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Empower your business to succeed in the cloud era with Microsoft Azure

Author: Apay Obang-Oyway, Director of Cloud & Software, UK&I, Ingram Micro

No matter where you are in your cloud journey there’s no getting away from the fact that demand for cloud services from end users is growing hard and fast. With this sea change, the role of the technology reseller is dramatically changing. Whether you consider yourself ‘traditional’ in the reseller mould, or identify as more ‘born in the Cloud’ – the opportunity to profit from Cloud services is at an all-time high.

From a base of $48 billion in 2008, the worldwide public cloud services market has grown to $209 billion in 2016, and Gartner predicts consistent growth to continue, reaching over $380 billion by 2020. In the UK, according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), overall cloud adoption among businesses of all sizes now stands at 88%, with 67% of users expecting to increase their use of cloud by March 2018. Since 2010, the cloud adoption rate has increased by 83%.

This explicit opportunity for value added resellers, systems integrators, managed service providers and ISVs cannot be undersold; now is the time to elevate yourself as a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). If you are already an established CSP, there is no better time to accelerate your offering focused heavily on Infrastructure as a Service practice. Today, this next step in digital transformation is no longer an option for channel partners, but an essential part of the journey towards seizing the opportunity and guaranteeing a profitable future. The market is promising rapid business growth for those that succeed, and those that fail to advance will be left behind.

Remove complexity – add consultancy

In order to realise the potential of Cloud Computing services like Azure, the channel needs to shift its view of fulfilling infrastructure requirements via transactional methodology, towards providing professional services that enable high value business outcomes quickly and efficiently. Far from becoming a threat to channel players,Infrastructure-as-a-Service has instead given the community an enhanced role in their customers and certainly, the opportunity considerably outweighs the risk.

To achieve this, resellers should focus on growing capability, capacity and scalability, and on unlocking the value of your business and your people’s experience and expertise to deliver greater value to a much wider audience base. Increasingly, the conversation is more about how businesses can benefit from advanced workloads powered by the cloud in terms of agility, innovation, customer service and competitiveness in their market.

No matter where you are in your cloud journey, the mantra for the channel is now to remove the complexity and uncertainty of digital transformation for your customers, and to add expertise and value-added consultancy. And while for traditional resellers there may be some transformation required, the new model offers far greater rewards and opportunities for growth than sticking with the incumbent model. For experienced CSPs, wrapping around valuable expanded services and helping your customers to make the move to an increasingly cloud-based IT estate will elevate your business to trusted advisor in the cloud.

Azure for traditional and born-in-the-cloud partners

Even if your reseller business is at the very beginning of becoming a CSP, or even one that has a decade’s experience under its belt, the emergence of Microsoft Azure has broken down several barriers to adoption like no other before it.

The Microsoft Azure cloud platform enables resellers to deliver applications and services to your customers with a secure, lower risk and familiar environment. The specialised operating system eases the transition to cloud by supporting a hybrid approach; resellers can develop, manage and deploy their cloud services from a unified interface with ease and simplicity.

You are likely to be well aware of the myriad of benefits to be had from moving to a cloud model – they’re often the same reasons why your customers are making the move too. Cloud migration is no mean feat, and should be supported by a master Cloud service provider that can guide you through the transition, from changing the business mind set through to supporting sales via a specialised accounts and billing platform and even encompassing marketing and full staff technical and business training and enablement.

For established CSPs, Microsoft Azure enables you to take the next step in growing your business. This is your opportunity to grow a larger customer base, deliver higher value business services and enjoy a stable, long term revenue stream from service subscriptions.

With a focus on high reliability, operational excellence, cost-effectiveness, environmental sustainability, and a trustworthy online experience for customers and partners worldwide.

The Azure platform delivers:

•  increased scalability, with no big upfront investments and easily expandable services
•  elasticity, enabling bursting and maintaining a balance between license need and license cost
•  resilience, with enhanced continuity, stability and security through cost-effective redundant and non-location dependent architectures.

In a nutshell – how Ingram Micro Cloud can help

Ingram Micro Cloud’s channel-only model is designed to support you throughout the sales cycle, offering customisable marketing and demand generation programmes and an ever-growing portfolio of cloud services. This is augmented by our technology delivery team for expert pre-sales support and complementary white-labelled professional and managed service offerings, enabling you to build a differentiated solution and deliver real value to your customers.

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2018