Smoothing the (Sometimes) Bumpy Path to the Cloud

For all of its entrepreneurial spirit and historical legacy of innovation, Southeast Michigan isn’t Silicon Valley. This region built its business foundation on hardware, in the truest sense of the word – big factories, big machines, big cars – and lots of it. Given our mindset, a transition from a self-run, in-house IT infrastructure to the new and seemingly nebulous Cloud environment doesn’t seem like the most natural move for many. Nonetheless, that’s what Michigan businesses are doing – and they’re doing it in droves. For many if not most companies, the Cloud question has become a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ Businesses are looking past their crowded, cable-filled server rooms and envisioning a future of fast, secure, accessible-anywhere applications, data and services. These businesses are immediately faced with some critical questions: What information and services should they move the Cloud? What benefits might they expect to receive? When should they make their move – and how? Now Microsoft is doing its part to help answer these questions, and make the Cloud transition – and the business justification for it – considerably easier. The company has authorized a small number of selected partners and advisors to provide free “Azure Everywhere” Cloud services workshops designed to provide businesses with insight into how their company’s unique characteristics align with the solutions that Azure cloud services provide.

The immersive two- to three-day consultations commence with an initial “project kickoff” call in which the workshop’s project manager (that would be myself many times!) gains insight into the basic parameters of the subject business in order to assess the applicability of specific tools and services. Once this is completed, the project manager initiates the Azure readiness assessment, identifying the specific characteristics of the current environment before deploying a range of assessment tools on the company servers. These address questions surrounding storage, bandwidth usage, system performance and other key metadata needed to correctly analyze the organization’s specific characteristics.

The collected data is subsequently analyzed using proprietary Microsoft tools to deliver reports providing insight into the likely impact of a transition to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environment. Over the course of a full-day workshop, the company’s chosen executive attendees receive the results of this analysis, as well as insights as to likely cost savings, efficiency improvements, and additional functionality made available by Azure services.

In total, the assessment and workshops equate to between $3,000 and $7,000 worth of complementary consulting services – and provide participants with detailed, company-specific information designed to streamline the transition to a modern cloud-based environment. With a thorough understanding of factors such as energy consumption, projected cost savings, the specific business functions that stand to benefit most from migration, and the full range of options available, attendees are positioned to make informed decisions, realize the best possible measure of benefits – and execute their company’s transition with greater peace of mind.


For more information or to arrange an Azure Everywhere assessment and workshop for your company, contact Red Level at

For more information about gaining a competitive advantage with digital transformation, contact Red Level today.

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