Whether you’re planning to try Microsoft Azure or you’re looking for a partner to help you better optimize your current Azure deployment, a managed services provider (MSP) can help. Microsoft defines a cloud MSP as “someone who helps their customer transition to (and embrace) this [cloud computing] paradigm shift in technology—by guiding them in all aspects of their cloud journey. From consulting to migrations, to operations management, cloud MSPs show customers all the benefits that come with cloud adoption.” A specialized Microsoft MSP offers 7 key benefits that can help you make the most of your Microsoft Azure solutions.
1. Assessing Microsoft Azure Opportunities
The planning phase of a Microsoft Azure migration is critical, and a managed services provider can help guide you through the process. From conducting a cloud-readiness assessment to understanding your business applications and technology environment, an MSP can help you design and deploy a solution that’s custom designed to your unique needs. With the right data architecture design and feature identification, you’ll get immediate value from your Azure deployment.
2. Drive Your Migration
One of the challenges organizations struggle with when moving to a cloud solution like Microsoft Azure is overseeing the migration. From ensuring a smooth data migration to re-platforming applications to run in the cloud, it’s important to have the right expertise for a fast, smooth migration. An MSP can build on your initial assessment to provide the support for a zero-downtime migration through supporting migration planning, strategy, and execution that’s built on best practices and takes your specific goals and unique environment into consideration.
3. Reducing Costs
IT departments always have an eye on the bottom line. Working with a managed services provider can help reduce expenses in several ways. Hiring, training, and retaining Azure experts can be expensive; with an MSP, companies get access to a deep well of certified and experienced Microsoft Azure experts on demand without having to add full-time resources to their internal headcount. In addition, with an MSP overseeing your Azure deployments, your existing IT team can reduce their day-to-day management workload and have more time to focus on strategic IT initiatives—all while keeping your costs in check. In addition, MSPs offer access to special discounts and simplified billing that can add additional savings to the bottom line.
4. Consolidate Management and Billing
A managed services provider simplifies all the different aspects of your Microsoft Azure relationship with a single point of contact. Whether you have a technical question or a billing one, your busy IT team will have a single point of contact who knows the account, understands the product, and can work with them to efficiently resolve any issues. It’s possible to access savings when purchasing annual subscriptions to an Azure Reserved Instance, for example. Connection is currently offering a three-month free promotion, including managed service provider solutions, that can help you trial Microsoft Azure and determine if it’s a long-term fit for your needs.
5. Get Support When You Need It
IT support is critical. Unplanned downtime or an unexpected error can negatively impact your customers, employees, and larger organization. A managed services provider will leverage advanced tools to track your system’s performance and actively manage issues when they arise. A dedicated account manager will simplify your communications. When a crisis or issue arises where you need help, Microsoft Azure MSPs offer 24×7 service with fast response times. The right partner offers flexible, multi-channel support to resolve your issues by phone, email, or live chat.
6. Proactive, Real-time Monitoring
Today’s cloud ecosystems are complex, and without the right tools, it can be hard to stay on top of the health of your Azure deployment. A Microsoft Azure MSP will leverage an advanced suite of tools to keep a pulse on the health and activity of your systems. An MSP can monitor all nodes and any devices with an IP address. In addition, they’ll track the overall health and uptime of your deployment, ensuring that your disk space, CPU utilization, and other factors are optimal. In addition, they’ll check for events such as configuration changes, restarts, and backups. They will also monitor applications for performance, bandwidth, anomalies, and other issues to optimize performance at the application level.
7. Regular, Detailed Reporting
In today’s data-driven landscape, having access to regular reporting is crucial. Whether you’re informing your decisions moving forward or providing reports to your executive team, an MSP provides you with monthly reporting on the health of your account, key actions taken, and identifying the need for changes moving forward. Regular, detailed reporting can be time consuming—and working with a Managed Services Provider provides a regular data cadence while minimizing the time your team spends creating the reports that your leadership and operations teams need.
Working with an MSP like Connection can help your organization reach its goals with Microsoft Azure more cost effectively and efficiently, as well as to maximize performance. From reducing your IT spending to ensuring that you have access to 24×7 monitoring and customer support, managed services providers offer specialty support that can help you get more out of Microsoft Azure.