by Jonathan Gardner
US Partner Technology Strategist for Microsoft Azure
The Microsoft Azure Partner Community is led by National Partner Technology Strategists from the Microsoft US Partner Team. Partner Community activities include blog posts, discussions on Yammer, newsletters, and community calls.
Managing Virtual Machines in Microsoft Azure
This month’s US Azure Partner Community focus is on managing Virtual Machines (VMs) in Microsoft Azure. We’ll take a look at using and managing VMs in a dev/test scenario with Visual Studio, managing images and snapshots, maximizing your Azure credits (a benefit of Microsoft Partner Network membership for Microsoft Action Pack subscribers and competency partners), and more.
In our conversations with both partners and customers, we continue to hear that most customers are still making a journey to the cloud, and they are at various stages of doing so. The opportunity for partners is to understand what the complete journey looks like and be the trusted advisor that allows them to take a path that is smooth and easy to travel.
VM management in the cloud
This topic sounds technical, but there is quite a bit of business opportunity here. With the shift to the cloud, it’s the right time to have a conversation with your customers about managed services. They are in the process of outsourcing the location of the VM, and that can be a natural transition into a conversation about outsourcing the management of those VMs, too.
With an opportunity like dev/test, the automation of scaling and scheduling can have a tremendous impact on the cost of the solution. Who better to help them manage that solution than the partner that helped them architect it? The tools that a partner would use in this scenario would scale across all of the customers that a partner would manage this solution for. A similar opportunity exists for image and snapshot management. Partners that work with their customers to develop a management strategy have the opportunity to pitch the natural extension of this to actually execute the strategy and maintain it for the client long-term.
From a cloud standpoint, the Managed Services business model represents a significant partner opportunity for profitability. See the “Your Future in the Cloud” blog post for more on this topic and the related resources, like the IDC Successful Cloud Partners ebook. I encourage you to approach this month’s topic of VM management with this Managed Services mindset of creating a standardized service that you can offer your customers.
On our next post in this series, my teammate Nick Johnson will talk about VM management and developer tools. Look for it later this week.
There is not a December call for the US Azure Partner Community, but you can register for our next call on Thursday, January 15.
On behalf of the US National Partner Technology Strategist team, I’d like to wish you and your family the very best this holiday season.