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BUI is an Azure Expert MSP for the 4th year running

The Azure Expert MSP certification is a hallmark of excellence that acknowledges our end-to-end cloud capabilities.

BUI has been recognised as a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP) for the fourth year in a row!

“When we first achieved Azure Expert MSP status in 2020, it was a significant accomplishment for our company and a key milestone in our longstanding relationship with Microsoft,” says Ryan Roseveare, our Global CEO. “Since then, we have diversified our range of cloud solutions to help customers leverage the speed, scale, and security of Azure to enable innovation and sustainable growth in their own businesses.”

“We are thrilled to have renewed our Azure Expert MSP certification for the fourth consecutive year,” continues Roseveare. “As the premier Azure designation for Microsoft partners, this accreditation is an acknowledgement of the depth and breadth of our cloud-management capabilities and our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of customer service.”

The Azure Expert MSP certification is a hallmark of excellence

Microsoft launched the Azure Expert MSP programme in 2018 as a way to showcase the most skilled and capable Azure managed services providers. To participate in the programme, Microsoft partners must pass an independent audit of their people, processes, and technologies – and prove that they can deliver high-fidelity Azure managed services and world-class technical support to customers. BUI was evaluated in September this year.

“We underwent an intensive third-party review of our teams, our Azure methodologies and frameworks, our competencies, our corporate performance, our customer successes, and much more,” explains Dhiren Boodhia, our Group Governance and Compliance Manager. “These annual audits are always in-depth, but this year’s assessment was particularly comprehensive – and we excelled in all areas. We are delivering outstanding work for our customers and this Azure Expert MSP re-certification is a testament to the passion and dedication of everyone here,” says Boodhia.

Willem Malan, our Chief Technology Officer, agrees. “There are more than 400 000 Microsoft partner organisations around the world and only 132 of them are currently certified as Azure Expert MSPs.

Globally, BUI is in the top tier of Microsoft partners with the necessary expertise and experience to design, deploy, manage, secure, and optimise business solutions on Azure,” says Malan. “Whether it’s a straightforward lift-and-shift migration or a complex digital transformation project, we can support customers at every stage of their Azure journey, and beyond.”

Recognition of our end-to-end Microsoft expertise

In addition to our credentials as an Azure Expert MSP and Microsoft Solutions Partner for Microsoft Cloud, we’re proud to be a Microsoft Security Experts MXDR Partner, a member of the prestigious Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, and a three-time Microsoft Country Partner of the Year holding 10 Microsoft Advanced Specializations including Cloud Security, Infra and Database Migration to Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop.

“We have earned our standing as Azure experts because we’ve invested in our people, our business, and our relationship with Microsoft,” continues Malan. “We’re enabling our cloud teams to develop cutting-edge technical skills. We’re expanding into new markets. And we’re working closely with Microsoft as the cloud landscape changes. We’re doing all of this to ensure that our customers continue to receive the best possible advice and support – and the right Azure solutions for their business needs.”

The BUI Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) plays an important role in this regard, notes our governance and compliance head. “The Azure administrators, architects, consultants, developers, engineers, and security specialists in our CCoE are Microsoft certified professionals adept in the principles of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework. We follow Microsoft’s established codes, guidelines, and best practices on every Azure project to make sure that our customers’ connected environments are well-managed and fully optimised for performance, security, and compliance,” says Boodhia.

Re-certification as an Azure Expert MSP validates our exceptional cloud-management capabilities and gives our current and future customers peace of mind, says chief executive Roseveare. “With more than two decades of success in the technology sector, a global footprint, and verified Azure experts specialising in everything from cloud infrastructure to cloud security, BUI is a trusted Microsoft partner equipped to deliver impactful results and real value for business organisations from Day 1, and every day thereafter. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Microsoft, and to helping our mutual customers achieve more with Azure,” Roseveare concludes.

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Three awards for BUI as Microsoft SA honours top partners

We scooped three prestigious accolades at the 2022 Microsoft South Africa Partner Awards.

We’re excited to announce that we won the Azure Infrastructure Partner of the Year Award, the Modern Work Partner of the Year Award, and the Security Partner of the Year Award at the FY22 Microsoft South Africa Partner Awards on 28 September 2022.

