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Increasing Platform Control for Your Apps While Simplifying Cloud Licensing

21 Feb 2017 by Howard M Cohen

You’ve made the leap — jumping ahead of your IT service provider competitors you’ve developed your own software solutions and intellectual property that you own, can sell, and resell, time and time again. Appreciating the value of leveraging the best platforms you’ve taken great care to build your application on the Microsoft SQL Server platform, and you’re encouraging your clients to run it on Microsoft Azure.

Clients balk

But some of your clients have become confused. Why do they have to go and subscribe to Microsoft Azure? How do they know how to provision the right services in the right volumes? They didn’t expect to have to learn about this cloud service, so you’re getting sales resistance where there’s really no reason for it. What they might not know is that Azure is one of the top three cloud-based services currently used by enterprises worldwide. According to a study RightScale, as of January 2016 23% of enterprise respondents indicated that they were using Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to run applications, up from 19%  in 2015. 

This bar graph depicts the current enterprise usage of public cloud infrastructure and platform services running applications worldwide in 205 and 2016, by service. It shows two bars , one for 2015 and one for 2016.

Ultimately, enterprises need integrated tools, templates and services to successfully, quickly and easily build and manage their applications. As depicted in the chart below, statistics show that companies making the move to the cloud will receive a multitude of benefits around security, increased efficiency, data storage, speed, scalability, cost, mobility, maintenance and more. 

This bar graph depicts companies' top three benefits received from using the cloud. It breaks the benefits down into percentages for each.

Whether you’re an IT service provider or managed service provider (MSP), it’s your job to make sure your clients receive a worry-free path to the cloud. From providing some initial assistance to more-in-depth expertise, your goal is to provide a comprehensive and complete solution for everything cloud. And whether you are working with physical servers or virtual machines, Microsoft Azure’s backend SQL database will provide the support software and other Microsoft tools you need to drive growth for both your clients and your own business. In fact, the same study above also found that as of December 2015, 23% of the respondents from a cloud computing vendor survey indicated that Microsoft Azure was their most widely-used cloud computing service for cloud-based servers. Why?

Two must-have Microsoft programs

Most of your clients have accounting departments that truly appreciate receiving invoices that match their purchase orders — the fewer invoices the better. When clients receive one invoice for the software, another for the cloud service and still others for platform services, they become irritated.

By joining the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program you reduce the number of invoices they receive to one and are under complete control of the transaction — which is beneficial to both you and your client. You also purchase the requisite cloud services through Microsoft CSP and bill them to your client along with your own offerings.

If your software uses Microsoft SQL Server as its backend database, no worries. Simply enter into the Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) and become their source for SQL Server and any other Microsoft products or services that may be necessary to successfully deploy and operate your solutions.

Extensively, Azure pay-as-you-go, pay-as-you-grow services make it easy to scale up or down as needed.

Simple, controlled and cost-saving

Paving the path for clients to come from their own on-premise servers and move to the Azure platform, Microsoft continues to introduce new programs to make it easier for partners to adopt cloud-based solutions and participate. Combining the Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program with the Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) creates excellent opportunities for partners to expand their managed service provider IT solutions within their existing client base — as well as to new accounts.

SPLA enables CSPs to combine Microsoft platform services like SQL Server with their own applications, or those provided by third-party Independent Software Vendors (ISV) into one package, giving the customer one invoice to pay and one relationship through which to obtain support, guidance and advice. In this model, the CSP owns the Microsoft licensing and leases or rents it to the end users as a component of the overall solution. CSPs enjoy an extensive toolset to help them manage and optimize their clients’ deployments.

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