If you followed the stream of Twitter updates during the 2017 Microsoft Cloud and Hosting Summit, you likely spotted daily updates from William Toll, VP of Product Management at Navisite. We invited William to share his takeaway on the summit and are thrilled to share his insights with the partner community.
Microsoft has always been a partner-led company. From the early days of Windows desktop deployments to the rapid rise of Windows Server, Microsoft depends on partners to develop the expertise to help organizations of all sizes leverage technology to advance their goals.
At the 2017 Microsoft Cloud and Hosting Summit, the Azure cloud party got bigger. When the cloud “crossed the chasm” in 2015 (a reference to the innovators curve), the conversation around Azure as the deployment model for IT turned from “if” to “when” for many organizations. But “when” could be this quarter, next year or the next decade.
Due to the skills and experience shortage, and the increasingly complexity of IT deployments and the push for automation, security and high availability, many organizations are turning to Microsoft partners to help them build their cloud strategy. I was not surprised to learn that 41% of the attendees of the Hosting and Cloud Summit were MSPs (Managed Service Providers). For over two decades, MSPs have driven the effort to make technology an enabler of productivity and digitization of all kinds of organizations.
But now the cloud promises not just technology driven productivity improvements but a faster time to market, lower risk, increases in revenue and better product and service quality.
The 451 Research study released at the Summit--Digital Transformation Opportunity for Service Providers: New Paths to “Beyond Infrastructure”-- highlights the numerous managed services that will be used in the coming years – from Disaster Recovery to infrastructure/application monitoring and alerting to backup and recovery management. While these use cases seem ordinary, the outsourcing of these services to managed services are freeing up businesses to speed up their digital transformation.
The “new normal” for businesses that have a competitive edge is to compete aggressively and increase market share while optimizing marketing, profit and customer service models – all at the same time. This can only be achieved when organizations make the leap to the cloud and leverage the assistance of managed service providers to operate their technology stacks. This frees up IT to provide more value to the organization, with, say, big data and analytics implementations or the personalization of customer service or the improvement of the production processes.
Now, with increasing pressure that the future brings from from IoT and sensor-based technology, machine learning and artificial intelligence, the mundane tasks of operating, monitoring, managing, securing and optimizing IT will almost always be outsourced to competent managed services providers.
I applaud the efforts of Microsoft and the Azure teams as they drive towards the vision of a better world, where the cloud unlocks the best possible outcomes for organizations and for the future of humanity.
About the Author
William Toll has held product management and marketing positions in the Web hosting and Internet infrastructure industry since the late 1990s. He now leads the Product Management team at Navisite, the leading international provider of managed cloud services for the enterprise including managed infrastructure as a service, managed applications and managed desktops as a service.
Most recently William was driving the product, marketing and communications strategies for ProfitBricks, a global cloud infrastructure services provider based in Berlin, Germany. Prior to ProfitBricks, William led the marketing efforts at Yottaa, a Boston-based startup in the CDN space. Prior to Yottaa he managed the small business products and marketing strategies for Navisite. In past positions at companies such as Affinity Internet, Inc., Intermedia.NET, and NTT/VERIO, William was the driving force in launching services including: Hosting services, Microsoft Exchange and hosting add-on services like online marketing and Web design. William received a BA in Marketing from New England College in Arundel, UK.
Follow William on Twitter @utollwi and LinkedIn.