The gala dinner and prizegiving ceremony took place at the Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch in Sandton, where members of the local Microsoft Partner ecosystem gathered together, in person, for the first time since 2019. Microsoft SA’s awards evenings in 2020 and 2021 were held virtually as lockdown protocols remained in place at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrating innovation

The Microsoft SA Partner Awards are presented annually to acknowledge the partner organisations that have excelled in delivering Microsoft solutions over the past 12 months. Award submissions are reviewed by a panel of judges and entries are evaluated in terms of partner competencies, cloud transformation, entrepreneurial spirit, and sales performance, among other factors.

This year, Microsoft SA CEO Lillian Barnard praised partners for pushing beyond all limits to modernise, transform, and enable success for enterprises in South Africa and around the world. In her opening speech on the night, Barnard remarked: “Let me start first by just expressing my gratitude on behalf of the Microsoft company for all that you’ve done in our markets, and in our business. The work that you continue to do in our country is just simply inspiring. You are driving digital transformation and innovation, and you are doing this with a deep sense of commitment.”

Driving transformation

BUI was named Azure Infrastructure Partner of the Year for its proven success in helping customers modernise their infrastructure and migrate their applications and data to the cloud. “We’re always thrilled to receive this award,” says Managing Director Ryan Roseveare, highlighting the ninth time that BUI has won this award.

“This accolade is a tremendous achievement in recognition of our team’s focus and positive outcomes. It’s also a validation of our consistency, our high standard of work, and our dedication to our customers. We’re actively driving digital transformation by helping businesses to become more agile and more resilient with Azure’s extensive range of solutions,” adds Roseveare.

Enabling productivity

As the Modern Work Partner of the Year, BUI was acknowledged for enabling performance and productivity with Microsoft’s comprehensive set of cloud-powered tools for the modern workplace. “From Office 365 to Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Viva, we’re empowering customers with the technology they need to communicate and collaborate effectively in remote and hybrid scenarios,” says National Sales Manager Paul Wallett.

“We’re also supporting our customers as they adapt to new ways of working, and making sure that they’re able to leverage the full power of the cloud and the Microsoft resources at their disposal to take their enterprises to the next level,” he continues. “The whole BUI team is invested in creating real value for customers – by delivering cutting-edge business solutions and world-class service.”

Accelerating security

Roseveare is thrilled to take home the Security Partner of the Year award yet again – especially after the recent expansion of BUI’s security portfolio. “In an environment where the right skills are harder to find than ever before, we’re putting more energy and focus into our security solutions and services – because customers are looking for trusted partners to help them protect their digital environments. From our own Cyber SoC and MDR facilities, and as part of Microsoft Security Experts, we’re helping businesses to manage and strengthen their cyber defences,” he says.

“We’ve earned our reputation as a leader in the security space by combining talent and technology,” notes Wallett. “Our security operations division includes some of the most highly skilled and highly certified professionals in the country, and we’re constantly innovating with the Microsoft stack to offer our customers bespoke solutions to accelerate their security.”

With three new Microsoft Partner of the Year awards to celebrate, Wallett and Roseveare are quick to praise the BUI team. “I’m so proud of everyone,” says Wallett. “It’s rewarding to receive these accolades and to be acknowledged in our industry, but none of it would be possible without the dedication shown by our people every day.” Roseveare agrees. “It’s wonderful to see the team’s efforts honoured by Microsoft. We look forward to another year of collective success as we continue to support customers through every stage of the cloud journey,” he concludes.

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Helping enterprises become more agile with Azure

BUI is proud to be recognised as a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP) for the second year in a row.

As the first South African company to achieve this status in 2020, and the only SA-based Microsoft Partner currently holding this prestigious accreditation, we are part of an elite group of cloud specialists trusted to provide world-class managed services to Azure customers.

Launched in 2018, the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP programme is a global initiative to highlight Microsoft Partners with proven expertise in end-to-end cloud management. Approximately 100 organisations have been granted the Azure Expert MSP badge to date. We achieved re-certification after a rigorous independent audit of our people, processes and technologies in July 2021.

“When BUI became an Azure Expert MSP for the first time last year, our teams were acknowledged not only for their superior technical abilities, but also for their commitment to service excellence,” recalls Chief Technology Officer Willem Malan. “Since then, we have focused on expanding our Azure credentials and our portfolio of Advanced Specializations to offer our customers the best possible advice and support throughout their cloud journeys. As we celebrate our Azure Expert MSP renewal, I’m so proud of the team whose focus and passion have helped us retain our place among Microsoft’s top cloud partners,” says Malan.

