Now that we have recovered from the odd Australian tradition of Christmas where the whole country packs up, stops business, and goes to the beach, it is time for the second post in our little series on how Object Consulting has been successful in our move to the cloud.

 
See here for the first post in the series.
 
In this post, I’m going to talk about how we execute projects in the cloud, how we made the transition, and how we think we earned the Worldwide and Australian Cloud Partner of the Year Awards for Enterprise Customers.
 
Executing in the cloud
 
Project execution in the cloud is really not all that different to executing projects on premise. After having made the transition to the new way of thinking, I have to say that we look at the cloud now and wonder what all the fuss is about. The transition to the cloud was so easy, and the execution of projects on it is so easy, we wonder why partners and customers are taking so long to transition!
 
Mileage will vary for all partners, but for us it wasn’t hard. Here’s what we did to make the move:
  • We skilled up a small number of key people in relevant technologies we wanted to address. Not the whole team, and not in a huge training exercise. In actual fact, it was just enough people to win and start, but not completely deliver, our first project. This was a true ‘just enough’ exercise. We need to keep the business ticking along, after all.
  • We sold a couple on premise projects and then worked with the customers to change these into cloud projects instead. This was easier for us than aiming to win a cloud project from the get-go. Demonstrating skills and knowledge in a technology that is relatively new to you is a lot easier if your customer already has trust in you. This trust also allowed us to have positive discussions with our early customers about adopting the cloud.
  • We delivered really, really, really well. This is critical, of course. One always wants to deliver well, of course, but it is really important when delivering the first project in a new technology. These first projects produced customers who were happy to be referees and co-author case studies with us, and ultimately the projects were used in the entries that won us our award at WPC.
  • To build more business, communication was key. We marketed the fact we were ready to do cloud, the fact we were doing cloud, and then the fact that we had done cloud. We presented with Microsoft and by ourselves. We wrote blog posts. We spoke to magazines and web sites. We did everything we could to promote the fact that we had capabilities.
  • We built demonstrators. This takes a bit of imagination when it comes to the cloud, but showing people is better than telling them, and showing them something that makes sense to their business is better than showing them something irrelevant.
  • We sold to the business. This is important – cloud only really makes sense to business people – it can even be a threat to some IT folks. A scenario that allows a manager to cut costs or react to competition faster is a lot easier to sell.
  • We worked and continue to work very closely with Microsoft and other partners. Partners working together are more successful than those working alone.
Winning our WPC Award
 
Having access to happy customers with well-executed projects was a critical factor in winning the award. After all, that is a key part of the requirement. So, we spent a lot of time on our award entries, talking in detail about projects we had delivered and what made them great. We took great care in writing the entries, and we made sure we answered the questions properly. Now, I don’t know what other partners do, but I bet a few partners regard filling the entries as just another thing to get done as quickly as possible, to give to the office junior, or to copy and paste generic content off the website.
 
In reality, winning our award has been game-changing for us. Like anything game-changing, it is worthwhile taking the time to make it happen.