How the cloud has taken over the market
Ways of doing business have been evidently changing at an ever-growing pace, and competition is becoming quite fierce. That's why companies nowadays prefer to focus on core business values rather than on building and supporting data centers and other infrastructure. More and more IT tasks are being outsourced these days. In fact, this trend is not unique to the IT industry. It is a legitimate result of human evolution. No one today would wish to build a personal power plant or gas station. Even such functions as accounting are increasingly being outsourced to dedicated contractors who can handle routine tasks better and at a lower cost due to their narrow specialization.
Large cloud providers such as Microsoft build giant data centers around the world, enabling companies of all sizes to get the resources they need at the right time with flexible pay-per-use pricing. Due to economies of scale, providers can save on the total cost of hardware and its maintenance. They can also automate many processes and solve most of the typical customer problems in a more efficient way.
For instance, even such a simple arrangement as a virtual server includes guaranteed fault tolerance, maintenance, regular backup & updates, and security. These are top-notch services that spare you from non-core activities and, most importantly, let you save on investment in on-premises infrastructure.
However, computing power and file storage as a service are just the start. Microsoft also offers a wide range of out-of-the-box services like databases, data processing, machine learning, software development, testing, and many others. You do not need to configure and maintain anything yourself: just pay for the service and forget about supporting it.
In our volatile world, epidemics, economic turmoil or any other reason may stimulate your business or give it a major blow. In this situation, an ability to scale IT resources up of down within seconds could be your competitive edge.
What is the role of Softline?
Softline is an international company certified by Microsoft as an Azure Expert MSP (Managed Services Provider). This supreme status was awarded after third-party auditors testified that Softline has sufficient knowledge, experience, and the right customer service/ support to provide managed cloud services across the regions where we operate.
As a major reseller, we can also supply customers with any supplementary products and develop custom IT solutions. For example, we can install physical servers for a hybrid architecture, or seamlessly integrate any database or on-premises back-up and replication system with the Microsoft cloud.
Now let us tell you about the specific services from Softline that can help your company embrace the cloud. You can order service packages or specific services if you implemented other stages of migration in-house or with the help of other partners.
Stage 1. Cloud readiness assessment
The pros of cloud services cannot be ignored. But when a company is just about to start a cloud journey, its senior management needs to determine how IT systems can be migrated without disrupting the current processes, which systems can be moved to the cloud, how long the migration would take, and how much it would cost. A leap into the unknown in this situation would make little sense. First, you need to review your IT environment, understand what the cloud is, and then assess its costs and benefits to find out the areas of its potential use in a particular business.
Sometimes your in-house IT staff can do the job. However, since the company had never worked with the cloud before, it is highly likely that company specialists may make a wrong judgment. In the worst-case scenario, they may even sabotage the project due to the fear of staff cuts.
But you always have an option of contacting Softline. We have delivered hundreds of such projects and can give a fast and clear answer to the question of whether you should move to the cloud. If you should, we can help assess your needs and plan the migration based on performance requirements, financial, time, and legal constraints, and any specific requests.
Stage 2. Cloud migration services
After receiving theoretical information about the planned transition to the cloud, the customer can move to the second stage i.e. the actual migration. Softline experts perform all the work involved on a turnkey basis.
- Planning. Softline develops the project architecture, have it approved by the customer, and then facilitates the interaction between people, processes, and tools.
- Preparation. Once the customer subscribes to cloud services, Softline specialists configure access to resources, deploy basic services, and set up automation tools.
- Migration. A stage-by-stage migration is performed, functionality and application performance are tested.
- Start of commercial operation. The system is put into commercial operation, and local resources substituted by the cloud may now be disconnected.
Depending on the infrastructure size and architecture, each stage may last from a few days to several months.
Stage 3. Cloud infrastructure management services
Suppose you have already moved to the cloud, and the hardest part of the journey is over. However, to get the most out of your cloud environment, you need to maintain it in an optimum condition. To this end, you can delegate all cloud management and maintenance tasks to the Softline team. This includes monitoring, cost optimization, compliance checks, interaction with Microsoft support in English and so on.
Aren't you paying too much and can't you get even better performance at the same cost?
Cloud Environment Health Check-up
If the cloud has already become a familiar part of your life, remember that no matter how good it is, it can be made even better. This is especially true when it comes to finances. You need an independent professional opinion to identify any bottlenecks and improvement opportunities. Softline, one of the few companies worldwide certified by Microsoft as Azure Expert MSP, has ample experience in such projects and can provide a sound assessment of
- costs and performance,
- security and compliance,
- IT architecture, and
- opportunities for licensing optimization.
Keep in mind that your company is evolving, and so are its staff, business processes, and priorities. An annual audit will allow you to measure the progress and correct the emerging mistakes, which may be not so obvious at first glance. And if no major flaws are detected, you would rest assured that your infrastructure is fine and receive personal recognition and respect from the Softline team.
Whether you are contemplating migration to the cloud, have made a decision to move or have already acted on it, you may stay focused on your core activities and we will take care of the rest.