Committed to excellence

In the past 12 months, BUI has earned Microsoft Advanced Specializations in Adoption and Change ManagementIdentity and Access ManagementMicrosoft Windows Virtual DesktopTeamwork DeploymentThreat Protection, and Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure, and been selected to join the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA).

“We are actively strengthening our alignment with Microsoft, while distinguishing our company in terms of skills, experience, and customer successes,” explains Malan, citing the BUI Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) as a key enabler in this regard.

“Our Cloud Centre of Excellence is an important business unit – for us, and for the customers we serve,” agrees BUI CCoE Lead Dhiren Boodhia.

“With a dedicated group of cloud experts, including Azure architects, DevOps and cybersecurity specialists, we’re helping customers move to Azure in a secure, fast and consistent manner. With these tried-and-tested frameworks in place, we can deliver scalable, cost-effective solutions for our customers, and ensure they have the expert guidance they need every step of the way,” says Boodhia.

The Azure Expert MSP badge is awarded only to those Microsoft Partners with demonstrated abilities in high-fidelity managed services on Azure.

“The accreditation comes with a lot of prestige, but it’s not a one-and-done accomplishment,” notes Boodhia. “You aren’t given the badge forever: you have to earn it every year. The BUI a2zManaged services team is truly committed to end-to-end cloud lifecycle management, and the Azure Expert MSP badge is our assurance to customers… Yes, we can build, deploy, migrate, optimise and manage your business solutions in the cloud. Yes, you’re in expert hands. And we will help you to harness the full power of Azure,” he concludes.

Johannes Kanis, Cloud and Enterprise Business Group Lead at Microsoft South Africa, comments: “Our partner ecosystem is an integral enabler for customers at every stage of their digital transformation journey. Through its investment in building deep Azure skills, knowledge and competency, BUI is delivering innovative, impactful solutions that enable customers to become more agile and resilient. The Azure Expert MSP re-accreditation is a rigorous process and BUI has continued to demonstrate its commitment to helping customers achieve more with Microsoft cloud technology.”

We’re here for every step of your Azure journey.

From assessment and planning through to deployment, optimisation and management, our Azure experts can help you to achieve more value from your cloud investments.

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BUI earns fourth advanced specialization from Microsoft

We’re proud to announce that we’ve earned the Threat Protection Advanced Specialization from Microsoft in recognition of our proven success in deploying Microsoft Threat Protection, Microsoft Cloud App Security, and Azure Sentinel workloads.

The Threat Protection Advanced Specialization is the fourth such Microsoft accreditation that our company has earned in recent months: BUI also holds advanced specializations in Adoption and Change ManagementWindows Virtual Desktop, and Identity and Access Management.

“Security has always been a core focus area for us,” explains Chief Technology Officer Willem Malan. “We strive to give customers the best technology, the most comprehensive guidance, and the most innovative solutions to help them protect their digital estates from evolving threats. The Threat Protection Advanced Specialization is not only an acknowledgement of our premier technical capabilities, but also an indication of our commitment to value-driven service,” he says.

As cyberattacks become more sophisticated and more frequent worldwide, it is imperative for customers to be proactive about security, continues Malan. “To safeguard your business effectively, you need the right expertise and the right resources. BUI specialists are already leveraging next-generation tools for threat detection, investigation, and remediation to provide holistic security services to customers. Beyond that, we are actively expanding our range of Microsoft competencies and pursuing new opportunities to deliver even greater support to businesses that are adapting to remote-work and hybrid-work scenarios in the pandemic era,” he adds.

BUI was the first South African company to achieve Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider status, and joined the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA) last year. Top-tier cloud and security skills, as well as collaboration within the wider cybersecurity industry, enable us to better serve our own customers, states Malan.

“Advanced specializations, including our latest one in threat protection, position us to deliver relevant, cutting-edge solutions for complex workplaces. And industry associations, like MISA, provide us with important insights into global security trends. As security advisors and partners, we are making sure that our customers receive unrivalled service and support at every stage of their journey with us,” he says.

