The concept of Managed Service is continually evolving, with cloud-based software, personal devices and diverse mobile use-cases challenging how service providers manage their customers' technology and in-turn, how they provide customers with the capability to transform their own business.
Consuming public cloud services provides partners with an agile ability to offer their customers consistent and comprehensive as-a-service capabilities, without the need to invest in the infrastructure. In-turn, consumption of public cloud services requires a well-defined mobility strategy. This is where Microsoft 365 delivers its value.
As we move into the era of the modern workplace, managing these core requirements for customers have become central to the majority of the managed service providers. As business roles start consuming additional cloud capability including SaaS, users are also demanding digital access to data in increasingly diverse and mobile use-cases.
Remote access to applications, desktops and data is no longer about a remote desktop session - it’s now about working anywhere at any time, securely accessing data and staying productive with minimal effort.
Historically, desktop management platforms required high-end storage arrays, physical servers, hypervisors, firewalls, switches, routers and numerous Microsoft products including System Center and SQL. We also needed significant teams of specialists for infrastructure, storage, security, virtualization, operating systems and mobility.
On top of all this, we relied on the services of multiple third-party vendor products for such things as end-point management, security, authentication services, and software for testing load, stress, performance and security.
Oh, and then we had to integrate it all - this is why I drank so much coffee!
Managed Service Providers need to become next-gen service providers. That is the challenge - so where do we go from here?
Simplicity with Microsoft 365
At rhipe, our Managed Service Provider partners are in the SMB market and typically have a high number of smaller customers in multiple markets. As a result, our partners are faced with a similar diverse set of requirements to larger enterprises that consist of complex teams and business units, often spanning geographies and state borders with different compliance requirements.
I frequently meet with partners to help with the challenges of meeting their customers’ requirements by utilising some of the products we sell. This is one of the key functions of the Strategy and Enablement team.
With increasing frequency, these conversations are about utilising Microsoft 365. This is down to the simple fact that Microsoft 365 has most of the capability partners need to provide secure mobility services in the modern workplace landscape.
Microsoft 365 is a fundamental shift in Microsoft’s vision, offering a tremendous opportunity to partners, and high value to customers. With automated deployments and enrolment, intelligent security and the productivity we have grown accustomed to from Office 365, Microsoft 365 is changing how managed service providers deliver mobility solutions.
Partners no longer require a long and complex list of 3rd-party products to create a solution. Microsoft 365 is ready to go, fully integrated and ‘as-a-service’, meaning it can be switched on or off as required.
Microsoft 365 includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility Suite. These products are at the core of customers’ businesses today, so managed service providers will need to manage these products regardless of whether they use Microsoft 365 or not.
Through simplicity, Microsoft 365 allows partners to reduce their operational overheads and complexity, whilst still offering customers a premium service consisting of the Microsoft products that customers need to be productive, creative, collaborative and secure in the modern workplace.
Because Microsoft 365 is fully integrated and offers enterprise security and productivity benefits, partners are reporting fewer support calls and lower overheads when compared to their legacy desktop managed service business.
Partners are performing fewer data restores and customers are reporting fewer issues related to security, authentication and access to apps and data, all as a result of using modern workplace solutions based around Microsoft 365.
Due to the extensive productivity and security benefits the Microsoft 365 bundle provides, partners can offer premium services with higher margins – evidence can be found in the following Forrester report which analyses the Total Economic Impact of adopting Microsoft 365, including increased revenue and profitability; http://rhi.pe/forresterm365
Partners using Microsoft 365 secure their future by strategically aligning with Microsoft and by creating additional sticky business associated with managed Modern Workplace solutions.
rhipe Modern Workplace
The good news: at rhipe, we’ve created our Modern Workplace Practice, dedicated to helping our partners maximize the excellent opportunity that Microsoft and Office 365 offer. We’ve been busy creating service offerings and turn-key products to help our partners differentiate and go-to-market quickly, and with confidence.
If you’d like to talk to one of our Modern Workplace specialists, please contact your account manager or feel free to contact me directly using the information below.
Did you know? Microsoft 365 offers an extensive capability to help partners comply with the Notifiable Data Breaches Legislation Act 2017 and GDPR. http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/A/B/CAB1F9BF-1C3F-41DB-8994-5B0EA35DD846/Intune_Privacy_and_Data_Protection_Overview.pdf
Microsoft Modern Workplace: https://www.microsoft.com/itshowcase/modern-workplace
Microsoft 365 Partner Training: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-365/partners/training
Microsoft 365 Business: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/microsoft-365/business
Microsoft Intune Security: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/trustcenter/security/intune-security
Microsoft 365 Product Page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-AU/microsoft-365
Intune Privacy and Data Protection Overview (pdf): http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/A/B/CAB1F9BF-1C3F-41DB-8994-5B0EA35DD846/Intune_Privacy_and_Data_Protection_Overview.pdf
Windows Advanced Threat Protection: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsforbusiness/windows-atp
By Darren Bennett, Partner Enablement Specialist (Mobility), rhipe