As a reseller eager to make Azure a vital part of what you provide, your most pressing job is to learn its capabilities and set out the core uses that you can offer your clients. It’s important to talk to customers about the individual workloads they can utilise within Azure and the business problems they solve, rather than just trying to sell them the ‘Azure’ dream. They’ll ultimately form the bedrock of your services pitch — you can then build on them with any unique Azure implementations you develop as time goes by, allowing your sales approach to steadily improve.

In this piece, we’re going to start by covering our five key implementations that you can — and should — convey to your customers, then the main benefits of the Azure platform. In the end, you should have a better understanding of the value involved. Let’s begin!

Key implementations to offer your clients

 

There are some key Azure implementations that you can offer to your clients. Here are 5 that are among the easiest to justify and configure:

Virtual Machines

Easy to spin up and massively scalable, a virtual machine can scale with a business as it grows, allowing you to extend current infrastructure or replace it entirely with a modern solution. This reduces capital expenditure ensuring a future proof solution benefitting a business of any size. Compute power is readily available to burst and scale during busy periods. Run business applications and innovate in an environment that can be turned on and off as needed.

Azure Virtual Machines have a broad range of performance levels and pricing options to suit, including reserved instances for cost-effective stable workloads, Azure is an exceptional VM solution. Throw in the power of numerous related Microsoft systems and you have a class-leading suite.

Cloud Databases

Customers providing a mobile app (or SaaS service with user logins) require data storage accessible from anywhere at all times, with demand varying significantly and spiking severely at moments of peak demand. Azure’s scalable architecture makes this easy to achieve, all while requiring very little input or maintenance from you or your customers.

There are two main options for storing data in an Azure database: using a single database for a given project, or assigning multiple projects to an elastic pool that dynamically allocates its resources to the tasks most in need (with the latter being most useful for offering a variety of apps with low demand on average). Either way, you’re able to scale up or down as needed.

Websites & Apps

Storing user and app data is one thing but storing websites and apps themselves is another. Meeting demand is critically important: a brief spell of downtime at an inconvenient juncture can prove disastrous to a company’s fortunes. Azure features two dedicated services — Web Apps and Mobile Apps — that allow users to easily host, scale, patch and sync their sites and apps.

With support for Windows and Linux, a wide range of languages (including .NET, .NET Core, Java, Ruby, Node.js, PHP and Python), connectors for third-party SaaS and social systems, easy and highly-secure sign-in, and a 99.95% uptime guarantee for all plans, Azure’s hosting facilities are world-class. Readily available connectors into some of the most popular social media and Web applications allow you to easily leverage AI and Cognitive services to maximise impact and engagement.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Preserving and protecting data is mission-critical, but the quantities keep increasing, making the practice of backing data up considerably more arduous. Azure’s scaling storage and data encryption is a safe and scalable solution to meet the needs of modern businesses. Furthermore, the hybrid storage model grants a lot of freedom in deciding where to store data.

Azure’s backup features can be deployed in a single click whether you look to back up files and folders or a full machine. Critical data, which is imperative to the day to day running of a business, can also be further protected with Azure Disaster Recovery ensuring business continuity that is only billable in the event of a failover. Leveraging a pay-as-you-go storage model, the costs only scale up as the business grows.

Identity & Security

Remote working has essentially become a standard at this point, and the spread-out nature of many companies requires systems to be accessible from all locations without suffering from diminished levels of security. Azure can serve as a rock-solid base for an online system, featuring various component parts to ensure that access is both convenient and secure.

Supporting multi-factor authentication with a single sign-on, Azure Active Directory keeps the login process fast while preventing single points of security being used to gain unauthorised access. Admins can oversee everything from user access to resource distribution from the Security Center, empowering them to easily make changes as needed. Any business with questionable security standards can benefit immensely from moving to Azure.

 

 

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The main Azure benefits to mention

 

When you’re first discussing Azure with a client, they may have little to no awareness of why it’s worth considering in general, so you need to know how to present the core benefits. Here are the main selling points that you should focus on in that all-important scenario:

Lowered costs

Firstly, and most obviously, switching to Azure will inevitably lower costs. Non-cloud systems are expensive to build because they require investment in a lot of high-end hardware, expensive to run because they must be fully powered-on even for light tasks, and expensive to maintain because sourcing a great engineer at short notice can be very costly.

Being a cloud-based system, Azure offers supreme financial efficiency. The hardware is essentially rented, requiring no setup, configuration, or updating. System resources are allocated only when required, and fixes (software or hardware) are smoothly applied in the background so the users don’t even have to think about them.

Rapid scalability

Businesses that aren’t using cloud processing can find it hard to grow quickly, because they’re held back by the performance of their systems. They can upgrade them as they go, but it’ll take time to make the changes and prove quite awkward from a practical standpoint. There are no such issues with Azure’s cloud scaling.

The moment one of your customers’ needs more power, it’s available to them. They’ll pay more for the increased resources, naturally, but otherwise, require no effort to secure them. This also works in the other direction, of course, allowing users to scale down their systems whenever they decide it’s worthwhile for whatever reason.

Exceptional security

Now more than ever before, system security must be a top priority for every business. Just one high-profile data leak can scare customers away and even lead to a company’s total failure. Relying entirely on a local system is dangerous for two reasons: firstly, it presents an obvious point of attack, and secondly, it risks data loss in the event of hardware failure.

Azure offers incredible customisation options, allowing users to take complete control over everything from data storage and accessibility to user control and monitoring. And with the platform overall using strong encryption and active protection against DdoS attacks, it’s a superior choice across the board for disaster recovery.

Hybrid configuration

Businesses with large on-premise installations can worry about the implications of moving to the cloud. Will those computational resources go to waste? And what about the data they’re not comfortable storing exclusively in the cloud? No matter how secure a system may be, it can never guarantee absolute protection from every conceivable type of attack.

Using Azure makes it possible to adopt a hybrid approach, storing data and running systems in the cloud and locally. The user simply needs to choose where they want things to be. This allows existing systems to remain useful following the move to the cloud, saving time and money.

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The enormous flexibility of the Azure platform

There is so much functionality packed into the Azure cloud platform that it would be all but impossible to capture it in just one piece, even if it were massively longer than this one. That level of complexity is a big reason why it’s important to focus on the core implementations we’ve looked at here — but in the long run, it’s vital to remember that Azure can do so much more.

Being so formidable in itself, and offering such rich integration with not only other Microsoft products but also numerous other third-party systems, Azure boasts unmatched potential when it comes to the provision of IT services. The more you work with it, the more you’ll come to understand just how much you can offer your clients as part of a move to Azure.

If you’re looking for some assistance with the use cases we’ve looked at here, or you’re eager to learn about more advanced applications of Azure architecture, feel free to consult our pre-sales team who can talk through your specific requirement.

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To take advantage of our December Azure incentive, plus loads more great benefits, sign up as an Expert Partner.

December Azure £500 Credit *Terms & Conditions

You must be signed as an intY Expert Partner to be applicable for this promotion. Receive £500 credit for every net new customer that spends £500 or more on Azure services (ACR- Azure Consumed Revenue) between 1st November – 31st December 2019. Offer limited to intY Expert Partners in the UK only. intY has a maximum pay-out limit – once this pot of funds has expired, the promotion will end. Credits are paid on a first come first serve basis. Credits will be made in February 2020. Partners will need to register via the webform by 31st December 2019. There is no limit to the number of net new customers this offer can apply to per partner. Trials are excluded. Partner must not have any outstanding or queried balances on account to redeem payment. Partner is responsible for any tax implications. intY has the right to withdraw this promotion at any time. E&OE.

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