Director Des McGuire discusses how the cloud can help customers pursue digital transformation
Digital transformation is the buzz-phrase of the moment, and it is the goal of Microsoft Azure Gold Partner Servent to help organisations get there by using the cloud.
“Many organisations are currently suffering from aging on-premises environments,” says Des McGuire, cloud solutions director at Servent. “They are being constrained by their hardware, software and storage capacity, but by leveraging the cloud they can access a new level of flexibility, speed and innovation.”
Unfortunately, a common mistake these companies make is to try and move to the Microsoft Azure cloud themselves, without the relevant experience or knowledge to create an environment correctly. “That’s where we see a lot of use cases for our Azure Foundation offering,” says McGuire. “We can break down the whole migration process into manageable chunks so that customers can consume it and understand it before we try and move them through any workload migration project.”
Servent provides four separate offerings to support customers as they move to Azure – Azure Foundation, Azure Datapath, Azure Pathway and SAP on Azure. After conducting an automated cloud assessment of a customer’s on-premises environment, the Azure Foundation offering aims to get the correct governance and guard rails in place before migrating any workloads. “Either we design and build them a new environment or rework what they already have to make sure it falls in line with the best practice we recommend,” McGuire explains.
Once an organisation is at this stage, Servent then looks to migrate the customer’s workloads into Azure using its Azure Datapath offering. “We would then employ Azure Pathway as an overall programme management approach to get customers into Azure, and then get them operating that platform at the other end,” says McGuire.
“We can also take organisations further into Modern Apps and Advanced Workloads. Within Modern Apps you might introduce an Azure DevOps culture to give customers real-time deployment. By exploring Advanced Workloads, organisations can make further use of solutions like SAP, Oracle and Citrix, by migrating these workloads too.”
Servent has helped UK-based utilities company Centrica to transform its operations.
“We were asked by Microsoft to provide Azure technical leadership, to support all the different business units in Centrica and the other partners who didn’t have the right Azure skills,” McGuire explains. “We were an overlay to provide deep technical expertise in Azure.”
And according to the Mike Young, chief information officer at Centrica Group, the project was a great success. “We’ve pulled off a minor miracle here, on what I would consider to be one of the biggest cloud moves in the UK,” he said in a Microsoft customer story. “We have built something that allows us to be super competitive.”
This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.