Ergo scoops three top Microsoft awards - Sunday Business Post02 August 2017
Organisations struggling with the triple IT challenge of cloud, mobility and security would be well advised to talk to Ergo, named by Microsoft as Country Partner of the Year with expertise for each of these areas. Its subsidiary Micromail also won the License Solutions Provider category.
Ergo Chief Executive John Purdy picked up three awards at the Microsoft 2017 Partner of the Year Awards in Washington DC, earlier this month. The Awards are the culmination of five years of hard work that has seen the IT services company take pole position in Ireland when it comes to delivering a new wave of technology. Ergo won Cloud Productivity Partner of the Year and Mobile Device Management & Security Partner of the Year. Making a great night complete, Ergo subsidiary Micromail picked up Licensing Solutions Partner of the Year for the second year running.
You can’t stand still in our business, because the challenges that our clients face are constantly changing, and it’s up to us to help overcome them with the very latest technologies,” said Purdy. “Right now, they need expertise around cloud mobility and security. These Microsoft awards are testament to our capabilities in these areas.”
Willy Kelly, Managing Director of Micromail, said the firm’s acquisition by Ergo in 2016 had forged a unique proposition that many of Ireland’s biggest companies and institutions were already taking advantage of. “What we offer together is an end-toend service, from licensing and deployment all the way
through to managed services, where value and technical expertise go hand-in-hand.”
An increasingly important component of Ergo’s contribution to IT services in Ireland is its approach to security. A few years ago, it set about finding ways to help clients combat increasingly sophisticated cybercrime without leaving customers trapped in a cycle of investments and upgrades that still leaves them exposed.
By integrating solutions with processes and policies in an actionable life-cycle, Ergo has developed a holistic approach to security that helps make organisations more proactive.
Delivered as one-off projects or as an end to end layered service, mitigating risk becomes part of a process of continuous improvement, where good governance ends up embedded in the culture of the company. At the core of the security offerings are a range of Microsoft products, enabling the day-today functions of a properly executed security strategy, from managed patching and firewall services to incident management and reporting.
It was Ergo’s work around mobile device management, however, that won the 2017 Partner Award. Ergo has the highest levels of expertise in Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security product suite, which has been pivotal for creating policies and processes that ensure only properly managed devices and users with approved identities can access applications like Exchange, SharePoint and Office 365.
“Many organisations, public and private sector, that want the productivity benefits of mobilising their workforce but are understandablyconcerned because it happens outside of the traditional network perimeter, and they’re not sure how to lock it down. Ergo will manage the risks so you only get the benefits,” said Purdy.
A case in point is the work Ergo did for an organisation that wanted to accommodate BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) as well as COPE (Corporate Owned Personally Enabled) employees. While the devices owned by the organisation were relatively straightforward to secure, control and support policies had to be put in place to ensure BYOD users couldn’t save sensitive data onto their devices or access potentially malicious content.
“We’re not interested in technology for the sake of it,” stressed Purdy. “These mobile solutions allow employees to be more productive and save our clients thousands of euro a week, whether it’s by replacing paperwork with electronic workflow, or facilitating real time communications that cut down on face-to-face meetings and travel costs.”
Advancing cloud strategies
Winning Cloud Productivity Partner was particularly pleasing for Purdy, who made the decision many years ago to embrace the cloud and adjust Ergo’s business model accordingly. He was quick to realise that “managing tin” and the days of break/fix service support were nearly over.
As an early cloud mover, Ergo was one of the first services companies in Ireland to integrate cloud services into a Managed Services portfolio – using new cloud-based tools to facilitate better service desk management or managing cloud productivity applications and security services as part of a hybrid solution.
“Today, more than 90 per cent of our customer engagements involve a cloud component,” said Purdy. “They span every sector and size of company, and we are proud to have been responsible for some of the biggest cloud migration projects in Ireland, as well as some of the most technically adventurous.”
A team of subject matter experts that understand the relationship between legacy infrastructure and cloud services has been instrumental in helping Ergo achieve success as a cloud partner. “Few organisations are greenfield and able to go to the cloud unencumbered,” explained Purdy. “They need a lot of expert advice on what should go and what should stay, and on how to migrate different elements of the IT estate in a way that will maximise the benefits and minimise the risks.”
Ergo has a tried-and-tested methodology for cloud partnerships that start with a cloud readiness assessment process. Next, there’s an analysis of where there’s a business case for a cloud-first approach, paying for IT servicesas an operational rather than capital expense. The company can plan and design a wide range of services, including back up and disaster recovery plans using Microsoft Azure or Office 365 productivity and collaboration solutions.
Security remains the number one concern for prospective cloud customers, especially with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming down the track in 2018. Ergo protects cloud environments with best practice solutions and the option of a security- as-a-service proposition that’s run from the cloud, for the cloud. The final part of Ergo’s cloud package is network management and monitoring services, making sure clients get the quality of connectivity they need to deliver on performance and capacity.
A special relationship
Commenting on Ergo’s success in Washington, Commercial Director, Aisling Curtis, said, “Microsoft Ireland was delighted to see Ergo pick up so many awards at our worldwide partner awards. They have been a Microsoft Partner for many years, and we look forward to continuing to help them support customers across the country."
John Purdy talked about “a symbiotic partnership” and how he has always ensured his engineers and developers are up to speed with the most up to date Microsoft skills"
“We are the only provider in the country that has two Microsoft MVPs [Most Valuable Professionals], the highest accreditation that Microsoft awards to its engineers. It’s our technical excellence and Microsoft’s product suite that enables us to take our clients to the leading edge of what technology can do for them,” he said.