10 Good Reasons for Working with a Microsoft Partner
Mike Parfitt Managing Director of Team Metalogic
Why choose a Microsoft Partner for your IT services and support? Do they offer real value and lower running costs, or is this accreditation simply a brand to make their marketing more appealing? Mike Parfitt, Managing Director of Team Metalogic, gives us his Top 10 reasons why it’s worth forming a long-term relationship with a Microsoft approved organisation.
Maximise your potential
The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) is a community of over 640,000 Partners worldwide, who help Microsoft’s 160 million customers worldwide realise their full business potential. They are IT experts who deliver innovative, proven solutions built on Microsoft technologies to support your business and give you a competitive advantage. That’s not just boxes or software, but can include training, consultancy and end-to-end support.
Being a member of the MPN means they’ve participated in Microsoft’s rigorous partner certification programme and earned “badges”. There are different partner membership options available to help ensure you have access to the very best expertise in the industry. Many partners make the investment in one or more MPN Competencies. Microsoft recognises 28 different partner competencies, each of which maps to a specific customer IT need (search, desktops, collaboration or virtualisation, for example); and for each of these, partners may attain two designations of expertise - Silver or Gold.
As well as Silver and Gold accreditation, the MPN also recognises partners with exceptional capabilities and experience in two areas of specialisation:
Work with experts
MPN certification gives you the assurance that you’ll be choosing a Microsoft Partner with best-in-class expertise. After all, your job is to run a business, not worry about IT - but without an in-depth knowledge of IT, how can you decide who's good and who’s not? The fact that an IT provider is a recognised Microsoft Partner means they have access to in-depth support from Microsoft, enabling them to help medium-sized businesses like yours meet their unique challenges through solutions based on the most current technology. It means they have a deep understanding of business processes in medium-sized companies, their infrastructure needs and growth strategies.
Discover committed staff
Having achieved Gold or Silver Competency means a partner has also demonstrated their commitment to training and the ongoing development and qualification of staff. We provide Microsoft with evidence of our effectiveness through positive client outcomes and regular customer satisfaction surveys. It means we’re a stronger businesses because we’ve had to visibly deliver real value to our customers.
Extract better ROI
Working with a Microsoft Partner enables you to drive a better return on existing and new IT investments. When you’re putting all your energy into building your business by investing in - or upgrading to - new technology, you need to know you’re buying only what you need and that it will meet your current and future expectations. This is precisely where Microsoft Partners come into their own: they are trained to expertly examine your business needs and recommend solutions that deliver tangible benefits, whatever the size of your organisation.
Stay on track
It’s important, too, that you evolve your business strategically with infrastructure, applications and services that align to your long-term goals and help you streamline work processes alongside building and sustaining profitable growth. Technology marches on relentlessly, but it's your business requirements that should shape your upgrade strategy, not some reseller trying to foist new hardware and software onto you. So, whilst you can't afford to let your business fall behind and become uncompetitive, that doesn’t mean upgrading for the sake of it.
Partners see their role as your trusted advisors; a trust built up across the development of a long-term relationship rather than the short-term desire to make a quick buck. A partner will help you to understand the contribution IT can make to solving the issues in your business, make the right choices, and stay on track.
Tap into a wealth of experience
Whilst Microsoft software is easy to use, managing an entire estate can be a complex business requiring technical expertise to support. That’s when you need a service provider who’s steeped in Microsoft know-how. Because that’s what companies like ours do day in, day out, our engineers understand it and they've seen most challenges before.
Save hard cash
Where Microsoft Partners really live up to their accreditation is in supporting clients long-term. It’s not in our interest to talk you into software you don’t need. On the other hand, there are certainly opportunities for us to help you save money as new licensing models become available. For instance, as Partners, we employ experts in licensing to help you manage your software and reduce complexity when acquiring your applications via a mixture of on-premise deployment, on a ‘hosted’ basis, or through ‘the cloud’.
Gain competitive advantage
Microsoft’s Pinpoint Marketplace makes it easy to identify a Partner who can deliver innovative, proven solutions that precisely match your business needs and give you a competitive advantage. It does so by highlighting the competencies mentioned earlier to help you quickly locate technology experts, software applications and professional services most appropriate to your specific business issues and long-term goals. Simply enter your business challenge, and then match it to companies holding appropriate competencies as shown on their company profiles and services listings. So, no matter what your specific technology need, Pinpoint makes it simple to search for the Microsoft partner best suited to help you.
Less sales talk, more delivery
Clients undoubtedly prefer an IT service provider that lets their delivery do the talking. Partners seek to provide demonstrable value long past the sales chatter: we’re only too aware that we have to maintain a high quality of service which supports your business ambitions, and at less cost than using in-house resource. Here is a typical client commendation:
“Unlike many businesses, we already had sufficient capability to implement and maintain IT in-house. However, the decision to outsource to Metalogic had the effect of significantly freeing up valuable resources that we were then able to devote to business activities… at a cost that we would have found difficult to beat through in-house management.”
This is exactly what Partners strive for - IT which breathes life into the client’s business, rather than IT which swallows up resource for its own sake.
Reduce risk, increase agility
As with most things in business, IT support on the cheap invariably costs money. Worse still, you’ll inevitably end up paying to do it again properly. Partners make it their business to know your processes, reduce your corporate risk and make your business more agile. Indeed, for many of our customers, their relationship with us is more important than the one with their bank. It requires a much closer rapport - one that’s a day-to-day, week-to-week involvement. That’s what the Microsoft Partner Network is all about.