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Moving customers to Azure cloud – the big opportunity for 2021


Johannesburg, 17 Feb 2021
Read time 3min 10sec

The new normal of remote work presents a great opportunity for channel players to help customers move from on-premises to public clouds, enabling them to cut costs, easily scale and support a dispersed workforce.

So says Natasha Bezuidenhout, Microsoft Brand Executive at First Distribution. “First Distribution supports our channel partners in unpacking the total cost of ownership and architecture for strategic moves to cloud, and we are seeing growing interest in the benefits the public cloud can offer local businesses,” she says.

“A significant opportunity is emerging among smaller and mid-sized businesses. While vendors and channel players tend to overlook this market segment, we’re seeing some of these businesses struggling to manage databases and workloads. Now more than ever before, SMBs need the scalability, manageability and TCO benefits the public cloud can offer them.

“This is an ideal time for businesses to move to cloud, particularly as they grapple with the challenge of maintaining physical infrastructure amid curfews and the new remote work environment,” she says. “Most organisations are focusing on cutting costs, so moving to the cloud allows them to cut back on, or redeploy the resources they might need for maintaining physical infrastructure. The larger benefit will be to optimise costs and resource requirements on the go through capex budget reductions, from traditional infrastructure investments and licensing, ensuring that they have the right-sized capacity to get the best out of the applications and databases they use.”

A good way to overcome any caution about the public cloud is to start by moving non-business critical workloads first, such as Windows servers, backup and data recovery requirements. This allows businesses to gain confidence with hyperscale public cloud and truly embrace the benefits, she says.

“Microsoft Azure boasts an enticing combination of IaaS and PaaS services for organisations seeking to harness public cloud,” Bezuidenhout says.

“IaaS enables businesses to outsource their infrastructure on Azure's pay for what they use model, and PaaS lets them create their own Web apps and solutions without buying hardware outright and the maintenance associated to the underlying infrastructure.”

“We are seeing one of the critical business requirements associated with resilience. The way in which the estate is architected plays a fundamental role. When we look at the main reasons why a customer would consider moving workloads into hyperscaler models, I would base it on four key benefits: security, scalability and ductility, integrated environment with other Microsoft tools, and cost efficiency.”

Bezuidenhout adds: “Azure is the best way for start-ups to use and access high powered compute services without breaking the bank or committing to expensive hardware over the long term. When looking at dev and test workloads, we know that Azure from a platform perspective allows for modernisation and ease of use.”

“Hyperscalers provide benefits in which cloud adoption is facilitated. Each vendor has a unique value proposition. When we look at how First Distribution is supporting the channel in making these cloud discussions with customers much more effective, we have extracted various sales plays, which are top of mind in a business decision-making discussion. We offer the ability to further unpack TCO through assessment of the current estate to clearly illustrate the benefits the cloud will offer business.”

For more information, please contact us on (+27) 11 540 2640 or e-mail us at microsoft.leads@firstdistribution.com

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