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Anton Spitsyn New Certifications Help Russian IT Services Firm Expand Business, Recruit Top Talent

TI Systems is a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner and IT services provider for private-sector and governmental customers in Russia. For years, TI Systems has used Microsoft Certifications to validate and promote its expertise and to support an aggressive growth strategy. To maintain its competitive edge, TI Systems strives to keep up with advances in key Microsoft technologies. To better achieve this goal, the company is pursuing new-generation Microsoft Certifications. This solution has helped the company build customer trust, gain new business, and increase the efficiency of IT staff. TI Systems estimates that using Microsoft-certified employees will cut initial project investment costs by up to 35 percent and ongoing support costs by up to 10 percent. The company has also used certifications to identify, recruit, and retain top-quality IT talent.

Situation

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* We estimate that our profits begin increasing within two to three months after an employee receives a Microsoft Certification, so the return on investment is very rapid.  *
Anton Spitsyn
Head of the Information Technology Deployment and Support Department
TI Systems
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TI Systems, a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner, provides IT services to customers in both government and commercial sectors. The company’s services range from the design of information systems and data centers to the development and maintenance of customized software. Based in Moscow, the company has offices there and in Ufa, the Republic of Bashkortostan, and it employs nearly 100 people. Although TI Systems was established in 2005, many of the company’s founding employees have worked as a team since 2000.

As an IT services provider in a competitive market, TI Systems has differentiated itself by employing highly qualified experts who receive ongoing training in key technologies. Since its founding, the company has participated in programs to strengthen and validate its technical expertise. For example, as soon as the company was established, it took advantage of the Empower for ISVs program through which Microsoft helps independent software vendors to improve the quality of their products and speed their time-to-market. Shortly thereafter, TI Systems received Microsoft Certified Partner status, and some of the company’s earliest employees received Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credentials on the Windows Server® 2003 operating system.

To continue its business success, TI Systems keeps up with key current and emerging Microsoft technologies and continually seeks ways to verify and promote its mastery of them. In particular, the company is eager to find new certification solutions that will help it build even greater customer confidence and maintain its competitive edge for years to come.

Solution

TI Systems chose to pursue the new generation of Microsoft Certifications. The new Microsoft Certification program makes it easier for managers to identify certified experts who meet specific job criteria and to provide IT professionals with a more relevant, flexible, and cost-effective way to showcase their skills.

Specifically, TI Systems was interested in gaining new-generation Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credentials for select employees. To achieve this goal, the employees studied coursework and took exams over several months. Their areas of study focused on using the Microsoft .NET Framework to develop applications for environments that are based on the Windows® operating system. After passing their exams, the employees collectively received the following credentials for the Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 development system:

  • MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications 
  • MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications 
  • MCPD: Windows Developer
  • MCPD: Web Developer

These credentials augment the company's previous Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer credentials on Windows Server 2003. TI Systems is also planning for employees to complete coursework and exams for the following credentials on Windows Server and the Windows Vista® operating system:

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* Achieving Microsoft Certifications proves to prospective customers that our staff has expert knowledge. Many customers have cited our certifications as the main reason for closing the deal.  *
Anton Spitsyn
Head of the Information Technology Deployment and Support Department
TI Systems
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  • MCTS: Windows Server 2003 Hosted Environments – Configuration and Management
  • MCTS: Windows Vista, Configuration

Afterward, TI Systems plans to seek the following new-generation Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) credentials for the Windows Server 2008 operating system:

  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Vista

Additionally, the company will continue training and certifying employees for customer projects that require Visual Studio 2005 and, particularly, the Microsoft Visual C#® development tool.

Benefits

With its combination of both long-standing and new-generation Microsoft Certification credentials, TI Systems continues to validate the expertise of its IT staff, opening new business opportunities as customers feel more confident about using the company’s services. Additionally, certifications make it easier for TI Systems to identify and retain high-quality IT talent and to use the company’s IT resources more efficiently.

Validates Expertise, Opens New Business Opportunities

Receiving Microsoft Certification credentials demonstrates that TI Systems is highly qualified to implement particular Microsoft technologies. As a result, customers are more motivated to use the company’s services. “Achieving Microsoft Certifications proves to prospective customers that our staff has expert knowledge,” says Anton Spitsyn, Head of the Information Technology Deployment and Support Department at TI Systems. “Many customers have cited our certifications as the main reason for closing the deal. Also, the process of qualifying for Microsoft Certifications teaches us how to better satisfy customers, which makes them more likely to ask us to support their mission-critical systems.”

