Because BitTitan does not have a professional services arm, it has opted to provide high level professional services help to its partners on complex installs by certifying the BitTitan Cloud Rangers, Microsoft MVPs who are also fully certified on BitTitan products.
Kirkland WA-based cloud enablement provider BitTitan has launched its Partner Advisory Service, designed to provide its own partners with access to specialist consultants for complex Office 365 installs, at a reasonable rate.
Because BitTitan does not have a professional services arm, it has recruited its consultants by certifying what it calls the BitTitan Cloud Rangers, an elite group of Microsoft MVPs who are fully certified on BitTitan products, as well as Microsoft products.
“We get asked all the time to help come in on professional services but we aren’t a professional services organization,” said Geeman Yip, BitTitan’s CEO. “We wanted to create a program so partners making this request didn’t have a dead end, because if anything goes wrong in the install, it looks poorly on us. We wanted to improve the end-to-end process so customers will be happy.”
The creation of the Partner Advisory Service is based on the recognition that even experienced solution providers can encounter very complex migration scenarios in large enterprise projects. These projects go beyond mailbox migration and often require unique customization, migration of terabytes of data from multiple sources, as well as archive migration to a new platform.
“Large migration projects require a LOT of expertise, and Office 365 is only part of this,” Yip said. “You run into Active Directory cleanup issues, and consolidation and upgrade problems. This program’s goal is to overcome the technical barriers for our channel and their enterprise customers so they can fully adopt enterprise technologies.”
In theory, most solution providers who are engaged in complex deployments should be able to tackle these challenges, but Yip said the reality is somewhat different.
“That is the ideal state, certainly, but we don’t see that as a reality,” he said. “Firms with 10,000 consultants likely have the expertise for this, but you have much smaller companies than that who service enterprises. This is designed as a supplement for companies who service enterprises.”
The real challenge for BitTitan with this project is engaging enough qualified MVPs.
“They not only have to be a MVP in a specific category, but also have to be certified from a technical perspective on our products,” Yip said. “Our own certification process tests not just knowledge of BitTitan, but everything around it that could cause issues, like Exchange, and single sign-on.”
As a result, right now, there are less than a dozen BitTitan Cloud Rangers worldwide, but Yip said they have quite a few in the pipeline undergoing the BitTitan certification, which covers all BitTitan’s cloud-based migration and onboarding solutions, including MigrationWiz, UserActivation and DeploymentPro.
Yip said the way the program works is that a solution provider will purchase advisory hours, and the request goes out to the entire Ranger community. One who is available will pick it up, and get back within a day.
“You are engaging a high-end consultant, but the cost is less than the big professional services firms would charge, because we want it to be affordable,” Yip said. “The cost is also the same regardless of what Ranger provides it.”