Cloud technologies offer an attractive pricing model when it comes to capitol expenses, but they also bring operational costs that can add up considerably over time. These fees are well worth it, but only when cloud systems are contributing directly to value creation for your business. Microsoft has long been the dominant technology provider in the enterprise world, and this experience has positioned the company to offer cloud services that are especially valuable for modern businesses.
Managed service providers who are certified Microsoft Cloud Services Partners can help you identify the specific solutions that will be most beneficial for your organization, but four Microsoft cloud systems that are particularly well suited for value creation include:
1. Office 365
Giving employees access to all of the solutions they’ve been using for years – Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc. – in the cloud offers them a fully-featured productivity suite without having to learn a new interface. Office 365 provides the features and functionality of Microsoft’s leading productivity solutions through the web. It also includes the ability to save files in the cloud, making them accessible on varied devices so employees can work anywhere, anytime.
The flexibility offered by Office 365 offers value creation on its own, but what makes it especially noteworthy is that you won’t have to train employees to work with an alternative app. Technology is changing quickly in the enterprise, and being able to give users something familiar can help them deal with the transition to the cloud with greater ease.
2. Microsoft Azure
Azure is an expansive cloud platform ecosystem that can serve as the foundation for a wide variety of services. For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to focus on the cloud services platform aspect of Azure.
Businesses face a growing challenge in their need to host, run and create a wide range of apps and services. Applications are increasingly the currency of the enterprise technology landscape. Users can access cloud apps on almost any connected device, creating a situation where location and infrastructure matter less than they have in the past. Giving users apps that meet their day-to-day needs, on the other hand, is critical. Azure provides a secure, flexible platform that businesses can use to rollout cloud apps rapidly, customize solutions as needed and even develop proprietary apps quickly.
3. Enterprise Mobility Suite
The Enterprise Mobility Suite resides within Azure, making it an optional service that you can obtain when using Azure, and its focus is on maximizing the potential value of smartphones and tablets in the enterprise. This is done in a few key ways, including:
- Single-sign on functionality that allows users to login once and have access to all of their apps and services. This allows organizations to provide robust security without having to inconvenience users with multiple layers of passwords that lead to them taking shortcuts that put data at risk.
- Device management functionality that enables organizations to work with iOS, Android and Windows 10 devices from a central console.
- Flexibility to segregate personal and work apps and services so users can focus on productivity.
- Built-in encryption tools to keep data safe at all times, even if a data breach occurs.
4. Skype for Business
Microsoft Skype for Business takes the simple instant messaging and videoconferencing capabilities that made the application popular in the first place and delivers it with security and productivity features that only Microsoft can offer. Full integration with Outlook is especially noteworthy here, as Skype for Business can take contacts, status updates and scheduling details from Outlook and carry them into the communications app. At the same time, users can jump directly from productivity apps like PowerPoint and Office into videoconferences and text chats.
Microsoft’s cloud portfolio is vast, and all of its solutions can pay dividends in the right situation. These are five of the most universally beneficial Microsoft cloud systems available. MSPs who are recognized as Certified Microsoft Cloud Services Providers can help you analyze your business, get a clear picture of Microsoft’s entire service portfolio and identify the best options for your specific context. The ongoing operational expenses associated with the cloud can deliver a continuous ROI when the right solutions are in place, and the Microsoft cloud offers plenty of options that drive value creation.