Malan describes Azure Sentinel, Microsoft’s cloud-native security information and event management platform, as a crucial part of the modern security stack. “It’s an incredibly powerful tool for continuous, real-time visibility across the IT ecosystem. And it’s a single pane of glass that brings structure and simplicity to security operations. Our customer deployments have been very successful, and the results speak for themselves: reduced risk exposure and faster threat detection and response,” he explains.

SEE HOW WE DO IT | Take a look inside the BUI Cyber SoC

As business organisations search for scalable, cost-effective ways to protect their networks, servers, endpoints, databases, applications, and users from cyberthreats, Malan believes two factors will determine the technology partners they choose: reputation and expertise. “We have a longstanding and award-winning relationship with Microsoft, and customers trust us to deliver the right solutions for their needs. For more than two decades, we’ve helped enterprises to design, deploy, and manage their IT assets securely. We’re excited to continue this tradition as we engage with customers who want to protect and defend their critical systems and data,” he concludes.

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POPIA compliance? Make technology work for you

With only five months until the grace period for POPIA compliance comes to an end, our Chief Technology Officer Willem Malan, Cloud Security Architect Neil du Plessis, and Modern Workplace Architect Pieter Neethling explore the challenges before South African organisations, and the technological solutions available to address them.

South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is designed to ensure that private, public, and governmental organisations behave lawfully and responsibly when processing personal information. Signed into law on 19 November 2013 by then-president Jacob Zuma, and gazetted on 26 November 2013, POPIA is a key piece of privacy legislation.

Certain sections of the Act became effective on 11 April 2014, and last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced commencement dates for the others. There is a 12-month grace period for compliance with the sections of POPIA that commenced on 1 July 2020, meaning organisations have until 30 June 2021 to put the appropriate measures in place.

“Right now, POPIA compliance should be at the top of the to-do list for every business,” says Willem Malan, our Chief Technology Officer. “And it’s absolutely critical if you haven’t yet begun, because the journey towards compliance is not simply a box-ticking exercise. POPIA requires a fundamental shift in terms of how you deal with personal information, and for many enterprises, that will involve a deep dive into their methods of gathering, processing, and safeguarding data,” he explains.

The challenges of preparing for POPIA

By October 2020, around 30% of South African organisations considered themselves well-prepared to meet their compliance obligations under POPIA, according to a local survey. Simultaneously, 39% said they were partly ready, while 14% had only just started planning, and 8% had not conducted any preparations at all. The disparity is striking, but perhaps not surprising, observes Malan. “For years, there’s been a general awareness about POPIA. It certainly has been one of the most talked-about governance issues in the corporate sphere. But there’s a gulf between acknowledgement and action, and I think that has been a stumbling block for business teams.”

Without prescriptive guidance from the Information Regulator, stakeholders have had to figure out their own POPIA road maps, continues Malan. “They’ve had to get to grips with the law and its specific requirements, before crafting their compliance strategies. That was a significant challenge prior to the coronavirus pandemic, given the time and resources needed. And it’s an even more daunting task now, when organisations are recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns, and recalibrating for the new world of work. Considering the extraordinary circumstances of 2020, it’s no wonder only about a third of businesses felt on track to achieve POPIA readiness in time,” he adds.

Neil du Plessis, our Cloud Security Architect, notes that POPIA’s incremental rollout may have dampened the sense of urgency initially seen in boardrooms. “When the Act was promulgated in 2013, it was a wake-up call for everyone. Conversations quickly turned towards compliance, and organisations began to formulate their policies and procedures. But as the years went by without official time frames for POPIA implementation, there seemed to be a loss of momentum at the corporate level. In the absence of concrete deadlines, the impetus for swift, comprehensive action appeared to fade. And now, many businesses are under pressure to expedite their POPIA programmes to meet the mid-year target.”

As the countdown intensifies, organisations also have to make sure that the compliance process is driven forward successfully. POPIA’s diverse requirements necessitate a multi-disciplinary approach, says Du Plessis. “From technical controls to record-keeping measures, the Act outlines parameters for lawful data-handling. Compliance, however, is not exclusively an IT issue or a human resources issue to address, and it cannot be delegated to a single department. POPIA has business-wide implications, and the business response should reflect that,” he says.

Malan agrees. “Data protection is a critical obligation, and businesses cannot outsource their accountability. They are responsible for their own compliance. And they have to answer for how they collect and use personal information. It’s important to look at the enterprise holistically, and to plan and monitor efforts in line with POPIA. It also makes sense to leverage available technology to streamline the process,” he says.

