When it comes to modern business operations, there’s arguably no topic more controversial than the efficiency of cloud computing. It has moved well beyond its infancy and has cemented its position in organizational infrastructure: one that will become a $258 billion industry ↗ in 2019.
However, one of the most important decisions that managed service providers (MSPs) face when including cloud computing in their offerings is determining the specific cloud platform that they should offer.
The platform you choose directly influences the services you provide to your clients. For that reason, Microsoft Azure is an ideal choice for MSPs because of its plethora of services and features.
There are plenty of reasons why you should choose Microsoft Azure—let’s review them to help you strengthen your service offering.
Microsoft Azure: What’s in It for MSPs?
MSPs have a considerable impact on the adoption of Microsoft Azure among small- and medium-size businesses that are searching for leading computing and security services. This guide will walk you through the key points that make Microsoft Azure an excellent cloud service to include in your offering.
Save Money by Using Your Existing Windows Server Licenses
MSPs usually run a number of Windows licenses, including those for Windows Server; this allows them to set up virtualization and data centers for providing cloud computing services. Azure also requires Windows Server virtual machines, but setting up new virtual machines with new licenses can be very costly.
Now, Microsoft allows MSPs to move their existing Windows Server licenses to Microsoft Azure. When they extend their already functioning Windows Server data centers to the cloud, customers enjoy what Microsoft calls the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit.
This allows MSPs to utilize existing on-premises Windows Server licenses that include Software Assurance ↗. As a result, MSPs are able to run their virtual machines in Azure at a vastly reduced compute rate.
According to Microsoft, using your existing licenses can lead to cost savings—depending on your usage, location, and type of servers—of up to 49%.
Microsoft Azure Is Leading the Cloud Revolution
Wait—isn’t Amazon Web Services (AWS) leading the market share for cloud computing services rendered around the globe? Not quite.
With a 32% cloud market ↗ vendor share in Q4 2018, AWS appears to be a leader on the surface. But when betting on the future of your managed services, it’s important look beyond these numbers for real growth measures.
While AWS has had more time to grow and solidify its cloud offerings, Microsoft Azure is relatively new. But this hasn’t stopped the tech giant from moving swiftly up the rankings to become the only true contender that AWS faces.
In fact, the 82.4% year-on-year growth ↗ registered by Microsoft in 2018 is approximately 35% greater than AWS’s performance in the same period, reflecting Azure’s sharp growth in popularity.
In Microsoft’s 2018 edition of their annual Inspire conference ↗, Jason Zander, VP of Microsoft Azure, highlighted the massive selling potential that Azure has for MSPs.
To expand on his words, the Azure platform is experiencing the fastest growth of all cloud-based platforms—with 100% year-on-year revenue growth and 122% in premium services growth.
More importantly, Microsoft Azure partners have incredible margins: for every $1 worth of Azure service consumption, they can drive $5 worth of business.
Bank on Your Expertise
If you think clients fully trust public cloud vendors, you’re wrong. Rather, clients are more inclined to use Microsoft Azure as a component of a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategy.
According to a survey by Canalys in 2018, 75% of MSPs state that ↗ the majority of their clients have a hybrid cloud strategy in place. This is where MSPs can prove to be invaluable for their clients: by seizing the opportunity to guide and advise them. By removing the complexities, setting up a cloud computing infrastructure, and building a clear path for cloud migration, MSPs can nurture a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship.
Microsoft Azure provides unmatched assistance to partners by offering distinct opportunities like cloud deployments, disaster recovery and backup, and DevOps.
From planning to migration, integration, development, deployment, and even support management, Microsoft Azure presents endless opportunities for MSPs to upsell their services.
Microsoft Azure: The Perfect Partner for Your Client’s Cloud-Based Future
Convincing your clients to join the cloud is only the first of many decisions that you’ll help them make. The biggest hurdle is guiding them towards the right cloud vendor for their business.
Choosing to resell Microsoft Azure should not be a difficult task, but you still need to walk your clients through the technical and infrastructural considerations that make it stand out as the perfect choice.
Here are a few points that can help you resell Microsoft Azure:
Cloud migration—and cloud computing—is a major organizational decision that affects everything from your operations to your year-end budget.
Suggesting familiarity as a reason to select one option over another might be a little too brave. What most organizations fail to account for is the rough transition period of training and getting used to a new technology; this often hampers productivity from the get-go.
If you’ve ever used a PC, then you’re already familiar with the classic Microsoft user interface. Remember, Azure is also primarily based on Microsoft’s system.
In practice, this means that by opting for Microsoft Azure, users are able to write applications in the languages that they’re already accustomed to within the .NET ecosystem, such as Visual Basic and C#. For organizations, this means it’s easier to find expert developers to design applications on the Microsoft Azure cloud.
This aligns with the opinions ↗ of several experts who agree that AWS presents a more significant learning curve. With Azure, you can leverage your previous Microsoft experience to get in the cloud atmosphere.
There is a growing distrust of the cloud among organizations, especially when it comes to handing over sensitive data to cloud vendors. What’s important to remember here is that there are few companies that are as secure and reputable as Microsoft.
With more security certifications ↗ than any other cloud vendor, Microsoft Azure ensures that it has what it takes to protect sensitive data. Your clients can rest assured that they’re getting one of the most secure cloud computing services on the market.
With leading international industry security certifications such as ISO 27001 and HIPAA, Microsoft is at the forefront of every security-related development in the cloud computing sphere.
Its foolproof security measures don’t end here—it’s also had the honor of being the first ISO-27018-compliant cloud provider in the world.
Such attention to security is important to ensure that Microsoft continues to be a safe stronghold for customer data, despite facing 1.5 million attacks on its cloud systems ↗ on a daily basis.
More importantly, for Microsoft’s customers, independent auditors ↗ have verified that Microsoft Azure—alongside Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Intune—follows the standard code of practice for the protection of personal information.
Scale Your Cloud as You Grow
One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is it scalability, allowing organizations to use only as much of it as they need. This in turn eliminates the infrastructure expenses that typically come with growth.
Microsoft gives scalability a whole new (and better) meaning. With Azure, scalability goes beyond just increasing your bandwidth in response to increased website traffic. Rather, it means that every service and channel under Azure is scalable, without any strings attached.
For MSPs who are looking to obtain Azure and sell these services to their clients, this can prove to be a game changer. By paying only for the services they use, customers can reap significant cost savings, making Azure all the more affordable for MSP clients.
Simplified IT Infrastructure Management
As one of the leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers, and one of the top platforms as a service (PaaS), Microsoft Azure aims to provide organizations access to a well-maintained infrastructure that comes with unmatched technical expertise. This enables organizations to focus on their core competency rather than wasting money on establishing and subsequently maintaining a primary on-premises infrastructure.
By offering on-demand computing, storage, and networking capabilities, Azure effectively eliminates the burden of managing everything from hardware upgrades to software updates. With a subscription-based model, there is no end to the feasibility offered by the cloud computing service that Microsoft Azure offers.
With over 80% of Fortune 500 companies ↗ using Microsoft Azure, it’s certainly played an important role in helping organizations to make it big in the 21st century.
MSPs need to ensure that their clients fully realize the opportunity that Microsoft Azure presents for their businesses, and to work on nurturing them to ensure that they hop aboard the Azure train.
With advanced features, unmatched security protocols, and increasing intelligence capabilities, Microsoft Azure is undoubtedly driving a massive change in the cloud computing landscape. MSPs need to demonstrate this potential in order to successfully resell it to their clients.
If you’re an MSP and you would like to resell Microsoft Azure, make sure to book a free demo ↗ of Nerdio to learn how to resell Azure effortlessly