Microsoft Practice Accelerators - What are they, what do they cost and why should anyone care?
If your organisation has yet to get involved in a Practice Accelerator delivery, you're potentially missing an invaluable resource (in my humble opinion anyway). Thought it might be an idea to put together the below guide - let us know whether it is useful or not!
What's a Practice Accelerator?
Simply, it's a way to get access to reusable tools and best practices from Microsoft's Consultancy Services team that you can't otherwise get.
Rather than being Sales training or Technical Implementation training, Practice Accelerators are a way for Pre-Sales Architects, Project Managers or anyone scoping projects to get best practice Services guidance on specific technology areas. The aim is to help build, simplify and grow your Microsoft Services business.
Practice Accelerators are delivered on a regular, scheduled basis online and in real-time.
Crucially then, while the content is based on successful customer deployment experiences and provides a detailed framework of resources (spanning from pre-engagement to post-delivery), the real-time delivery means you have the opportunity to engage in open Q&A on any of the topics covered during the session.
The complete documentation set you'll get includes project guides, templates, architecture guidance, and planning and design guides. You'll also get customisable leave-behind materials for your customers as an output from the sessions.
What technology areas are available?
There are a range of Microsoft solutions covered by these Practice Accelerators, but the most recent (and in demand!) engagement types covered are:
- Office 365
- Business Intelligence (SQL 2012)
- Datacenter Consolidation and Migration (including VMware to Hyper-V)
- Datacenter Management (System Center 2012)
- Flexible Workstyle (including Windows 8 and flexible deployment options)
How much does it cost?
Practice Accelerators are free for Gold, Silver and MAPS D&D Partners (potentially a good reason to get a MAPS subscription if you don't already have one for Internal Use Rights anyway!) The cost is included as part of your "Advisory Hours" assigned to your Partner Membership. You can check out what hours you have assigned to you through the MPN Portal.
Even if you're not Gold, Silver or MAPS D&D though, but you are part of our Cloud Essentials or Cloud Accelerate programs, you're still eligible to attend the Office 365 Practice Accelerator at no cost.
How to register?
Links to the next upcoming scheduled Practice Accelerators are below:
- Business Intelligence - 20/05/2013
- Flexible Workstyle - 20/05/2013
- Office 365 - 29/04/2013 and 03/06/2013
Future dates and additional courses will be available through the Practice Accelerator site on the MPN here.
So, what is there to lose? 🙂 It's free, it gives you materials you didn't have before and should help reduce the amount of work you have to do in scoping projects for customers. Register for one now and, when completed, we'd love to hear your feedback!
As a final side note, you might have noticed a little more posting activity recently, either through this Blog, our Twitter or even through my LinkedIn account. Would love to get direct feedback via the feedback Posts, Replies or Direct Messages on whether what we're posting is relevant, what you're experiences have been and what you'd like to see more/less of! Let us know...
The Local Partner Team.