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Published on 3rd August 2018

As we kick off our new financial year, we are now entering our sixth year as a Microsoft Gold Partner. This is the highest recognition an independent organisation specialising in Microsoft-related products and services can achieve. In this special blog post, we speak to our CEO Mark Godfrey about our continued successful relationship with Microsoft and how it all began...

Why did we align ourselves with Microsoft?

When we started the company in 2010, we realised that when it comes to information and the ability to share it and draw insight from it, people needed a much broader platform-based approach to computing. The leaders in that field were clearly Microsoft. So, from the inception of the company, our job was to enhance the offerings of Microsoft to the benefit of our mutual customers.

And why has this relationship continued over the past eight years?

The evolution of ‘Cloud’ over the last few years has swept through the world more quickly than any other IT trend. Microsoft is investing a billion dollars a month in Cloud and we now have a platform to bring information, insight and innovation to customers, large and small, on a global scale.

Do you think being aligned with Microsoft is important from a customer’s perspective?

Yes, Microsoft’s vision is closely aligned with what business leaders in the world are trying to achieve. When Microsoft customers have wanted to move large, complex and often sensitive data to the cloud, it’s our expertise and technology that have enabled this journey. But, of course, organisations don’t have to work on the single Cloud anymore. We can use services on Azure to index and give insights of data which is held on Box, Amazon or Google – and we are doing that for customers actively at the moment. Our choice of Microsoft is because it can help us deliver the most insightful services, most quickly and accurately, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all for customers; they can work on multiple Clouds and it is not a blocker at all.

Microsoft does a lot for us, but what can do we do for them?

Microsoft is a massive worldwide organisation and its customers range from the very large to the very small and everything in between. What we are very good at is taking the specialist requirements, those non ‘out-of-the-box’ areas of functionality, and helping their customers to achieve those. For large organisations to transition to Office 365, it is incredibly important for them to get it right. They are large, diverse organisations, with very complex data sets, with very complex rules around them. We help them on that transition journey.

Microsoft’s Mission Statement is, “To empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.” What do you think about this statement?

On a personal level, I greatly admire Microsoft’s vision. It’s no longer just about software; it’s more about empowerment and achievement and outcomes.  That’s really important when you look at how the world is changing and how things like Artificial Intelligence and Analytics are helping in areas as diverse as medical research to investment banking. From a company perspective, I’d like to think that the specialisation that we have and the innovation that we bring, is going to further enhance that. We help our customers achieve more, more quickly, and at a better price point.

You said that Microsoft’s Cloud investment has been significant, but so too has its investment in security. Wouldn’t you agree?

The two go hand in hand. Microsoft is very visionary but also takes its responsibilities very seriously.  If you want large enterprises, health trusts, or government organisations, to put their faith in the Cloud, then you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the infrastructure, security, knowledge and scalability, to back it up. If you can’t, you’re introducing unacceptable levels of risk to the customers you are trying to serve. Cost and speed are all very well, but bearing in mind how important privacy has become recently, you can’t risk security in the face of speed and cost.

Finally, what about our future working relationship with Microsoft?

Platform computing is great, scalable and practical, but it’s only meaningful if it can bring direct targeted advantage to organisations and their customers. Through helping Microsoft customers understand their information, we will help them derive insights and advantage- empowering them to better serve their customers, employees and communities.

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