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Baker Tilly Digital’s solution architects achieve AWS Black Belt in Migration

What is the AWS Black Belt program?

The Black Belt program is a course designed by the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network to help partners enhance their specializations expertise and build new practice areas through specialists within the Partner community that possess in-depth and hands-on knowledge in AWS domains including Machine Learning, Analytics, Database, Security and recently – Migration.

The AWS Black Belt in Migration is a new multi-week training program offering specialization in AWS Migration that includes deep theoretical and practical experience with a specialist. The program includes live learning sessions through lectures, webinars, labs and walkthroughs, culminating in a hands-on capstone project. To successfully graduate from the migration program, each participant’s capstone project must deliver a migration readiness assessment (MRA), full scope of work for the project and a video presentation explaining the MRA results and statement of work (SOW), as well as pass a final exam.

While AWS offers a variety of certifications to learn more about how their tools and services work, the Black Belt in Migration program focuses more on strategy. Specifically, what third party tools and funding options are available to utilize during a cloud migration process. “This program is definitely a broader scope of not just technical knowledge, but different funding programs and tools available to you, even if it’s outside of AWS,” said Baker Tilly Digital’s senior cloud architect Nick Schumann. As this is a more comprehensive program, only AWS Advanced and Premier Tier partners are invited to participate.

After the completion of this new program, five Baker Tilly Digital solution architects are now certified Migration Black Belts. Our cloud customers will now have access to solution architects that have passed the AWS Associate and Migration certification and proven their skills through guided hands-on lab exercises and the delivery of a personal capstone project. The following solution architects are five of only a select group of AWS partners that hold this certification:

AWS Black Belt in Migration program

The AWS Black Belt in Migration program specifically trains subject matter experts on migrating companies from on premise data warehouses to the cloud. “The program helped us learn about different migration accelerators to get companies into the cloud quickly and then using AWS funding programs to help offset some of the costs of these programs,” said Schumann, “We now know how to walk companies through the different tools they can use when migrating, one of them being a migration readiness assessment.”

The MRA is a tool used to walk companies through a variety of questions surrounding their existing data environment before providing them with a report on their areas of weakness and how they can strengthen them or prepare to move to the cloud. When preparing to move to the cloud, solution architects help companies stand up their center of excellence to get a foundation in place before walking them through the three stages of migration: (1) assess, (2) mobilize and (3) migrate and modernize. The MRA tool aids customers in quickly deploying AWS infrastructure while meeting compliance requirements and automating technical security controls. This simplifies the build of multi-account AWS environments as customers do not need infrastructure as code (IaC) and can instead shift their focus to value-added work.

AWS MAP customer journey

Source: AWS Prescriptive Guidance Overview

The cumulative capstone project allowed our solution architects to use an existing client as an example to demonstrate how they would walk the company through their cloud migration process, utilizing a MRA as well as a variety of other AWS tools for migrating data, to provide a step-by-step process of how they would begin and execute their migration to the cloud.

Key takeaways

The AWS Black Belt in Migration program is designed around a comprehensive approach to cloud migration that involved engagement with multiple AWS teams to develop and learn specialization in various migration services and practices. This means each individual solution architect attending had to learn and execute each step of the migration process, from strategy and funding to technical delivery. “You learn an overall understanding of the entire process even though as an individual I might normally only do the technical piece,” said Schumann. This comprehensive approach provided each Baker Tilly Digital solution architect the opportunity to engage with and learn from each step of the cloud migration process, concluding with advanced technical knowledge in migration to the AWS cloud.

Having a comprehensive understanding of the cloud migration process allows our solution architects to quickly and efficiently provide more accurate solutions to problems that may arise when supporting companies through their cloud migration process. “In our daily lives, we work on a more granular aspect,” said Baker Tilly Digital’s data architect Tom Wall, “This program was a good way to take 40,000 steps back and look at everything holistically to see where our piece fits into the larger picture.” This provides our solution architects with accelerated migration specialty expertise, allowing them to deliver better results to our cloud customers in less time when building new or migrating to the AWS cloud platform.

Along with providing a holistic view of the cloud migration process, the AWS Black Belt in Migration program exposed our solution architects to how SOW and MRA are articulated to the companies we support and their key stakeholders. “Now that I’m able to state things from the stakeholder perspective, I can factor that into my designs, implementations and solutions,” said Baker Tilly Digital’s cloud services manager Olusegun Olajide.

How we can help

Migrating your company’s data to the cloud requires a team with the necessary skills and knowledge across the multiple areas of cloud technology. As an AWS Advanced Tier Services Partner, Baker Tilly Digital provides a complete cloud services and management portfolio offering fast, flexible access to the cloud. Our Migration Black Belts are ready to work with you to help efficiently execute your cloud migration process, making sure you understand the performance, organizational and financial impacts of the change to maximize your investment in the cloud.

Interested in learning more? Connect with our team and we’ll work with you to bring clarity to your cloud migration process.

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