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How to find out whether your AWS or Azure provider is properly certified

Whether you have already undertaken a full virtualisation or are in the process of moving selected applications to the cloud, having access to the right skills and knowledge is important if you want to get the most out of your chosen platform.

Working with an accredited solution provider is important to ensure that you gain a reliable, robust and scalable platform and ongoing access to the right skills to help you resolve issues quickly and maximise the value that your business can derive from the cloud.

Why proper certification is essential

While it’s true that configuring and deploying infrastructure in Azure or AWS can be straightforward, optimising it to your specific needs requires extensive product knowledge about how different services can be integrated and managed.

The accreditation programmes offered for Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS create a best practice approach for planning and delivery of services to ensure that they are consistent and documented.

Unqualified staff will rarely be able to demonstrate the depth of knowledge required to build business critical infrastructure in a way that is scalable and reliable.

What certifications a provider should have

Both Amazon and Microsoft have their own set of training programmes and accreditations for their respective platforms.  These are supplemented by specific third-party training programmes which offer additional information.

Microsoft offer the following qualifications and training courses to cover all aspects of Azure Management and configuration:

  • AZ-103 Microsoft Azure Administrator
  • AZ-203 Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
  • AZ-300 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
  • AZ-301 Microsoft Azure Architect Design
  • AZ-400 Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions
  • AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies
  • AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
  • 70-487 Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
  • 70-537 Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub

In addition to the above, the company also develops new qualifications to reflect changes in the platform.  The current beta list is as follows:

  • BETAAZ-120 Planning and Administering Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads (BETA)
  • BETAAZ-220 Microsoft Azure IoT Developer (BETA)

Amazon’s range of qualifications are grouped as follows:

  • Professional Level AWS Qualifications
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional)
    • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional)
  • Associate Level AWS Qualifications
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate)
    • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate)
    • AWS Certified Developer (Associate)
  • Foundation AWS Qualifications
    • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Amazon offer specialist qualifications alongside their main programme which cover specific aspects of AWS:

  • Specialist AWS Qualifications
    • AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty
    • AWS Certified Big Data Specialty
    • AWS Certified Security Specialty
    • AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty
    • AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty

When choosing a provider, it is important to ensure that they hold appropriate qualifications.

The Risk of not using an accredited provider

When your business is reliant on a specific aspect of Amazon AWS or Azure, it’s vitally important to have access to the right skillset for both planning and management.  Teams that are unable to manage certain aspects of your cloud platform may be unable to help with business-critical issues in a timely way which can significantly affect your up time.

When you go through the process of planning infrastructure, it’s essential that you have access to the right skills to manage all aspects of it when it is in use.

Experience isn’t a substitute for up to date knowledge

IT companies often brag about how many years of experience their team have.  That’s not always a good thing for their clients.  A quick look at the announcements on the Microsoft Azure blog shows how quickly the industry is changing and what new services are being added. 

The experience a team has is, by definition, in the past, and a senior consultant working for a large cloud services provider may not be current about the range of services that are available and the potential benefits they may bring to clients.

Certification requires regular renewal to ensure that knowledge is up to date. However unless a consultant takes advantage of new opportunities for their clients, they may be building bad habits that are hard to break and could get in the way of that client benefiting from technology that could help them.

As an Azure Gold Partner, igroup is fully certified to provide services at all stages of your cloud adoption journey.

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In the UK, the market for managed cloud services leveraging Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS platforms is vast with many providers offering different services. Choosing between a direct relationship with the platform owners or a partnership with a bespoke consultancy is a key decision that will shape how your business uses the cloud.
 

Want to find out more?

igroup’s clients benefit from direct access to fully accredited Azure and AWS specialists who manage deployments from planning through to maintenance.  This means our clients get access to the right advice and receive quicker resolutions for any issues. 

For more information about the benefits of working with qualified specialists, please call us or download our guide to moving to a new cloud provider.

You can also review our article directories with more information about:

Contact us to find out our full list of accreditations for Microsoft and Amazon AWS products.

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