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How to Move Up the Automation Maturity Model—Part 2: Where to Start

In my last two blogs I looked at how I see our partners fitting into four categories when it comes to automation maturity. The categories include partners who aren’t interested in automating, partners who are interested but aren’t sure how to start, partners who have started the journey towards automation, and partners who automate anything they can. I also discussed how to show the value of automation to those who feel they’re not interested in it.

If you haven’t read those posts already, take a second to catch up using the links below:

In this post, I’m going to move up the automation maturity ladder and focus on how we can help those who are interested in automation but aren’t sure how (or where) to start. I’ll keep the conversation to the actual resources you can use. If you’d like to learn how to find things to automate, check out my previous blog about where to start with automation.

First and foremost, I recommend to partners that they join one of our automation bootcamps (click here for details of all the upcoming bootcamps). These are programs specifically designed to get people over the hurdle of creating their first automation policies—so they can see just how easy it is to automate their common tasks.

Once a partner has gone through the bootcamp stage, I usually recommend they join me on an office hours’ webinar. This is where partners can ask specific questions around issues they’re having with automation. Customers often ask me for help with things like software deployment automation or maintaining their environment—and everything in between.

Another great resource we offer for those just starting their automation journey is our automation cookbook. It offers a wide range of automation policies that have been created by us or other partners. You can sort them by date and it’s always worth coming back regularly to see what’s new. Make sure to bookmark it as a favorite in your browser for easy access.

Lastly, we updated our forums this year and created a category solely dedicated to automation. Partners can go there, ask any questions they have, and get support from their peers. The automation team also monitors the forums so we’ll answer whenever we can. This is a great way to get the support you need quickly. You get started on the forums by clicking this link:

After you’ve gone through all this, you’ll be on your way to automating like a pro. In the next post, we’ll go through how you can take your automation to the next level.

Automation of the week

This week, I’m going to spotlight an automation policy that we built to help a partner who wanted to compact the VMs on Hyper-V hosts for his customers. The policy is quite simple: it stops the guest, then compacts the VHD, and restarts the guest.

This article explains more. It also provides a link so you can download the policy.

As always, don’t forget to look in the automation cookbook at if you’re interested in other automation policies, script checks, or custom services.


Marc-Andre Tanguay is Head Automation Nerd. You can follow him on Twitter at @automation_nerd

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