Oklahoma Customers Strike Gold in the Cloud
From frigid ice storms to frightening summer tornadoes, Oklahoma businesses are flocking to the cloud. The problem is that many organizations struggle getting there. While Boomers are just now arriving, Sooners have been in the cloud for more than 5 years.
Gold standard. For 2015, Matrixforce is the exclusive Microsoft Gold Partner for Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions in Oklahoma. This expertise allows us to provide a superior cloud experience for customers to improve productivity and security. To achieve this accreditation, we did the following:
- Attained Top 100 Microsoft Cloud Champion
- Provisioned over 24,000 online subscribers
- Migrated over 150 customers
- Certified a 4 person team
- Earned 20 customer satisfaction surveys by TNC Global
- Received 5 customer references verified by Microsoft
- Invested over $20,000 in training and licensing
Silver waived. Less than 1% of Microsoft Partners conduct business on the cloud. Customers should be weary as Microsoft Silver Cloud Partners have limited experience, training, or commitment:
- Performance requirements have been waived for required number of individual subscribers
- Performance requirements have been waived for required number of customer organizations
- Certified professionals are not required
- Customer satisfaction surveys are not required
- Microsoft has even waived the annual Microsoft Partner fee
Fraud alert. There is no such thing as an overall Microsoft Gold Partner status. Each specialty requires annual competency training, performance requirements, and customer satisfaction ratings. Unfortunately, some service providers still display old Microsoft Gold logos from years past and others blatantly deceive customers just to survive and compete. Due to this rampant problem, Microsoft is investigating various Oklahoma Microsoft Partners currently in violation of the Microsoft Partner Agreement. Violators may be banned indefinitely from the program and must remove all Microsoft Partner program logos and return associated software.
Partner comparison. So how do you know if a Microsoft Partner is competent? You check out Microsoft Pinpoint and search for a partner or a service. Our Matrixforce Pinpoint profile gives some important aspects for customers to understand:
- Incomplete profiles without a company logo and generic text are obvious warning signs, especially since Pinpoint is a search engine to find Microsoft Partners.
- Unlike contrived testimonials on websites, Pinpoint profiles should have reviews and ratings provided independently by customers.
- Ignore the “leading” and “award-winning” language and get a sense of what a Partner really does. For instance, our primary business is managed services while some of our competitors focus on staffing and phone systems.
- Pinpoint currently allows Partners to list only two primary industries, so customers can get a feel for any industry focus.
- Competencies are listed at the bottom right with Gold Partners obviously ranking higher. Partners with multiple competencies also rank higher than partners with one competency, even though only one fee payment is required by Microsoft.
- In addition to a basic profile, Partners should have services displayed with: reviews, screenshots, demo links, purchase links, specifications, setup instructions, sample code, white papers, support options, and case studies.
It’s difficult to argue with better productivity and security, for less cost than traditional computing. We’ve been leveraging Microsoft competency for over 20 years and we look forward to helping more customers strike gold in the cloud going forward.
[NOTE: Non-cloud Microsoft Silver Partners do pay a fee and must meet specific competency requirements for 2015.]