For example, certifications helped TI Systems to qualify for a project to consolidate the distributed IT architecture of Russia’s State Tax Service into a single structure that has 100,000 users, based on the Active Directory® service.

Based in part on the success of that project, TI Systems has subsequently been hired to provide software that processes the tax information that companies file on behalf of their employees for the State Tax Service. The company will also offer IT services for vendors that, for example, help to maintain roads and other civil engineering projects in Moscow.

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* Compared with past projects for which we used noncertified staff, when we use employees who have Microsoft Certifications, we find more than a 35 percent increase in project performance.  *
Anton Spitsyn
Head of the Information Technology Deployment and Support Department
TI Systems
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These business opportunities convince TI Systems that its investment in certifications continues to pay off. Spitsyn adds, “The cost of a certification is comparable to an ordinary IT training course, but the returns are much higher. We estimate that our profits begin increasing within two to three months after an employee receives a Microsoft Certification, so the return on investment is very rapid.”

Identifies and Develops High-Quality IT Talent

TI Systems uses Microsoft Certifications as a prescreening and recruiting tool, so candidates who already have their credentials gain an advantage over candidates who don’t. “I believe that Microsoft Certifications are an important part of the hiring process because they help us to find the highest caliber candidates,” says Spitsyn.

The company also looks at certifications as part of the performance appraisal process for existing employees. “Our organization is very dynamic,” he adds. “We constantly have to acquire new technical knowledge and adapt it to fit the complex needs of our customers. Employees who have Microsoft Certifications have greater skills and adaptability, which is critical for successfully completing projects and gaining new business. We’ve also noticed that employees who pass certification tests sooner tend to be our best performers.”

Additionally, Spitsyn observes that certifications contribute to positive morale, making it easier to keep the best employees. “Microsoft Certifications improve the work atmosphere by increasing the staff’s professional knowledge and their feelings of personal importance and esteem, which helps reduce turnover.”

Improves Efficiency of IT Projects

TI Systems estimates that using certified employees can reduce initial project investment costs by up to 35 percent on average and reduce ongoing support costs by up to 10 percent, compared with using noncertified staff. Similarly, the number of staff hours that are required for standard IT tasks can be cut by up to 25 percent.

TI Systems uses these and other metrics to calculate the overall contribution (or performance) of a project to the company’s net income. Spitsyn says, “Compared with past projects for which we used noncertified staff, when we use employees who have Microsoft Certifications, we find more than a 35 percent increase in project performance.”

Provides a Foundation for Future Growth

TI Systems credits much of its past success to including industry-recognized certifications in its business expansion plans, and the company is confident that this strategy will continue to work in the future. “Our business has been growing by about 50 percent every two to three years,” concludes Spitsyn. “Going forward, we expect to grow by 30 to 40 percent a year for the next several years, and we believe that in 10 years, TI Systems can be the leading IT services company in Russia. Microsoft Certifications, and the expertise they represent, will be an important element in promoting our company and achieving these ambitious business goals.”

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
http://www.microsoft.com/

For more information about TI Systems products and services, call 7 (495) 955-28-28 or visit the Web site at:
http://www.ti-systems.ru/

Microsoft Learning

Microsoft Learning builds innovative learning products that enable both individuals and organizations to make the most of their investment in Microsoft technology. Offerings from Microsoft Learning—encompassing Microsoft training and certification, Microsoft Press® books, and Microsoft TechNet publications—include skills assessments, books, certification programs, classroom and lab-format curriculum, e-learning, and other online reference materials. Our goal? To make you a more efficient user of Microsoft technology. Learn more about Microsoft Learning:
www.microsoft.com/learning

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published May 2008
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Företagsstorlek
100 anställda

Företagsinformation

Headquartered in Moscow, TI Systems is a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner that offers IT and software development services. It has nearly 100 employees and had 2007 revenues of U.S.$7.8 million.


Utgångsläge

Already an enthusiastic participant in Microsoft Certification programs, TI Systems wanted to continue to enhance and validate its IT expertise in current and emerging Microsoft technologies.


Lösning

TI Systems pursued new-generation Microsoft Certifications, specifically seeking Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional, and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer credentials.


Fördelar
  • Validates expertise, opens new business opportunities
  • Identifies and develops high-quality IT talent
  • Improves efficiency of IT projects
  • Provides a foundation for future growth

Industri(er)
IT Services

Land
Russia

Språk
English

Partner
TI Systems