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SCC has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and has demonstrated further commitment to the supplier by gaining the Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure specialisation.
The channel player has now gained specialisations in five of the six available areas offered by Microsoft as it looks to strengthen its position as a player that can cover artificial intelligence, infrastructure, Microsoft 365 security and Office 365.
SCC has been following a targeted approach, not simply badge-hunting, to make sure that when it commits to a specialisation, it has the team and in-house practice capabilities to support those efforts.
The firm has invested in getting trained staff and case studies, and has passed a specialisations audit to demonstrate it can engage with the customer and deliver a solid experience using Microsoft technology.
“We have invested heavily in training and recruitment, and going forward, to stay ahead of the skills requirements, we have the SCC Academy, where we are building programmes to develop the next cohort of talent,” said Damon Crawford, practice director at SCC Hyperscale. “It couldn’t be a more important relationship to us in terms of our strategy and the way we face up to the market at the moment.”
Crawford said that specialisations mattered to customers because it demonstrated expertise and gave them confidence that the partner they chose to work with could help them through a cloud journey strategy.
“Knowing that you’re working with a partner that has the capabilities to enable that is very important,” he said. “Increasingly [specialisations] have become more relevant to customers. We see the stipulation for these types of accreditations in our tenders and RFPs all the time nowadays. I think customers, particularly those who are taking a cloud journey seriously, understand what the baseline requirements for that partner should be and how that translates into accreditations.”
Key solution designations
Sergio Carrilho, Microsoft partner technology strategist, said the vendor encouraged partners to align behind its key solution designations, which included three options covering the Azure public cloud platform.
“Working through specialisations attainment, we not only help set the quality bar, but also drive the needed performance levels across our partner ecosystem,” he said. “With SCC joining the community of Azure specialised partners, we are augmenting our capability to better serve our mutual customers with effective adoption of Microsoft technologies and to deliver upon their modernisation and innovation strategies.”
Another Microsoft spokesman added that SCC has five of the six designations and “they are precision-focused on where they want to grow the business”.
“In the past six to 12 months, it’s a completely different engagement,” he said. “That’s a mix of the right people with clarity on strategy and true alignment between our two organisations – shared aspirations and shared goals.”
He added that accreditations meant it was possible to put its best partners in front of customers and make sure they were working with the right channel player: “Both customers and sellers have better opportunities to find specialised partners.”