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A Smart Partnership for a Smart City

Friday, May 31, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Wintellect LLC and Airnet Group: a partner-to-partner success story and last year’s IAMCP P2P Awards Global Gold Winners

By Aileen Provan


Any company that has ever tried to crack a government account knows that it’s no mean feat.  Government entities move slowly and carefully, and working with them to make major technology and platform changes can sometimes be a long and difficult process.

However, with expert help from the right technology partners and IT alliances, such as the one between Microsoft partners and IAMCP members Wintellect LLC and Airnet Group, national institutions are making their way towards the cloud faster and with more confidence.

Their partnership story started with a Microsoft initiative, developed to help jumpstart the journey to the cloud for government entities. Seeing the enormous potential in moving both federal and state-and-local government accounts to the Azure cloud, Microsoft created a comprehensive base framework called Azure Foundation, which covers all the government and regulatory needs of state agencies with a formalized set of services. But still, the problem of selling the solution, performing the needed discovery and information gathering, and then implementing the solution over many weeks of consultation (with the associated costs), remained.

When the City of Atlanta, GA, U.S.A. was slated to host a national Smart City event, designed to showcase technologies that make cities smarter places to visit, work, live and play, and to highlight the city as a major player in smart city tech, Microsoft saw an opportunity.


A Smart City Event – Without Smart Technology

However, the City of Atlanta was new to cloud technologies, without even an Azure subscription to work with, and no firm idea of how to get started with moving to the cloud. Also, they needed to create technology demonstrators to showcase at upcoming events, and as a base for future progress.

To help the City move forward, create the initial Azure cloud foundations for the City, and build a showcase solution for the Smart City conference event, Microsoft facilitated a relationship between two partners: Wintellect and Airnet Group. The idea was that this would be the spearhead that would open doors into further governmental departments and divisions, and be an attractor for other businesses and technology focused companies for Atlanta.


Partnering for a Smart Solution

Wintellect LLC, winner of both the Gold U.S. and Worldwide IAMCP Microsoft Channel Partner of the Year awards in 2018, was already a premium partner for Microsoft in both Cloud, Application Development, and Training. The company has demonstrated expertise in Cloud Platform, DevOps, Data Platform, and AppDev and Azure PaaS; it is also an MS Learning partner, and one of the top 200 managed SI partners for Microsoft.

Airnet Group, experts at Azure and on-premises infrastructure and managed services, had taken the Azure Foundation concept, and further developed it into a scriptable Azure Foundation solution, enabling set up to be achieved in mere minutes, rather than weeks.

Microsoft saw the match in skill sets and introduced Wintellect to Airnet Group to secure the project, both to spearhead the Azure cloud movement for the City, and to simultaneously build a technology demonstration application for the Smart City conference.

With Airnet’s productization of the Azure Foundation deployment, and Wintellect’s cloud and software development expertise, Wintellect was able to easily create the needed technology demonstrator, and then host the related workloads onto the secure, government-regulation approved Azure cloud foundation deployed by Airnet, providing the City of Atlanta with the technology solution it needed for a successful Smart City event – and Microsoft with a very high visibility win.



A Smart Strategy

In conjunction with the Microsoft Field Sales team, the combination of expertise areas made a potent joint team for both the pre-sales efforts and the technology implementation phases, and a strategic plan to target both commercial and SLG (State and Local Government and public sector) accounts was born.

Said Todd Fine, CEO of Wintellect, “When we form a partnership, there are two things that are most important to us: we must be able to rely on the technical skillset and business acumen of our partner, as well as their integrity trust. We are confident we found this in our relationship with Airnet Group. We learn from one another and have worked together, along with Microsoft, to marry our mutual business and services processes with our sales and engagement efforts to create streamlined solutions for our joint customers. We’ve also realized new avenues to partner with Microsoft and better ways of maximizing revenues. It's been quite beneficial for all parties involved.”

This partnership has since gone on to achieve many account wins in the SLG sector, with the joint team collaborating to close accounts, from pre-sales to Statements of Work, and the implementations that follow, adding millions of dollars in Azure consumption wins for Microsoft and a continuing list of new accounts for the partners.

"Through a series of strategically planned initiatives we kicked off a deep technical engagement with our top DevOps and AppDev partner Wintellect, Cloud Ops partner AirNet, and Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS), with a focus on Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Data Visualization, IoT, and Cloud platform."  – From a recent internal Microsoft WinWire


The Power of Partnership

For Wintellect, the partnership with Airnet has enabled the company to combine its AppDev and Azure PaaS expertise with Airnet’s Azure IaaS and Managed Services expertise, thereby achieving much higher visibility within the Microsoft partner ecosystem, along with exponential growth.

“We went from being Gold Cloud platform, to adding Gold DevOps, Data Platform, AppDev, and Learning Partner in one year. And from being a mid-level partner to being one of the top 200 managed Microsoft SI’s – and who our PDM calls "the star of her portfolio.” The results are reflected in our growing success, both in the marketplace and with Microsoft." – Todd Fine

Do you have a flagship partnership project that helped you and your partners – as well as your customer - to grow, improve, and create new value?

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