It’s probably no surprise, but there was significant buzz at this year’s Microsoft World Partner Conference (WPC) related to partner-led, go-to-market Azure scenarios. There was more than one breakout session focused on the topic, as well as various meetings and conversations across the expo floor. From those discussions, we learned there are three services that really leverage Azure to deliver innovation, solve customer needs and profit from opportunities.
Advisory services support companies and end users that are trying to best leverage the cloud, as well as those that are already in the cloud and looking to differentiate and build efficiency. Some companies that use advisory services may already have a digital strategy, but it hasn’t been formalized across the organization. In many cases, IT isn’t requesting the advisement, and it’s a request from within the organization. Advisory services focused on differentiation and experimentation with new technologies and solutions that meet business needs. These solutions are often driven through entrepreneurship and include design thinking, learning, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing innovative technologies that solve new business problems, while leveraging Microsoft Azure and delivering the technology through a cloud service provider (CSP) program.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and data and analytics were two project services that were top of mind for many at WPC. Gartner is forecasting more than 20 billion connected “things” by 2020, which International Data Corporation (IDC) equates to a $1.3 trillion market opportunity. Two of the more popular connecting points are operational efficiency and improved customer experience, which are delivered through Azure services focused on remote monitoring, predictive analysis and asset management. When it comes to data and analytics services, business intelligence (BI) is the focus. Data is everywhere and the struggle on how to best leverage it continues to be a topic for discussion. Embedding BI into strategic business processes can differentiate an organization allowing for improvements across core and edge data sets.
As contracts for managed services are coming up for renewal, many companies are wondering if they are getting the best combination of price and technology. Is the managed service provider (MSP) leveraging the cloud to drive increased efficiency and decreased costs? The opportunity with Azure and managed services is to disrupt or be disrupted by a hybrid cloud offering as part of a managed services contract to drive operational expense (OpEx) savings.
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The opportunity with Azure and Managed Services is to “disrupt or be disrupted” with an increased propensity to offer some form of hybrid cloud as part of a managed services contract to drive opex savings.