IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Answering the Whys, Whats, and Whens for Cloud Migration

Building a successful cloud practice can set you up for success by making your clients flexible, scalable, and adaptable, while adding value to your portfolio. By Joseph Landes

MSPs are often hesitant to make the move to the cloud due to a lack of available information about pricing, deployment, and technical requirements. However, much like that chore you keep putting off, the longer you wait to make this move, the worse off you will be in the long run, the less adaptable you will be to change, and the less future proof your clients will be. 

Even before COVID-19, moving to the cloud was a task that many organizations prioritized as part of their digital transformation strategies. The pandemic further catalyzed this need and has forced many organizations to rely on cloud technologies and services for remote work. As an MSP, it’s important to deliver services and technologies that your clients move into the future, maintain competitive advantages, and avoid being left behind. It’s time to move to the cloud.

How You Can Do It

There are best practices for starting a cloud migration journey. If you’re helping clients move to the cloud for the first time, understanding how to transact in Azure is critical. This includes becoming familiar with all the Azure resources—how they work, how each is billed, how to architect an Azure IT environment, and most importantly, how to make money.

Two common approaches are bundling and resale. You can provide customers with a complete solution that includes infrastructure running in Azure, software licensing, and managed services—all for a fixed monthly subscription cost on a per-user, per-device basis, or some other unit of value. Or you can bundle your managed services and resell Azure infrastructure separately from the managed services agreement.

There are several bundle plus resale benefits for MSPs:

  • Reduce the effort and technical experience needed during the pre-sale process by offering well-developed packages, eliminating the need for individual quotes.
  • Enhance the buyer and prospecting experience by having set prices.
  • Significantly save costs by understanding the levers that are available to optimize Azure costs and increase your margins. This can include becoming a cloud solution provider (CSP) to take advantage of the CSP program benefits and learning about Azure Reservations to increase 10%-20% margins of total Azure consumption.

Similarly, there are bundle and resale benefits for customers:

  • MSPs are experts in the cloud and can offer the most efficient solutions based on use case.
  • MSPs maintain full management capabilities to quickly resolve issues.
  • MSPs have access to Microsoft support resources which, if the customer bought on their own, would cost extra.
  • MSPs have access to discounts and cost optimization tools not available to the public
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