moving to Microsoft Exchange Online, within Office 365. It quickly became apparent this wasn’t just a technical win; it helped strategically by redefining staff roles. It presented IT staffers with the opportunity to update their skills and work more closely with customers, enabling us to offer creative solutions that solved their business problems. 

Taking our customers with us

Buoyed by this experience, the decision was made to transition our dev-test environment to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to allow us to expedite software development and reduce the time to market for new offerings. And then we took the plunge and began to move customers’ production workloads to the platform. These steps had an immediate impact, making us a more agile, scalable, asset-light business. 

If this was transforming our business, we reasoned, what could it do for our customers? We joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, quickly rising to become one of the leading “Azure in CSP” partners in the UK. We developed our own methodology for offering IT-as-a-Service including processes to help our customers transition to the Cloud. 

Moving to the Cloud fundamentally requires an understanding of each business. So we begin by assessing and stabilising the environment, then we outline how to innovate and differentiate the business by leveraging the cloud. Migration is conducted in a phased approach with workloads moved to Azure, using Azure Site Recovery services to protect the information estate. Finally, we move into the ‘innovation’ phase, where we examine the business, choose and tweak apps from the Azure Marketplace to solve specific problems, and add these into our service portfolio. 

Try before you buy

Understandably, many customers want some visibility of what they are committing to and that’s why we offer a ‘try before you buy’ service. If a customer is contemplating replacing the on premise infrastructure, we use the Azure Site Recovery tool to copy workloads to the cloud and then allow them to experiment with the solution for a month at no charge. Once customers experience the power, flexibility, and agility of Azure, the next question is usually, ‘How quickly can I make this happen?’ which is why we are seeing a 75 percent conversion rate with this taster service. Today, we service a customer base of 800 small-to-medium-sized businesses and 40 percent of our customer workloads’ reside in Azure.

We now offer four core managed services over Azure: Infrastructure-as-a Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Backup-as-a-Service and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service. But we’re also very involved in new initiatives. We have a close relationship with Microsoft and actively participate in partner summits and local roundtables, helping us keep our finger on the pulse of new service offerings available over the platform, which we can quickly flag to our customers. 

By utilising our own initial experience, we’ve been able to take the risk out of the cloud migration process. The Microsoft Azure Cloud and the Adept4 service offerings provide clients with the platform to adopt new applications and services help drive their business forward. The result? We’re now become a trusted advisor for our customers as we take them on their own journey to the cloud. 

Contact us today to find out more about ‘try before you buy’ from one of the UK’s leading Azure in CSPs.

 

Topics: Cloud Migration

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