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As a newly appointed Microsoft managed partner in the UK, Managed IT services provider Ashby Computers are starting a new chapter in its long standing relationship with Microsoft. The level of partnership is only ever attained by the top 1% of Microsoft Partners and each is specifically hand chosen by Microsoft based on their achievements to date and their long standing vision.

“Ashby have been selling Microsoft products and solutions since the company’s inauguration in 1987 but now becoming a managed partner is a giant step up for our company” said Andy Hickman – Technical Manager.

Ashby Computers have evolved their solution market to include cloud products and have chosen to use the Office 365 and Azure solutions provided by Microsoft and have seen this area expand exponentially over the past two years.

Becoming a Microsoft Managed Partner means “a deeper level of engagement with Microsoft”, members of the Microsoft Partner Network are selected and invited to become managed at the subsidiary level and require :-

  • Proved their expertise, as demonstrated through competency attainment, including a history of high customer satisfaction.
  • Committed to working with their local team to set and work toward shared business goals. This often includes making marketing and sales commitments that align to local and global priorities.
  • Aligned with Microsoft global and local strategic priorities.

To achieve this level Ashby and their staff have vastly increased their knowledge in cloud products and more importantly their deployment methodology; the company have attained numerous Gold competencies and their engineers have passed numerous technical readiness exams, which ensures all engineers are fully qualified to take it customers from in house infrastructure to the Cloud via Office 365 and Azure services.

“We’re very lucky to have managed partner status, and it’s definitely a boon for the company, for sure, especially for a company of our size” Fred Underwood – Solutions Manager said.

To become a managed partner “you have to connect with them directly and work on certifications to get your team trained on technologies they provide and demonstrate some level of competency”, Fred said. Firms can do that through customer references, by working with Microsoft’s sales team to deliver solutions to customers or “by starting to work with your customers and getting recognized by Microsoft as adding value to their business”, he said.

With this new level of status with Microsoft it means that our customers will have access through Ashby Computers to the vast knowledge and information that Microsoft hold by having a single point of contact at Microsoft, ensuring that information is streamlined and is gained as soon as possible.

Ashby Computer Services have developed a methodology that includes Cloud solutions that are designed and implemented through some third-party tools. “These tools ensure that there are no surprises at the time of the migration, as the environment is fully scanned before the solution is sold as well as ensuring the downtime is limited to minutes rather than days like it used to be historically. These tools use impersonation to ensure that the current users passwords are not compromised to ensure the migration is very secure” said Mike Thomas – Server Engineer.

As part of the creating a deployment solution that would work for their customers, Ashby Computer Services have partnered with a third-party cloud based backup solutions provider to provide an additional service to replicate their customers mailboxes on Office 365 to another geographically replicated Azure data centre and offer this service on all Office 365 quotes as standard. This system allows instant restore of Office 365, from individual items to whole mailboxes and allows peace of mind for its customers if the worst should happened.

As part of their commitment to their customers, Ashby Computer Services have also created and implemented a bespoke in house backup monitoring solution for all Windows based backup solutions, including the Azure Site Recovery system. This allows Ashby to have real time monitoring of all their customer’s backups statuses, via a secure, encrypted in house solution. This solution is provided to all its Gold Supported customers who have a Windows based backup solution, including Azure Site Recovery services, for free.

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