How Managed Service Providers Are Driving Microsoft Azure Adoption

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How Managed Service Providers Are Driving Microsoft Azure Adoption

Cloud platform as a service Microsoft Azure is growing fast, according to a new survey from cloud services company NetEnrich. In its survey of more than 80 IT professionals who work for large and midmarket enterprises, NetEnrich found that many companies are running at least a part of their computing infrastructure on Azure, and some are relying on Azure to support mission-critical solutions. Those companies have found Azure provides cost savings and business-continuity featuress. Furthermore, business operation managers have discovered that Azure frees up time and resources that the IT department can use to work on other important business initiatives. The NetEnrich study helps explain why Microsoft reported that Azure generated $6.9 billion in its second fiscal quarter. NetEnrich estimates the service’s usage will explode in the coming years.

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Gauging Azure’s Popularity

In its survey, NetEnrich asked IT professionals how they’re using Azure and found 46 percent are running at least half of their IT infrastructure on Azure, a number that could grow considerably.

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Valuing the MSP

Enterprises are not adopting Azure without help. NetEnrich reported that 67 of respondents  plan to deploy Azure within the next year with help from managed service providers (MSPs). They will either transfer their businesses applications to Azure or manage their cloud and on-premises environments through the cloud with help from MSPs.

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Smaller Consultants Are Also Winning Cloud Migration Business

Interestingly, smaller consultants still appeal to companies eyeing the cloud. In fact, 63 percent of companies say they would rather work with “small, nimble service providers or individual consultants” than larger MSPs.

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Why Companies Work with MSPs

NetEnrich found that 72 percent of IT professionals work with MSPs for Azure to manage their security, backups and disaster-recovery planning. Nearly two-thirds rely on MSPs for Azure to handle discovery and inventory of IT resources, and 59 percent rely on their channel partners for cost assessment and ROI.

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How Business Are Using Azure

Looking ahead to the next year, 37 percent of IT professionals say they plan to use Azure to “support development and test environments.” More than a third of respondents want Azure to help them with data center support.

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Businesses Have Some Concerns About Azure

Security and privacy were cited by 30 percent of IT professionals as the top challenges they worry about when looking to deploy Azure. Another 28 percent of IT professionals are concerned about their budgets.

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Analyzing Azure Purchases

Azure-related purchases will kick into high gear in the next year. In fact, 35 percent of IT professionals say they plan to buy tools that will help them move to Azure. Another 35 percent plan to buy “cloud analysis and optimization tools” as part of their Azure deployment, and 28 percent of companies say they will rely on cloud-monitoring tools for their Azure rollout.

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Upcoming Azure Benefits

Microsoft Azure could present several benefits, survey respondents say. Forty-seven percent of IT professionals believe Azure could deliver total cost of ownership reductions, better availability of data and business continuity they might not have right now.

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Cost-Savings Is Top Azure Benefit

According to NetEnrich, 35 percent of IT professionals believe the “greatest” Azure benefit they’ll realize in the next one to two years is cost savings, which will free money and time on other important business needs.

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Office 365 Has an Important Role

The NetEnrich survey revealed that Office 365 integration into Azure is critical. In fact, 79 percent of respondents say the ability for Azure to “interconnect” with Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite is “extremely important.”

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Amazon Chime Takes Aim at WebEx, Skype in Online Conferencing

Amazon’s efforts to expand its presence in the enterprise are once again in the spotlight after it introduced the Amazon Chime web conference and collaboration service on Feb. 13. The service, which is available for free to small work teams but carries a per-user-per-month subscription fee for larger organizations, is a full-featured communications platform that includes video conferences, audio conferences and chat rooms. Users are even able to share files through the service. Since it works on PCs, Macs and mobile devices, Chime is accessible just about anywhere. Amazon is admittedly entering an exceedingly competitive market dominated by the likes of Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Skype. But Amazon is betting that its service, delivered from its global cloud service, will provide a reliable service that attracts small businesses as well as large enterprises. This slide show will look at the...
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