It All Starts With Education
Avanade’s primary offering for businesses is assistance with the heavy lifting of migration. The company helps schedule, coordinate, and move customer data. In a big commercial setting, few things—IT-related or otherwise—are ever simple. That’s why it can pay to have a company with global reach supporting your migration. For example, if you’ve got a branch office in the Philippines, you may be dealing with an office schedule the exact opposite of your main U.S. branch. However, if the migration facilitator has global resources, it becomes easier to let both locations do their migration work at night so that daytime production isn’t interrupted. Moreover, there’s the opportunity to leverage cost savings from using resources in locations abroad.
But this is getting a little ahead of things. When Avanade initially engages with customers, the process usually starts with a phone conversation. Avanade needs to understand where the customer is at in the migration planning process, the type of migration being considering, or even just the general direction of events. Typically, that conversation leads to a workshop with the customer. Depending on the size and complexity of the client’s environment, the workshop may last for two days, although smaller groups might get through the course in a day.
“Avanade workshops generally accomplish two things,” says Avanade’s Molner. “We talk to them in much more detail about their current environment and the elements in it, then we start aligning it to whether BPOS dedicated or standard is going to be right for their scale, or if they have requirements that would drive them to an on-premise solution. The other piece we do is gather information for a cost-benefit analysis. We can use the one Microsoft provides, but we also have our own, and that gives us some additional flexibility on what we can do. Our goal is to give customers the information they need to know how to move forward.”
Once that decision is made, then it’s time for Avanade to assist with the migration. Typically, representatives arrive on-site, do the appropriate planning to assess the environment holistically; then they start dividing migration tasks into orderly, manageable chunks. This might entail breaking the organization into groups. Most companies prefer to have their migrations done over a weekend, and to make this happen, Avanade may work to pre-stage data out to the BPOS environment and employ any of several third-party tools to make migration move more smoothly and safely. Reduction of risk and speedy completion time are essentially how Avanade earns its keep.