Executive Summary

Headquartered in Houston, Cobalt is a global oil exploration company with an oil portfolio in the deepwater regions of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore West Africa. As it continued to prioritize focus on strategic initiatives and growth opportunities, the client wanted to remove administrative oversight and costs associated with hosting its IT infrastructure internally, as well as increase a cloud-centric approach to its core infrastructure


With a corporate vision "to get out of the server business," the company wanted to leverage the innovation, flexibility and agility of a cloud solution. Cobalt needed a strategic partner with cloud expertise and enterprise deployments to recommend the right solution while minimizing implementation time and risks. Other challenges included:

  • Lean IT shop with limited MS Cloud technology experience

  • Must be a long-term, cost-effective solution that leveraged the latest cloud technology around messaging and custom SharePoint environment

  • Must align cloud strategy with business needs and key stakeholders


After meeting with key decision makers, Sparkhound created a Cloud Roadmap that would migrate the client’s SharePoint, email and servers into Azure and enable Cobalt to maintain its lean IT shop. 

  • Implemented Azure and Office 365 (O365) to provide a single management point solution

  • Utilized Azure IaaS over O365 for SharePoint to accommodate required customizations

  • Migrated hosted email to O365 and extended corporate infrastructure into Azure to increase availability of cloud deployed solutions


All server hardware administration was outsourced to Microsoft, enabling IT staff to focus on strategic initiatives. SharePoint in Azure provided better connectivity to remote offices and redundancy across the Azure data centers; while O365 significantly reduced email downtime and costs. Extending corporate infrastructure into Azure allowed for Cloud solutions to provide business continuity in the event that the corporate data center is lost.