As an Azure business development manager here at Vuzion, I love being able to speak to our partners about their business, their challenges, their goals… It is my job to focus on how we collectively look at Azure and the way we can deliver innovative solutions.
Azure ‘lift and shift’ is often the first option that comes to mind when talking to a partner about their customer’s cloud journey. However, many partners are now seeking a re-engineered solution for their customers, enabling them to become more efficient and save money.
Let me play out a scenario which might come from a MSP: “Mr customer, we are going to take what you have, and migrate it into Azure.”
Unfortunately, this linear transition into Azure might not always be in the customer’s best interest. Selecting the services currently run on-premises and putting them through the Azure calculator is likely to give you a price that exceeds budget. A situation I see partners in day in, day out! Azure can be cost optimised, but we need to really think about what Azure can do before we start using the calculator.
I talk to partners about changing their mindset away from one fixed around traditional on-premises IT.
On-premises on certain occasions might be the best fit. However, when looking to understand the capabilities of the cloud, you need to think more holistically about how Azure can instigate change within your business and in turn your customers’.
Traditional on-premises computing does not give the range of options available through Azure.
Let me give you an example: your customer’s business is seasonal, and in season their compute needs are excessive. With traditional computing, they would buy the hardware and have to keep it on all year round for that one season.
Using Azure will not only decrease annual cost, but allow you to start making decisions about the streams of data housed within the public cloud. It allows you to ideate how to re-engineer solutions, use VMs to your customer’s advantage, turn off their virtual IT infrastructure during the off-season to ensure your customer is working efficiently, but also with cost in mind.
But, do not be deterred if your customers need compute power all year round. We can optimise this too in Azure. Think of how you save power and expense when, for example, changing to LED light bulbs.
I believe that the role of the trusted advisor is more than just as an aid to helping partners buy compute power. We need to start asking questions about their business and understanding how the Microsoft stack can be used to help them become more productive and secure, and to future proof their business.