In the first two parts of this post, I wrote about the speed to market, as well as the lower cost of entry as key pillars for why SMB organizations and Microsoft partners are embracing the cloud as the delivery vehicle for their business solutions. As we continue to uncover the business benefits for the cloud, and specifically Azure, it’s time to build out the next business benefit in the series…
Business benefit #3: Scale & Reach
For SMB organizations, scale and reach may not seem like a big deal, especially when the capability is essentially limitless. Many SMB organizations don’t think of themselves as “global” companies, but there are a ton of SMBs who have multiple locations. Where we have multiple locations, there’s an opportunity to build out cost-effective solutions deployed in a cloud platform solution, like Azure. Providing technology solutions to a single organization with multiple locations can often-times create a significant challenge when the company is looking at deploying a new business capability as an on-premises solutions because of connectivity costs and administration between offices. Perhaps a better solution would be to build that new capability in the cloud. Accessibility from anywhere is as simple as having a connection to the Internet.
Additionally, let’s talk about a scenario where a company has a cyclical business environment where there a peaks and valleys in usage. As example, let’s say that our fictional SMB company, Contoso, is a tax accounting firm. During the spring, and perhaps other certain times of the year, they really have a need for additional capacity to meet tax deadlines.
In an on-premises deployment, Contoso would need to purchase equipment that provides for the peak level of usage. But during non-peak times of the calendar, there’s a ton of excess capacity that goes unused.
For that same solution in the Azure, Contoso can either scale up or scale out, based on their needs, and for just the period of time that they need. When they need more capacity, they can grab it. When tax season winds down, Contoso can reduce the capabilities they are paying for which ultimately results in significant savings.
As a Microsoft partner, there’s an opportunity for you here to help your SMB customer. Remember I wrote about the significant way that partners help customers is by helping companies like Contoso either make money, or save money.
Think about the scenarios above, and how you might be able to attach actual financial impact for your customers, and allow them to work more effectively, be more productive, with less infrastructure costs.
I suggest working through a cost/benefit analysis with your customers to make sure that you are quantifying the value for your customer, and then use that to build out a managed services option for you to maintain and administer that environment to drive additional value for your Contoso.
*Source: David Chappell & Associates ‘Benefits & Risks of Cloud Platforms for Business Leaders’
In part 4 of this topic, we’ll chat about a business benefit of “more intelligent IT spending”.
Please be sure to bookmark this series home page at https://aka.ms/buildyourazurepractice to subscribe or catch up on previous posts.
Terry Stein, Azure Partner Channel Development Manager; @TerryStein_MSFT