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Azure Cloud Innovations: Key Highlights From #MSInspire2019

This is another post in our blog series from Microsoft Inspire, which took place in Las Vegas earlier this week. Each post has highlighted key takeaways, insights and innovations that are top of mind for our Microsoft practice.

Today’s post features an interview with Perficient’s Azure Practice Director, Steve Holstad. Steve discusses the continued momentum of open source that’s resulted in an explosion of partner-to-partner cross-collaboration and how that’s enabling conversations regarding innovations across multiple Microsoft workloads and beyond simple migrations.

Steve, this is your second time at Inspire. Tell us why you look forward to attending?

Our Azure Practice at Perficient is really hitting full steam. It’s evolved from Perficient being the leading O365 partner to conversations about all of the expertise we offer across the stack. There’s a great opportunity for us to share how we’re helping our clients innovate across workloads. The work we’re delivering for our clients –it’s no longer a single-stream solution like Teams, for Teams sake. It might be Teams with security and governance or leveraging it for self-service.

“Perficient really excels at tying all of the Microsoft systems together in the cloud, enabling the workloads to do more, and more than ever before.”

We’ve also embraced new and non-traditional stacks and see quite a bit of momentum in this area. So we know, based on some of the work we’re doing with our clients, that we have great things coming. This is a story we’ll be sharing with our Microsoft ecosystem partners both at Inspire and long after.

What is new, or coming down the pipe and gaining the most momentum with our clients, that will be a hot topic after Inspire?

The way Microsoft has embraced open source has created such momentum. The barn doors are open in this area. Perficient has a tremendous amount of experience in this space. We already have partnerships with Red Hat, Ansible, Sitecore, OneStream, Pivotal – where we’re reaching across the aisle to work together. Facor in our strong Dev Ops experience with Kubernetes, AKS, OpenShift and ARO and the shift in Microsoft’s thinking, it means we’re seeing more work across these practices than ever before.

“The partner-to-partner solutions that Perficient can offer are a big differentiator. They enable us to build solutions that are best-suited to meet our client’s needs, as opposed to solutions that they have to adapt to. That is Perficient’s sweet spot.”

The last area I expect to be a focus surrounding Inspire would be Azure data services. We have some great data client stories, with data warehousing, and data ingestion into the cloud. We advise our clients that where a strong data transformation is concerned, it’s about starting small and going huge. Data is the new gold and it will become a core tier for us in the coming months. Azure Integration Services are also taking off, tying together Logic Apps, Event Grid, Azure Functions and server-less as a rock-solid iPaaS model. This type of work aligns strong with our custom dev and integration capabilities so we’re also really excited to discuss this in conjunction with Inspire as well.

Now for a fun question! Earlier this week, Inspire attendees were treated to a show by Queen with Adam Lambert. What is your favorite Queen song, and why?

My favorite song, hands down is “Somebody to Love”. I still have the cassette tape featuring that song. It brings my house down!

To learn more about Perficient’s Azure Practice and capabilities, click here.

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