Microsoft Azure is a gold mine, and just like mining gold, there are many ways to sell an Azure project. If you’re looking to sell the value of Azure to your customer, here are a few things to consider for an MSP or CSP (cloud service provider).
Starting the Conversation
Breaking the ice can be easy, whether it’s a new customer or one you’ve been servicing for a long time. Understanding services within Azure, and how they work in your customer’s interest, will help you do this.
The best question you can ask your customer is: What are your most time-consuming problems? Your customer will very happily pass the burden on to you. Once you have a broad understanding of a problem, you can focus on how Azure can be the solution.
The next step is to understand solutions within Azure, and discover use cases for these. Does your customer have one day of the year where their website traffic is huge? Great! An Azure VM can solve this problem with automatic scaling. Does your customer need staging and testing for releases within their webpage? Azure websites have custom deployment slots for this. The point is, if you understand the different options within Azure, you can more easily provide a value-added solution.
Expand on a Traditional Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis
An ROI analysis is not simply analyzing cost differences and benefits. You can elaborate and show that not only will Azure potentially lower costs and increase resource availability, but it will solve a key problem in their environment.
Costs are definitely interesting to your customer. Be specific about potential cost savings and increases.
Increased resource availability is also a factor that can be discussed. Azure servers are often more efficient and can provide more resources for your customer to grow into.
Your Azure solution should solve a problem that the customer’s current environment is not solving—and you should emphasize this.
Reduction of cost and increased resource availability are benefits, but a proposal that emphasizes and specifies what problems an Azure environment can solve will be much more compelling.
Right-size the Environment, Rather Than Lift and Shift
Right-sizing an environment is key to staying competitive in the Azure market, especially in an instances migration. When on-premises environments are created, they are often scaled too high or too low, resulting in low resource efficiency or high cost.
By right-sizing the on-premises environment, you can correctly scale the new Azure environment to match the resource demands and needs. This will lower costs, maximize ROI and create an optimal resource level.
Provide Additional Services After the Life Span of the Azure Project
There are endless services you can provide after the life span of a project. Doing this adds more ease of use to your proposal, and adds more productivity for your customer. You can do this by providing server management and moving additional workloads to the cloud.
The Azure management portal is great tool to increase your offering. Providing management of this workload, and providing monthly reports, can make your proposal more attractive, and will set you up for monthly recurring revenue after the migration project.
Moving additional workloads to the cloud provides increased availability, efficiency, scalability, and allows your customer to move to the pay-as-you-go model. Moving your customer's entire infrastructure and productivity into the cloud can eliminate on premises servers, and provide predictability for your customer.
Accurately Predict the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Predicting the TCO is crucial in a credit-based system like Azure. This can be done by assessing workloads and instances, and translating that to pricing in the Azure model. If you can accurately predict the TCO and make a clear statement of accuracy, it will be much easier for your customer to make an informed decision.
Predicting TCO is difficult on your own. Conversions and measurements over an extended period are time- consuming. There are many automated Azure assessment tool out there that can significantly increase accuracy and reduce your effort.