A full suite of Gold level services
Dept has always had a strong relationship with Microsoft. As .NET experts, we know Microsoft and its services like no other. We have a long-term Microsoft Gold Partnership for Application Development and, more recently, added a Gold Partnership for Cloud Platform and DevOps; by expanding our capabilities, we can now provide customers with the full suite of Microsoft services.
MICROSOFT IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING
We love Azure. Microsoft Azure is a commonly used cloud environment within Dept because it fits in well with the technology that we use for our clients. We also have clear agreements with Microsoft about service levels and underlying services, so that we can serve our customers even better. Microsoft’s services have evolved over the past five years, making it even more interesting for us to host our applications and solutions on Microsoft Azure.
Like Dept, Microsoft is constantly evolving and improving, and this is reflected in the various Microsoft features we work with. Think of developments such as AI, machine learning, API management, Azure DevOps, Azure WebApps, Cosmos DB, Azure Storage, serverless architectures based on Azure Functions and Logic Apps, and lots more. Other reasons why we use Microsoft Azure include:
Scaling up to serve regions around the world.
The security services of Azure provides insight into intrusion attempts, vulnerabilities etc.
- Governance & Cost Management.
By using Azure Lighthouse, we can better monitor and govern our cloud infrastructures and have a good understanding of the costs incurred by the environments.
Our open-source mindset is in line with Microsoft’s strategy. In addition, the available tooling enables us to fully code our infrastructures and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.
DEPT X MICROSOFT
Dept has a 24 × 7 DevOps team. This team sets up and maintains the hosting of our customer environments, and migrates on-premise environments to Microsoft Azure. Central to this is the transformation from hosting on-premises virtual machines to Microsoft Platform-As-A-Service components. We have committed to a strong partnership with Microsoft, from which we can offer the right SLA guarantees to our clients.
We’re pleased to have established a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partnership, which offers the opportunity to resell products to customers. With this partnership, Microsoft offers advanced support, custom Cloud Consultancy on demand, and direct access to an account manager within Microsoft for questions and escalations. Due to successful customer cases, certifications and a rapid growth in the number of infrastructures and customers on Azure, we are now recognised as a Gold Partner in two technically appealing specialisms: Cloud Platform and DevOps.
TIER-1 CLOUD SOLUTION PROVIDER
Dept is proud to have achieved Tier-1 status for Microsoft Cloud Solutions after an extensive selection process. We were able to meet the high admission requirements, due in part to us having a dedicated team that can provide full support to our clients, and that all our engineers are Azure certified.
Our Technical Certifications
To validate our knowledge at a technical level, we have a training programme at Dept where developers, engineers and architects are expected to be certified on various Microsoft competences. We currently have the following competences in-house:
- Azure Solution Architect Expert
- Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
- Azure Developer Associate
- Azure Security Engineer Associate
- Azure Data Engineer Associate
Having a certified team in-house helps to provide the quality expected by Dept when implementing Microsoft products for our clients.
MICROSOFT CASES IN PRACTICE
Dept has supported many companies with successful applications of Microsoft. Dept builds web platforms with different goals for its clients, including full CMS implementations, campaign sites, mobile apps, etc. Our solution architects who design these environments work closely with our cloud architects to realise the right cloud infrastructure.
Here are four ways we are leveraging Microsoft for optimal digital experiences:
- Our standard implementation consists of serverless components based on Azure services. Think of Azure WebApps for hosting the actual web page, Azure Storage for storing media, and Azure SQL for hosting databases. Using these services does not require active management, such as installing updates or cleaning up disks.
- We scale the environment both horizontally and vertically. This allows peak loads to be absorbed and guarantees continuity of the web platform. Implementation of geo-redundancy is possible if higher availability or a faster connection from other regions is required.
- The implementation of platforms is done on the basis of the Infra-as-Code (IaC) principle, and new environments can be rolled out automatically through Azure DevOps. Quality Gates and Approval Flows are designed to guarantee governance of the environments.
- Digital platforms that we host on Azure include Sitecore, Episerver (C #), Umbraco, Drupal and WordPress (PHP), and applications based on NodeJS which are configured to be fully scalable and multi-region.
We often use Azure API Management (APIM) to securely unlock APIs to underlying systems. With this, we ensure that APIs can be accessed based on specific rights that are enforced through the use of policies. Active auditing of this layer is used to monitor safety, response time and availability.
For example, we have successfully implemented APIM for one of our clients, a residential care home provider. The mobile app that all residents use is accessed via APIM to retrieve data from underlying systems that are not publicly available. By applying active monitoring, we see what happens when requesting data. With each request, we can monitor whether the response time and availability has changed. This allows us to interrogate more precisely when deviating results are measured.
MICROSOFT BOT FRAMEWORK
For a number of our customers, we have successfully used the Microsoft Bot Framework to build chatbot solutions. The Bot Framework makes these virtual assistants easier to access on various channels and web applications. Due to the possibilities of the framework and the large open-source community, there are many out-of-the-box solutions available to quickly set up a smart bot, whether or not based on existing conversational services. The possibilities are endless.
The Dept Approach
At Dept, we combine creativity and data with technology solutions such as Microsoft to help organisations grow and accelerate. Here are five reasons why Dept is the ideal partner to get the most out of Microsoft of you:
- Microsoft Gold Partner
Our engineers, developers and architects are certified on Microsoft technology and optimally equipped to create great digital experiences.
- Experienced and successful
We have successfully worked with a wide range of technology leaders for many years. With our experience in many areas, we help diverse customers to embrace digital.
- Complete approach
As a fully integrated digital agency, we can also support you with CMS implementations, website design and build, SEO, creative campaigns, e-commerce, strategy, branding, data intelligence and much more to help your organisation grow and develop.
Our teams have extensive experience with both the technical aspects of a CMS and with setting up the organisational processes to successfully use Microsoft. In addition to projects, we can also temporarily strengthen an existing team with our specialists.
- Knowledge specialists
We are happy to share our years of expertise in designing digital experiences, technical architecture and technology integration with everyone.