Power your business with Azure, for free. Learn how cloud competencies can skyrocket your business

19th Apr 2016
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This article is sponsored by Microsoft.

Now that you have been following everything about the Microsoft Partner Network, its advantages and how it helps startups and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) boost growth, here’s the next link in the chain – Microsoft Azure for Partners and how cloud platform competency acts as a success driver for your business.


Microsoft Azure – the cloud for modern business

Azure is Microsoft’s open, flexible, enterprise-grade Cloud Computing platform. What makes it stand apart from other leading cloud solutions are the sheer number of advantages it offers.

For one, Azure runs all of your business applications (from any company or provider) by providing global scale, consistency, and seamless integration with on-premises environments. It’s the public cloud for running your business apps.

Second, Azure is built on the same technologies that you (and millions of others) already trust: Windows Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, Hyper-V, and more. This means a consistent, familiar, and stable environment. What’s more, with Azure you can also move your virtual machines between on-premises and the cloud as often as your business needs dictate. Microsoft’s cloud also helps you protect your business-critical applications with managed cloud backups and disaster recovery as an in-built service. (a big relief, for sure).

Third, for Azure, you don’t need to be an expert on configuring, deploying, and maintaining your business applications. All you need to do is choose from a growing number of pre-packaged templates to get started immediately. These templates are based on tried and tested configurations, and help you easily set up complex environments for applications, including SharePoint and Dynamics AX.

And finally, you can also get more out of your existing Microsoft licenses. It is really simple to move existing Windows Server and Windows licenses to Azure! More importantly, you can use the existing licenses to Azure or enjoy a pay-as-you-go model or take advantage of various pricing plans that fit your unique needs.

Microsoft’s experience with its partners has shown that its cloud-oriented partners witness 1.5 times higher gross profit percentages and 1.6 times the recurring revenue as a portion or total revenue when compared with other partners.

This is because apart from the above said advantages that you can capitalise on as a Microsoft Cloud partner, here are some more unique features of Microsoft Cloud services. With decades of experience in enterprise security, it offers flexible solutions customised to meet your specific needs. You can deploy the solution across various platforms that support different technologies, languages, and even operating systems. You can quickly access and analyse data and derive faster insights easily. See how you can increase your profit margins and grow your business with Microsoft Azure.


Discover the difference and reach your market your way!

While you have a plethora of choices when it comes to selecting a cloud service, watch this video to know how Microsoft is the one that’s tailor-made for your business needs and thus sets itself apart from the competitors.


So now that you realise that Microsoft is an ideal choice to move to the cloud, here’s something more you should know – a cloud strategy. And this is not often easy to structure as there are multiple components to consider – from transitioning on-premises software to the cloud, building new applications, expanding marketing reach and sales, etc. So before you begin to even fret, Microsoft is reaching out to make this easy for you. By helping you build the right cloud strategy, Microsoft will help you witness a surge in your company’s profitability. Build your strategy today!

Capitalise on Azure without paying a fortune out of your pocket

To get started, all you need to do is sign up and create your free Azure account. As soon as you do that, you get $200 worth of Azure credit and a number of other options.

Sign up for Microsoft Azure for free

First, let’s see how you stand to benefit from the $200 Azure credit. This credit enables you to:

  • Connect 14 virtual machines, 40 SQL databases, or 8 TB of storage for a month
  • Build web, mobile, and API apps that use Redis Cache, Search, or Content Delivery Network
  • Harness big data with Machine Learning, Streaming Analytics, and Hadoop
  • Create real-time IoT apps with monitoring and anomaly-detection

And that’s not all. Regardless of your subscription type, Microsoft Azure brings a host of benefits:

App Service

Azure App Service lets you create apps faster with a one-of-a kind cloud service to quickly and easily create enterprise-ready web and mobile apps for any platform or device and deploy them on a scalable and reliable cloud infrastructure. You can now build and host up to 10 web and mobile apps in a breeze!

Machine Learning

Azure Machine Learning lets you easily design, test, operationalise, and manage predictive analytics solutions in the cloud. So you can easily build advanced analytics solutions by creating machine learning experiments.

