Your Microsoft Consulting Services Alternative for Digital Transformation.

Digital transformation is disrupting virtually every industry sector.

Think about the way Airbnb has changed the way we book hotel rooms or how Netflix is transforming the way we consume television. These market entrants revolutionized their industries and ultimately provided better products and services for customers.

Chances are if you’re reading this blog you also want to be on the right side of digital transformation history. The reality is that you cannot help others until you help yourself. Your IT portfolio is a great place to start. Enterprise Managed Services frees up IT so you can innovate and speed up your digital transformation process. Failure to evolve or move too slowly puts you at risk of being disrupted, losing market share, or worse.

Microsoft offers a range of professional services to help you implement Microsoft products and technologies to aid your digital transformation journey. Called Microsoft Services, it includes support organization as well as services. The services arm was formerly called Microsoft Consulting Services and is still often referred to as MCS. Except for this article in Redmond Channel Partner, not much is written about MCS or its enterprise services organization. Why? The handoffs and relationships among Microsoft’s professional services staff, end users like yourself, and third-party IT vendors has been murky at best over the last 20 years.

According to Microsoft’s website, their services and support are available to enterprise class Microsoft customers and offers a wide range of support services. Notably, Premier Support representatives are assigned to your account and learn the details of your infrastructure and business solutions for a highly customized response to technical problems. Other forms of Premier Support are available to Microsoft Partners and developers – though as Microsoft transitions to a Unified Support model you can expect to pay significantly more for these services.

Based on our conversations with our clients, we’ve found six ways they’ve tried to engage Microsoft’s Consulting Services (MCS) with varying degrees of success:

  1. Access to Microsoft’s product teams. Companies making large bets on brand-new Microsoft products and services have bought into the company’s pitch that by using their professional services team they will be able to enjoy the close ties they have with the product organizations – to quickly resolve issues or even suggest new enhancements and fixes. The reality, though, is that these are promises that can’t always be kept. The only sure thing is you will pay significantly more in terms of the hours you spend trying to foster these connections. Any changes or priority fixes cannot be guaranteed.
  2. Planning and validating your IT architecture: It’s true that Microsoft’s consulting services have been involved in planning the largest Active Directory networks in the world such as the U.S. Army. The hope is that they can take that playbook and transfer it to your specific needs and save you time. However, every enterprise is different and it’s hard to transfer that knowledge over to ramp up your needs quickly. Additionally, if you’re a public sector company looking to leverage these best practices, you can’t guarantee the people at Microsoft will be ITAR certified to work with your company.
  3. Employing Microsoft Consulting Services as part of a broader team: We’ve talked at length about how Microsoft services and support come at a significantly higher premium than industry standard IT support. Due to that, many clients we work with want to integrate Microsoft services staff with their in-house teams and other consultants. The handoffs don’t always work as seamlessly as you’d like, and you can’t guarantee the Microsoft consultants will you’re your holistic interests in mind (unless you’re completely a Microsoft shop).
  4. Integrating Microsoft technologies with other solutions: Microsoft consultants don’t cover the entire spectrum of products available in the market, so other resources will be better suited for non-Microsoft work. Find a third-party alternative that can incorporate Microsoft technologies into others so that you can achieve the end-goal of ensuring your employees can access digital workspaces from any device, run any application, and connect to any cloud.
  5. To jumpstart a project. If you don’t have enough resources to get started or need training for your team, MCS can give you an initial boost to get the project underway. Most of the time MCS does not prefer to stay for the long term because of demands from other clients. You should find help that will stay until the job is done, whose sole purpose is your ultimate satisfaction that you have the right IT environment to meet your specific business needs.
  6. Training on Microsoft methodologies. Microsoft has developed planning and implementation methodologies and can provide training to your team. However, depending on how much you’re paying for Microsoft support and services, you may not get as much hands-on support as you need. Find a certified partner like US Cloud, which has more than 20 years of experience across virtually all Microsoft technologies and has the partner certifications to prove it.

In short, you deserve a viable alternative to Microsoft Consulting Services. US Cloud is uniquely positioned to deliver, with proven experience helping clients align business initiatives with evolving industry trends and obtain a clear understanding of the impact that future technologies will have on recognizing IT business value.

As a trusted advisor in the deployment of advanced infrastructure, virtualization and cloud solutions, we offer the three Managed Enterprise IT services you need most:

  1. End User and IT Infrastructure Support: 24/7/365 monitoring and alerting; Tier 2-4 incident management; root cause analysis; knowledge base content creation; Tier 1 team enablement; defined reporting; service quality validation; and continuous Improvement.
  2. Infrastructure Maintenance & Optimization: Infrastructure software updates; infrastructure hardware updates; infrastructure capacity planning; health checks; minor software version upgrades; defined reporting; and, continuous improvement.
  3. Technology Lifecycle Management: Strategic IT business alignment and road mapping; short- and long-term architecture collaboration; major software version upgrades; defined reporting; continuous improvement; and, project-based changes.

Contact us today to get an enterprise managed services quote and begin your digital transformation journey.

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