Altron Karabina first in SA to get Analytics on Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization
Altron Karabina, a leading technology solutions provider across Africa and the Middle East, has become the first Microsoft partner in South Africa to secure the much-coveted Analytics on Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization, positioning the company as a prime partner to organisations looking to gain the most value out of their data.
Advanced specialisations allow partners who hold a Microsoft Gold competency to further differentiate themselves in the market. “Altron Karabina is the first Microsoft partner in South Africa to secure the Analytics on Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization, and one of only three in the Middle East and Africa region, which talks to our strength and position in the market,” says Marc Fletcher, Marketing and Partner Alliances Lead at Altron Karabina.
Furthermore, the advanced specialisation allows partners to validate their capabilities, and build stronger connections with customers through their verified ability to plan and deliver tailored Microsoft analytics solutions.
“Today’s technology customers are increasingly seeking highly skilled and specialised partners to meet their complex demands and help drive their digital transformation journeys. This Analytics on Azure Advanced Specialization demonstrates Altron Karabina’s ability to help customers use the full breadth of their data and is testimony to their commitment to invest in, and cultivate skills and competencies that are increasingly critical to businesses,” says Lionel Moyal, Global Partner Solutions Director at Microsoft South Africa.
“The prerequisites to securing this advanced specialisation include attaining the Microsoft Gold Competency in the Cloud Platform, Azure Consumed Revenue (ACR) thresholds in a number of Azure services, including Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory and Databricks, and multiple individuals with certifications in the Azure Data Engineering and Azure Solution Architect Experts certifications,” says Paul Morgan, Business Unit Lead for Data and Analytics at Altron Karabina.
Morgan adds that there is a rigorous audit process; more than just looking at the technical expertise within the partner organisation, there is a focus on governance architecture and in ensuring the project methodology approach taken is in line with Microsoft’s recommendations for best practice. The information submitted is checked by a third-party auditor to ensure all the necessary documentation is in place.
Giving customers peace of mind
According to Erwin Bisschops, Data and Analytics Consulting Lead at Altron Karabina, the audit component is split into four areas, including assess, design and POC, deployment, and review and operations. Altron Karabina aligned their project delivery process with the various audit components, with the bulk of the audit involving producing the evidence for the customer case studies that were submitted.
The auditors look for the highest standards for service delivery on projects and specifically score us on scalability, repeatability and quality assurance. Microsoft is looking for their key partners to stand out when it comes to scalability and repeatability, so that there is the highest level of quality assurance.
“The auditor then gives feedback on any action items, including suggestions for improvements, allowing organisations to refine their submission. What is great is that we passed on the first attempt and did not need to utilise the review period. The audit is a huge confidence boost for Altron Karabina, as it shows that the organisation has been delivering exceptional work for our customers,” says Bisschops.
Bisschops explains that the Data and Analytics business unit has a long history of working closely with other departments within Altron Karabina, which was instrumental in achieving the advanced specialisation. This includes the sales team, the project delivery office and the managed services business unit, which ensures the implemented solutions operate as they should post-implementation. He adds that Altron Karabina’s holistic service offering on the Microsoft platform gives it a major competitive advantage over other providers, who might only specialise in a specific area.
“This is not just an individual certification but is similar to passing an organisational exam. Achieving this advanced specialisation gives our current and future customers the assurance that Altron Karabina has the necessary quality assurance processes to ensure that the delivery of our projects is carried out to the highest standards. This will give them peace of mind that they are dealing with the best possible partner in this field,” says Bisschops.
This latest achievement adds to the Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization and the Threat Protection Advanced Specialization, which Altron Karabina secured this year in March and September respectively. In addition, the company secured the highly coveted Data and Analytics Partner of the Year Award for the 16th time at the 2021 Microsoft Partner Awards, held in September this year.