Visual Studio Application Insights

Visual Studio Application Insights (in preview) is an all-in-one telemetry solution that can help you detect issues, triage impact and solve problems in your web apps and services. It provides deep diagnostics and real-time insights while being a seamless part of your ALM processes through Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services, and Azure Diagnostics integrations. It supports ASP.NET, J2EE and most of the popular web technologies for web apps on Azure or on your own servers. This means you can monitor the use and performance of live apps running on an unlimited number of hosts or devices.

Azure IoT Hub

Jump-start your Internet of Things (IoT) project with Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. Connect, monitor, and control millions of IoT assets running on a broad set of operating systems and protocols. Enhance the security of your IoT solutions by using per-device authentication to communicate with devices that have the appropriate credentials. The Azure IoT hub gives you 3,000 free messages per day allowing you to monitor and control up to 10 IoT devices.

The list does not end here. Explore how you can gain advantage and what you can do with Azure for free!


The cloud competency advantage for startups and ISVs

While you can explore how you can gain advantage from Microsoft Azure, you can also onboard the cloud and maximise your profitability. Here’s how.

More than 57% of Fortune 500 companies today use Microsoft Azure. An average of 1,000 customers sign up every day! The cloud platform competency lets you tap the growing demand for infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS) solutions built on Microsoft Azure. This gives you additional support and incentives as you grow your business.

By earning a cloud performance competency, you can display your expertise to your customers, establish credibility and also distinguish your company from competitors by being featured at Pinpoint, a marketplace for Microsoft Partners.

Here is how you can earn Gold Cloud Platform Competency by driving Azure Revenue consumption using your solutions.

Step 1: Join Microsoft Partner Network today.

Step 2: Associate your MPN ID as Digital Partner of Record (DPOR) for Azure subscriptions where your solutions drive consumption. Learn how to attach Digital Partner of Record to an Azure subscription by watching this video.

India-based partners demonstrating

  • Minimum US$10,000 Azure customer consumption and/or Azure partner EA consumption within the previous 12 months through the DPOR can earn Silver Cloud Platform competency.
  • Minimum US $100,000 Azure customer consumption and/or Azure partner EA consumption within the previous 12 months through the DPOR can earn Gold Cloud Platform competency.

Step3: Get one person (if applying for Silver Cloud Platform Competency) and two (if applying for Gold Cloud Platform Competency) to pass one of the following exams. The assessments are free of cost!

Step 4: Your organisation must have three (for Silver) or five (for Gold) customer references that feature how, within the previous 12 months, you have provided solutions based on the products and technologies associated with this competency.

Step 5: There is a waiver of enrolment fee for Silver Cloud Platform competency till 30th June 2016.  Partners who attain a gold competency after they have already attained the silver competency, can upgrade that year to gold for no additional cost, else sign up for a subsidised cost of INR 145000 exclusive of local taxes. This fee is due one time per year—no matter how many additional competencies your organisation earns.

For more details, visit -- https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/in/pages/membership/cloud-platform-competency.aspx

Remember, when moving to the cloud, customers want an expert to help them. Partners who earn cloud competencies receive enhanced benefits, including unlimited cloud-specific technical support, software to run your business, including free Azure credits of upto $13,200 per year.

Ashwin K, Director and Co-Founder, Winjit, says, “At Winjit we successfully leveraged the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) to innovate faster and showcase our competencies to customers. Visual Studio, MSDN, Azure credits helps our R/D teams stay ahead of the curve and leverage the right tools and resources for our technology solutions.”

Built on top of Azure, Winjit solutions include WINDS, an innovative News/Content Delivery framework that helps content owners target different devices. WINE another solution, is a notification enabler that enhances the capability of the Azure notification hub by facilitating not just push notifications, but also SMS, emails. The Winjit IoT Gateway device manager is a gateway for IoT devices that enables the development, deployment and management of smart and secure IoT devices.

Like Winjit, it’s time for startups and ISVs to make the most of Microsoft Azure and the cloud competency advantage!

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