A group of people in an office all happily working on their computing service

Optimizing Your Long-Term Return With Azure Cloud Services

27 Jan 2017 by Howard M Cohen

The power to make each and every one of your Microsoft Azure sales grow is completely in your hands, and every addition adds value in at least two ways.

Consumption-based billing

Microsoft Azure enables quick deployment and services that deliver best-in-class security and accessibility with no upfront cost or commitment. A primary customer value proposition associated with Azure cloud service is that billing is based on consumption. That is, customers pay based on actual usage in the preceding month. The pay-as-you-go service includes per-minute billing which means clients are not losing capital on unused resources. These subscriptions are flexible with no minimum purchase or commitment required. Clients will want to work directly with a cloud solution provider (CSP) to design and implement Azure cloud-based solutions.

Workloads, workloads, workloads

Azure sales are unique. When you close a typical sale, your job is done. However, when you sell Azure subscriptions you create a new door through which tremendous opportunities may flow. With an opening for new leads and long-term relationships, your work has just begun.

Once you’ve sold Azure, the next thing you will want to do is increase the consumption of services. Then, you can focus on broadening the selection of Azure cloud services each customer uses. Finally, you can circle back to your initial goal of increasing Azure consumption across multiple offerings.

The easiest, most fundamental way to increase Azure consumption is by helping your clients identify new and larger workloads that will benefit from being migrated over to Azure. New applications that can be run on Azure drive much more consumption. Migrating existing applications from on premises, or other cloud platforms, will drive more consumption as well.

Recently, Microsoft has also introduced Azure Resource Usage and RateCard APIs to help clients get an estimate on their cloud spend and use the information to predict what their bill will be at the end of the billing cycle.

The double whammy

You may have already figured out what the second “whammy” is here. Adding new workloads to Azure creates new projects for you, including:

  • Designing and creating the new applications
  • Re-imagining legacy applications for the new platform
  • Converting and migrating the workloads
  • Managing the processes
  • Training users
  • Monitoring Azure consumption to maintain tight spend control

This last bulleted item may be the most important of all. Customers are deeply concerned about receiving surprise overage bills. With spend control in their hands, they are likely to place all manner of safeguards in place to limit Azure use. This can put an abrupt end to the innovation you’re fostering amongst your clients.

Additionally, offering spend control is a very, very proactive thing to do. It shows your customer that you care deeply about the financial health of their enterprise. It also gives you the opportunity to present expenditures in the context of cost reduction, efficiency improvement and profit gain owing to the use of Azure. Potential excess expenses suddenly become wise investments with handsome returns.

Is Azure right for you?

Microsoft Azure offers a variety of integrated services to help businesses optimize consumption and increase scalability. Providing analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking solutions, storage and web services, Azure will help your business:

  • Hyperscale up and down instantly.
  • Trade capital expenses for variable expenses.
  • Reduce data center management resources.
  • Increase speed and agility.
  • Eliminate costs associated with maintaining data centers.

According to a survey conducted by RightScale, as of January 2016, 20% of respondents indicated that they were already running applications either on Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure or platform service.

It’s important to remember that customers interested in leveraging Azure can purchase these services in one of three ways:

  • Customers with substantial internal IT resources want a simple, self-service experience.
  • Large corporate customers want to leverage their substantial Microsoft purchases through an Enterprise Agreement (EA).
  • The largest segment of customers seek guidance and assistance to achieve accelerated innovation by working with solution-focused Microsoft CSP partners.
This bar graph answers the question: Which cloud computing service does your company use the most?

Without changing your current business model, Insight will help you seamlessly integrate Azure cloud services with your current IT environment, ensuring information and content can continue to live where employees are used to finding data. With Azure services, you own the billing process and help both your clients and your business profit from a wide variety of related services.

Are you concerned about the process of developing applications? Insight will work with you to create the best solutions for your current business needs. Are you not fully familiar with Azure data management for conversions and migrations? Insight’s team of experts will provide implementation and management support every step of the way. Together, we’ll help your business leverage the Microsoft CSP program for greater scalability.

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