Cloud-powered technology at your fingertips

Microsoft Compliance Manager, a relatively new feature in the Microsoft 365 compliance centre, is already being embraced by BUI customers. “It’s such an intuitive, user-friendly platform,” remarks Pieter Neethling, our Modern Workplace Architect. With pre-built assessments for common information security standards like ISO 27001:2013 and custom assessments for POPIA and similar laws, it’s simpler to benchmark and monitor compliance status, as far as it relates to the use of Microsoft cloud services on Microsoft 365 or Azure Active Directory.

“With Compliance Manager’s centralised dashboard, you can perform real-time assessments of your estate, and get the detailed insights you need to strengthen your compliance capabilities,” continues Neethling. “That level of visibility – combined with step-by-step guidance to address shortcomings, and tools to record and track progress – makes Compliance Manager a robust solution for customers,” he says.

The platform also serves as an evidence repository for supporting documentation, and enables project teams to organise and unify their compliance initiatives. “You can drill down to view and manage individual tasks, evaluate progress, generate audit-ready status reports, and understand your overall compliance posture at a glance. The functionality is right there, at your fingertips,” explains Neethling.

Du Plessis adds that Compliance Manager brings order and scalability to organisational compliance efforts. “It can be overwhelming when you’re confronted with large environments of users, devices, and applications to assess, but Compliance Manager removes the burden by categorising and prioritising required actions. The assessments can be mapped and scaled for your particular business needs to help you manage compliance proactively and efficiently,” he says.

The Protection of Personal Information Act is clear about the costs of non-compliance: fines of up to R10-million. While the financial penalties are substantial, Malan believes there’s a greater cost for businesses that fail to comply with POPIA. “Organisations that do not take data privacy and data security seriously tend to suffer the consequences, sooner or later,” he argues. “And those consequences are usually very public and very damaging – sometimes irreparably so. In many cases, the cost of compliance paled in comparison to the cost of the resultant business disruption and reputational harm.”

Making sure that your enterprise is POPIA compliant is not only good business practice, but good for business too, continues Malan. “If you haven’t yet focused on your POPIA journey, then now’s the time to put in the necessary attention and effort. Now’s the time to get your internal systems, policies, and processes organised. Because as soon as you have that framework in place, you can concentrate on implementing the technological controls. And that’s fairly straightforward to accomplish, with practical help from a trusted partner,” he concludes.

Let’s make technology work for your business.

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BUI secures Identity and Access Management Advanced Specialization

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been awarded the Identity and Access Management Advanced Specialization from Microsoft in recognition of our proven expertise and experience in deploying Microsoft Identity workloads with Azure Active Directory.

Microsoft introduced the Identity and Access Management Advanced Specialization in November last year. The accreditation acknowledges Microsoft Partners who have demonstrated premier technical capabilities and the highest standards of service in delivering secure, unified access management solutions for customers.

“Identity and access management is an essential part of an effective security strategy,” explains Willem Malan, our chief technology officer. “As enterprises continue to embrace digital transformation to enable the new world of work, the ability to manage user identities and safeguard access to business assets is more important than ever before. We are committed to helping our customers leverage the full power of the Microsoft cloud to streamline and secure user access,” he says.

Remote productivity remains a key focus area for organisations around the world, especially as coronavirus protocols continue to impact the way work is done. “Enterprises are solidifying and expanding their remote-work strategies to allow not only employees, but also suppliers, vendors, and external collaborators to access corporate assets from home, or indeed wherever they are,” notes Malan. “And that means making sure their identity and access management systems are robust enough to handle the intricacies of the modern workplace,” he adds.

One of the biggest challenges for customers, continues Malan, is giving the right people the right access to the right resources – at the right time, every time. “Enterprises need to be able to control, protect, monitor, and review user access across the board, but that can be difficult without a central control plane. Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory is a richly featured platform that puts identity at the core of access management to reduce the complexity and cost of safeguarding the business environment.”

The Identity and Access Management Advanced Specialization is our newest Microsoft accreditation, and complements our existing Windows Virtual Desktop and Adoption and Change Management capabilities. “We have amplified our abilities to provide even more support to our customers with comprehensive, cloud-powered solutions to make user authentication seamless and secure,” concludes Malan.

