Friday, September 29th 2017 by Kirill Bensonoff
The cloud is here to stay — you simply can’t compete with a solution that ensures clients never run out of memory, need more processing power or lose data because of an issue at a specific physical location. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have realized that cloud solutions have the potential to make them more agile, scalable and flexible than traditional on-premise hardware solutions or dedicated hosting facilities.

With core systems residing in the cloud, they can scale up a new site, onboard a new employee or double their traffic without any delays or investment in equipment that’s outdated the second they open the box. Most companies also realize they don’t want to spend their resources staying up to date on the latest cloud developments and managing a jumble of licenses, contracts and agreements. They just want what they want and they want it to work.

This is where the huge opportunity — and accompanying set of challenges — lies for MSPs. By functioning as an extension of your clients’ IT departments and being a subject matter on all things cloud, MSPs are in a unique position to capitalize on the rapid growth of cloud services while increasing their margins as they, too, shift from hardware-centric solutions.

And with a 35.6 percent growth rate in 2017 (according to Gartner), the Infrastructure-as-a-Service industry isn’t just a fad or passing trend, it’s serious business that is growing at exponential rates. This is quite simply where your business needs to be.

Leveraging the Microsoft brand and functionality

For many clients, the Microsoft cloud ecosystem is the perfect answer for moving to the cloud. As an established, trusted brand, many companies are far more comfortable working with their solutions vs. newcomers Google or Amazon. While Google is focused on search algorithms and ad networks and Amazon tried to deliver Whole Foods produce to your front door with a drone, Microsoft has been dutifully serving the business user since the 1970s.

Microsoft also has a unique advantage that other cloud offerings simply can’t touch—delivering Microsoft Office functionality with Office 365, the cloud-driven offering that recently overtook traditional Microsoft Office licenses. Combining these mission-critical applications used by 1.2 billion people with the flexibility, versatility and robustness of Microsoft Azure, MSPs can check all the boxes with cloud solutions from Microsoft.

There’s a reason Microsoft’s Azure-related revenue grew 97 percent in the most recent quarter. Even if your clients don’t need the full suite of functionality that Azure brings to the table on Day One, you can meet their demands as they arise with virtual machines, databases and storage that can grow as their needs while using Azure’s Networking to ensure performance never wavers, and the Apps Service to deploy new cloud-based apps give their employees and customers access to the information they need on the platforms they use most.

Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider Program makes it easy to help clients dip their toes in with Office 365 or make the full cloud plunge with an Azure migration. This is great news for MSPs, who can easily realize 10 percent to 20 percent margins on these deals, but it also means smaller players are entering the market since the overhead requirements of the last technology generation are no longer required.

Establish your MSP as a cloud leader

Don’t wait for your clients move to the cloud without you. Lead them there armed with the tools and solutions you need to make your cloud migration and management offering as scalable, responsive and profitable as possible.

Join us for our free webinar to learn more about how your MSP business can leverage Microsoft Azure and Office 365 to grow your business and client engagements. From which billing model makes the most sense for you to tips on automating services to provide stellar customer experiences without adding headcount and additional resources, this session is jam-packed with actionable information you can immediately apply to your strategic planning and operations.

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