Azure Partner Community: addressing your top questions – Azure Site Recovery


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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.

Read part 1 of this blog series.

Azure Site Recovery partner opportunities

I grew up on the Gulf Coast, and one of the things I learned in grade school was how to plot map coordinates by tracking hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. There were more than a few unexpected family road trips to places further inland when we had to evacuate because of a storm. After the significant damage caused by storms and earthquakes over the past few years, the discussion about IT disaster recovery (DR) is a passionate one.

The discussion is not limited, though, to regions affected by natural disasters. Every business and agency that uses technology to serve customers and constituents needs a plan for disaster recovery. The challenge is doing it well. Many of the IT professionals working for our clients would prefer focus on the more immediate IT needs of their companies, and turn disaster recovery over to an expert. You can be that expert, using Azure Site Recovery.

Azure Site Recovery (ASR) changes the way IT performs disaster recovery, and these changes provide you with the opportunity to create high demand service offerings. In this post, I will cover two of these,  Architecture and Deployment, ASR and Managed Services. Learning about these may spark additional ideas for your business.

Creating an ASR Architecture and Deployment service offering

Architecting, implementing, and testing a disaster recovery scenario is outside the skillset of most internal IT organizations. Even those that dare to set it up on their own would likely feel more comfortable if their trusted partner could help them through the process. This kind of service offering would be just like a traditional project for a Systems Integrator.

Here is a rough outline for a plan to develop a service offering around ASR Architecture and Deployment:

  • The initial customer engagement would be a Disaster Recovery Assessment. This could be a defined session with a presales architect to take inventory of the environment, review current disaster recovery plan, conduct a white board session, and create a disaster recovery report. The session would establish a baseline and define customer needs.
  • The second engagement would be to architect, deliver, and test the ASR solution. Your engineering team and presales architects would create a standardized engagement model, estimating model, and standard deliverable.
  • With the defined set of deliverables and engagements, you can then have your marketing team define your audiences, create marketing materials and plans, and educate your sales team about how to position and sell the offering.

ASR and Managed Services

For success with the cloud, partners need to find right combination of business models for short-term profitability and cash flow and longer term valuation. Best practices for partners around adding Managed Services, or expanding the Managed Services they offer, are covered extensively in our Successful Cloud Partners ebook and in our Cloud Adoption playbook. Redmond Magazine has several articles about  Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

One of the ongoing tasks that is necessary for a successful DR plan is regular updates and testing. I have visited many clients that created a DR plan but did not regularly review it to determine whether it was still valid for their business. Even if plans are updated, they are often not tested with enough frequency for a smooth failover. For a partner, this is another excellent opportunity for a Managed Service offering.

Here is a rough outline for a plan to develop a service offering around this opportunity:

  • The first step is to define the services to be offered. There may be an initial onboarding and configuration project service, but the ongoing, managed service would be monitoring the system, frequent touch points to prevent configuration drift, and regular testing.
  • Once services are established, the deliverables and processes would come next, to outline the operational requirements. With all this in place, pricing could be determined.
  • This managed service would be a natural extension to a deployment project for DR, and could also be an extension for other infrastructure deployment projects.
  • With the defined set of deliverables and engagements, you can then have your marketing team define your audiences, create marketing materials and plans, and educate your sales team about how to position and sell the offering.

Intellectual Property and the IP Services business model

I have focused this discussion about disaster recovery on the Managed Services opportunity. Many cloud partners are experiencing the highest rate of return on their services that are built around Intellectual Property (IP) development. In the two examples above, each would generate IP that could be turned into a repeatable format, increasing the efficiency of any project or operational motion. You can then create pricing models that let you maximize the value of investments you’ve already made. Read more about how an IP strategy can benefit your cloud business in the Successful Cloud Partners ebook and Cloud Adoption playbook.

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The next Azure Partner Community call is on Thursday, March 19 at 9:00AM Pacific Time. We’ll take a closer look at creating Managed Services around Disaster Recovery and Azure RemoteApp, as well as the Immersion tools for Azure demos.

Register for the March 19 call

 

 

 

Previous Azure Partner Community topics

Focus on Office 365

Focus on Networking

Focus on Managing Virtual Machines

Focus on Migration to Azure

Comments (16)

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