Super Manager Services – The ABC to Azure

By August 1, 2017Uncategorized

Breaking down Azure Managed Services

Many organisations are turning to Microsoft partners for help with their digital transformation
Here are 6 Microsoft Azure opportunities for you to consider when you start a managed services practice:

  • Cloud assessment and planning
  • Cloud migration/deployments
  • Infrastructure operations management
  •  Monitoring
  • Cost optimization
  • Security

The cornerstone of a managed services practice is exactly as the name implies: Services. Those looking to begin an MSP practice need to figure out what kind of services they want to offer. Whether you want to simply provide basic cloud support, or you want to start a full service  SP practice by offering everything from assessments to advanced security solutions, there is room in the MSP world for your business.

Most Azure MSPs offer six discrete areas of functional support, as outlined below. Their managed services offerings are developed by combining these functions in the form of service packages. Within each function, there is a spectrum of services that MSPs can provide, depending on their customer needs and their capabilities. Here we will discuss each of these functions in detail through the lens of some potential customer questions.

Cloud assessment and planning

HOW DO I GET MORE SPEED, AGILITY AND PERFORMANCE FOR MY IT ASSETS?
Most Azure MSPs offer six discrete areas of functional support, as outlined below. Their managed services offerings are developed by combining these functions in the form of service packages. Within each function, there is a spectrum of services that MSPs can provide, depending on their customer needs and their capabilities. Here we will discuss each of these functions in detail through the lens of some potential customer questions.

Cloud migration/deployments

WILL YOU MIGRATE MY WORKLOADS TO AZURE? WILL YOU TAKE CARE OF ARCHITECTURE CHANGES IN ORDER TO MEET THE RELIABILITY, SCALABILITY, AND AVAILABILITY REQUIREMENTS?
The deployment offering of an MSP practice means leaving behind the world of plans and tests and venturing into the realm of taking action. While everything looks good on paper, it’s the successful zero-downtime migration of a production application—with live users—that forms the trust test, ultimately determining whether the migration is labeled a success or a failure. This is the point in the cloud journey where data will be migrated and apps will be decommissioned, re-platformed, remediated or consolidated—all while providing a seamless experience for the customer.

Infrastructure operations management – the nuts and bolts of managed services

WILL YOU BACK UP ALL MY DATA AND PROVIDE DISASTER RECOVERY TO MY MISSION CRITICAL APPLICATIONS IN CASE OF OUTAGES?
Now that the customer’s data is in cloud, your real responsibilities begin —ongoing operations management. As part of this offering, you provide the base management services your customers are looking for: automation and orchestration, patching updates, configuration management, backup and disaster recovery, and identity management. Customers expect all of these tasks to be ‘managed’ by their partner.

Monitoring – keep an eye on your customer’s IT environment

HOW CAN I ACTUALLY MONITOR ALL OF MY HOSTED AND INTERNAL IT ASSETS?
Most mid-market and enterprise organizations simply do not have the time, resources, or dedicated staff required to monitor every aspect of IT, and this is where MSPs add the most value. While Azure offers many monitoring capabilities built within the platform – there is still a place for partners who (a) provide additional, deeper monitoring tooling, (b) triage the false positives from the real alerts and (c) proactively act upon the alerts before any measurable loss in performance.

 Cost optimization – the bottom line

HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST?
This is the bottom line question you will get as an MSP. Helping customers manage their cloud spend and make sense of their Azure bill is a critical service. If you can efficiently attribute your customer’s spend to different projects, departments, teams, applications and cost centers you can demonstrate the true monetary value of your practice.

 Security

DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE THE TOOLS AND EXPERTISE TO EFFECTIVELY GET AHEAD OF SECURITY THREATS?
The current digital security landscape for businesses can accurately be described in one word: complicated. More numerous and advanced threats, more nebulous and complex compliance requirements, more difficult and intricate infrastructure to secure. Simply put: keeping data, workloads, and users secure is more than a full time job and organizations are having trouble keeping up. That’s where managed services comes in to save the day.

For more information on Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Partner Program, please contact us on Microsoft.csp@firstdistribution.co.za

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