Let’s talk about identity and access management solutions for your business.

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BUI scoops three trophies at 2020 Microsoft SA Partner Awards

We’re thrilled to announce that we won the Modern Workplace Partner of the Year Award, the Azure Infrastructure Partner of the Year Award, and the Security Partner of the Year Award at the 2020 Microsoft South Africa Partner Awards last night (30 September). BUI was also named as a finalist for the Consulting Services Partner of the Year Award. Congratulations, BUI team! This is an amazing achievement after a year of unprecedented challenges in the face of COVID-19.

Microsoft SA’s awards ceremony was conducted virtually for the first time, as part of the company’s commitment to local lockdown protocols. Held annually, the Microsoft SA Partner Awards recognise and celebrate Microsoft Partners for their performances and achievements. Judging takes place across numerous categories after intensive reviews of the award submissions, and trophies are usually presented at a gala dinner in Johannesburg. Last night, Microsoft SA Managing Director Lillian Barnard (pictured above) acknowledged the different digital format as she welcomed more than 350 attendees to the online celebration.

“I really would have loved the opportunity to meet you all in person,” said Barnard. “This is an exceptional moment in history, and over the past several months all of us have been put to the test. However, the innovation and responsiveness of our partner community has helped many organisations survive,” she continued, highlighting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and thanking partners for their commitment, passion, and energy.

An unwavering focus on customer needs

For Managing Director Ryan Roseveare, the Modern Workplace Partner of the Year trophy is an important acknowledgement of our unwavering focus on customer needs. “The term ‘workplace’ took on a different meaning this year as companies grappled with the demands of doing business under lockdown. BUI was quick to respond, and to provide innovative solutions that enabled customers to move entire workloads to the cloud and to shift entire workforces to remote desktops, efficiently and securely,” he explains. “I’m thrilled with this accolade, but prestigious honours like this would not be possible without the dedication of our people. They work very hard to create value-driven Microsoft solutions for our customers.”

Technical Director Willem Malan is equally pleased with this recognition, especially as we continue to pursue a cloud-first strategy. “We’re actively expanding our already strong professional environment with additional competencies to further support our customers through digital transformation. By focusing on change management, we can ensure that end-users are fully prepared to leverage cloud-based productivity tools like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, wherever their workplaces may be located,” he says.

A foundation of service excellence

BUI achieved the highest infrastructure-related Azure consumer revenue in FY2020 and was the first SA Microsoft Partner to launch a Cyber Security Operations Centre powered by Sentinel. Last night’s Azure Infrastructure Partner of the Year victory was particularly special, says Roseveare. “We’re cloud enthusiasts as well as cloud advocates,” he explains.

Helping customers to modernise and secure their operations with Azure is a real passion for everyone here at BUI, concurs Malan. “Our success stories are built on a foundation of service excellence. We all understand the importance of delivering relevant Azure solutions that work for our customers, and that align with their strategic business vision, and that ultimately enable them to serve and support their own clients using a scalable and incredibly powerful cloud platform.”

A commitment to security

Roseveare and Malan are delighted to see BUI take home the Security Partner of the Year Award for the second year in a row. “This accolade speaks to our central philosophy,” says Roseveare. “Security is at the heart of our business and we make it a core part of design, deployment, and management projects for our customers. By harnessing Microsoft’s robust security tools, we can empower organisations to proactively protect their critical assets.”

Security is an ongoing concern for local enterprises, says Malan. “South Africans experienced a surge in coronavirus-related cybercrime this year, and while the pandemic certainly increased the frequency of malicious attacks, it’s important to remember that the threat is constant. We are committed to leading from the front with modern security solutions. BUI specialists are highly skilled and best-in-class, and this recognition from Microsoft is well-earned and well-deserved.”

Our trophy haul last night marks the latest achievement in a banner year for our company. Since the beginning of 2020, BUI has celebrated its 20th anniversary, been named Microsoft’s Country Partner of the Year for South Africa, become the first local Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider, and attained Microsoft’s new Adoption and Change Management Advanced Specialization.

“I’m extremely proud of Team BUI,” concludes Roseveare. “They have helped our customers to stay online, to keep connected, and to remain secure throughout the extraordinary circumstances of this year, and I know they will carry the same passion forward as we look ahead to the future.”

