Suzanne Gagliese VP Global Partner Solutions, Microsoft Canada
Jul 08,2021

A blueprint for the future: Accenture and Avanade win 2021 Microsoft Canada Partner of the Year

Congratulations to Accenture and Avanade for earning 2021 Canada Partner of the Year! Even in a year when Microsoft partners nationwide served as digital first responders, going to extraordinary lengths to support our businesses, schools, governments, and non-profits of all shapes and sizes, Accenture and Avanade’s achievements stood out. 

Before we describe Accenture and Avanade’s accomplishments, we must first recognize the work of all Canadian partners from coast to coast. With over 14,000 organizations in the country responding to customers and driving transformation every day, the Canadian partner ecosystem represents the very best in innovation, resilience, and collaboration.

Partners, you demonstrated true excellence this year. On behalf of everyone at Microsoft Canada, we’re proud of you and the work you do. Thank you!

Partner of the Year represents the single most prestigious Microsoft partner award, given to only one partner in each country or geographic zone. A who’s who list of Canadian partners submitted their names and stories this year—many of the most respected brands in our industry. The quality and volume of submissions both humbled and inspired our team of expert judges, who worked diligently to assess all entries, without bias, using five criteria: measurable impact, partner offers, local engagement, competitive advantage, and customer service.

Why Accenture and Avanade?

You can’t miss Accenture and Avanade in the partner ecosystem, as winners of the Microsoft Alliance SI Partner of the Year for a staggering 11 consecutive years and 16 times in total. Accenture and Avanade are members of the Microsoft Partner Advisory Council and hold all 18 Microsoft Partner Gold competencies.

Accenture and Avanade’s sales soared as private and public sector organizations came calling for assistance adapting to the pandemic. By championing all three clouds to power migration and modernization for diverse enterprise and corporate clients, the Partner of the Year delivered unprecedented business results.

Years in the making

The debut of the Accenture Microsoft Business Group in February 2019, a formal collaboration between the companies, marked an inflection point in their business journey that saw them deploy 45,000 dedicated professionals worldwide. Combining high-level strategy and local collaboration unleashed unprecedented opportunities to expand the use of Microsoft cloud solutions.

The result? Dramatic year-over-year revenue gains and satisfied customers, even during a historically challenging business year. Collaboration with the Microsoft Specialist Team Unit and local Microsoft offices generated insights that solved unique problems through innovative use of technology. The collaboration also fueled co-selling and joint marketing efforts that delivered new clients and contracts.

With focus, dedication, ingenuity, a motivated team, and Microsoft solutions and technology, our 2021 Canada Partner of the Year stepped up again and again in the past year.

Empowering our government

Accenture and Avanade partnered with a key government agency to help protect Canadians from COVID-19 by transitioning from a non-responsive paper-based system with on-site data storage to a responsive system based in the cloud.

Juggling changing requirements and a constantly morphing pandemic, Accenture and Avanade’s agile and dedicated team responded to the challenge and completed a secure and compliant first build in six weeks.

Under tremendous time pressure and uncertainty, this cloud implementation demonstrated the flexibility and capabilities of Azure.  And most importantly, the project helped our government deliver vital support to Canadians quickly and efficiently.

Supporting those who support us

An outdated phone system buckled under the load of 7,000 employees unexpectedly working from home. This sudden shift represented an existential crisis for a company that provides wellness, mental health, and telemedicine services—a critical service always—but essential during the onset of a global pandemic.

Happily, the company already used Teams and hired Accenture and Avanade to transition their system to Microsoft 365 E5. They compressed a six-month process into just six weeks, through a herculean team effort and five key factors: scripts expedited the transition; speed of per-night migration; sweat from around the clock service; smarts to negotiate change; and support after the migration was complete.

The successful migration generated a lot more consumption of the Microsoft stack, as the company is now an end-to-end Microsoft user. It enabled the company to provide its much-needed services securely and remotely throughout the pandemic. And, in the process, the company successfully positioned itself as an authority on the ins and outs of work-from-home. Now that’s a digital transformation!

Cloud-enabling our financial systems

A major Canadian financial institution questioned whether to continue using their on-premises hardware or transition to the public cloud. The business wanted more from their technology: better services, more analytics and machine learning, and greater responsiveness.

Management wanted to contain costs in the short-term, recognize savings in the longer-term, and deliver a better experience quickly. But they ran into a roadblock–the complexity and scale of the migration in a highly regulated environment matched with the ambition to migrate in an aggressive timeframe proved challenging to embark on alone.

Azure answered all these concerns, aided by Accenture and Avanade’s $3 billion “Cloud First” investment. The transition provided enhanced computing power and efficiency, short-term and long-term value and savings, and paved the way for future growth and collaboration between Accenture and Avanade, Microsoft, and the company.

Equally important, this project created a blueprint—a repeatable design—getting rolled out globally by Accenture and Avanade and Microsoft for how to manage data modernization securely and compliantly, at huge scale. The blueprint already led to signed contracts with three other leading Canadian companies.

An inspiration for us all

The accomplishments at Accenture and Avanade and more broadly by the Microsoft partner community at large inspire us all. Your willingness to collaborate, your work ethic, and your dedication over the past year aligns perfectly with Microsoft’s commitment to empower every organization and person in the world to achieve more.

Please join us in celebrating Accenture and Avanade’s success!