Thank you for making these achievements possible, everyone!

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BUI awarded Adoption and Change Management Advanced Specialization

We’re excited to announce that we’ve earned the new Adoption and Change Management Advanced Specialization from Microsoft!

Introduced in April 2020, this niche specialization is reserved for top-tier Microsoft Partners with both the deep-level expertise and the experience to support and empower customers as they embrace organisational change.

“We’re always focused on meeting our customers where they are in terms of digital transformation, and these engagements involve so much more than just the deployment of technology,” explains Willem Malan, our national technical director.

“We help people to adapt to new practices, leverage new tools, and find innovative ways to improve efficiency. Microsoft’s recognition is an acknowledgement of our specific capabilities in this area, and our commitment to the highest levels of service delivery.”

As business transformation gains momentum and technology continues to reshape workplaces everywhere, Malan believes a people-first approach to change management is paramount. “Change can be challenging, but when you put people at the centre of the process, and provide the coaching and guidance they need to navigate their new circumstances, you create an environment that encourages user adoption. And that’s important, because people are the end users. They’re the ones who have to utilise the technology to drive the business forward.”

Malan’s sentiments are shared by our Western Cape general manager, Thys Janse Van Rensburg, who has helmed change-management projects for several of our customers, including Capitec Bank.

“Our journeys with customers are characterised by intensive planning, meticulous execution, and teamwork. The teamwork component is perhaps the most important of all, because effective change management requires successful collaboration at every stage,” says Janse Van Rensburg.

BUI is well positioned to help enterprises of all sizes adopt Microsoft Teams, Microsoft SharePoint, Yammer, and other Microsoft 365 technologies for digital enablement, remote productivity, and secure communication.

“We’re all part of the new normal, but ultimately, we’re humans doing business. Here at BUI, we’re determined to help our customers find the best pathways to success as they change, grow, and prepare for the future,” concludes Malan.

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BUI earns prestigious Microsoft Azure Expert MSP status

It’s official! BUI has been named a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP). We’re extremely proud to be the first South African company to achieve this distinction, which is currently held by only a select group of Microsoft Partners worldwide.

What is an Azure Expert MSP?

The Microsoft Azure Expert MSP programme recognises Microsoft Partners with the proven expertise and capability to deliver the highest quality of managed end-to-end Microsoft Azure cloud services, from initial planning and design through to implementation, operation, and optimisation.

“This is a fantastic achievement for BUI and a win for our customers,” says Managing Director Ryan Roseveare. “This is an acknowledgement of our skills and competencies around Microsoft Azure and benefits our company and our customers. It shows that we are in the top tier of globally recognised Microsoft Partners, and that we are highly successful when it comes to managing modern cloud environments. As more and more South African businesses explore cloud-based solutions, the need for Azure specialists grows. We’re proud to rank among the best, and to support local companies.”

Roseveare’s sentiments are shared by Technical Director Willem Malan: “Now, more than ever, I think customers are looking for the best partners to support them through digital transformation. We have attained Microsoft Azure Expert MSP status and that is certainly a validation of our abilities, but more importantly, it’s an assurance for our customers. It shows that we’re equipped to provide truly world-class service, and to deliver Azure cloud services at scale for enterprises across the board.”

To participate in the Azure Expert MSP programme, Microsoft Partners must meet stringent requirements defined by Microsoft and independently evaluated by third-party auditors.

“The process is rigorous,” explains Malan. “Our teams have been assessed on everything from technical aptitude to customer deliveries, and we’re delighted with the positive feedback received. We’re fortunate to have so many talented, passionate people who are committed to delivering business value for our customers,” he says.

“We congratulate BUI on their Azure Expert MSP recognition and look forward to working alongside them, to help more customers make the move to the cloud as a critical enabler of digital transformation. It is a digital transformation journey that for many has accelerated exponentially, as the need for remote working has increased. Our partners are a cornerstone of the Microsoft ecosystem, now more than ever, as we navigate towards a post COVID-19 business landscape that creates hybrid workplaces that are secure, cost efficient and streamlined,” says Lillian Barnard, Managing Director of Microsoft South Africa.

“We’re honoured to have earned this prestigious accreditation, and we look forward to helping more customers benefit from the security and scalability of Microsoft Azure,” concludes Roseveare.