Hi, my name is Darren and I work in the Strategy and Enablement team at rhipe. My primary solution specialty is mobility.
Today I want to try and provide some insights into my vision for Microsoft 365 in the context of a managed service provider business.
The concept of Managed Service is constantly 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 the ability to offer their customers consistent and comprehensive as-a-service capability, without the need to invest in the infrastructure. In-turn, consumption of public cloud services requires a well-defined mobility strategy. This is where I believe Microsoft 365 delivers its value.
I spent over 20 years working in the channel consulting for partners and large enterprises, primarily working within remote, virtual and physical desktop transformation programs.
Over the years, the primary requirement of these solutions was to provide intuitive and secure access to applications, desktops, and data. The vast majority of the users were at a desk, with just a very small percentage accessing resources remotely. Those that did use an approved corporate (and often quite heavy) device that they carried around wherever they went.
Today, customers demand improved productivity, additional security, and compliance and, more than ever, the ability to work from any device, at any time, from any location.
As we move into the era of the modern workplace, managing these core requirements for a customer has become central to the majority of 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.
Managed Service Providers need to become next-gen service providers. That is the challenge.
Complexity and Diversity of Legacy Managed Services
I’ve been involved in some complex designs in the past. The solutions we created needed a vast array of technology to meet our customers’ business requirements.
As the platforms required high-end storage arrays, physical servers, hypervisors, firewalls, switches, routers, and Microsoft products (including System Center and SQL), we needed teams of specialists for infrastructure, storage, security, virtualization, operating systems, and mobility.
Additionally, we relied on the services of multiple third-party vendor products for such things as end-point management, security and authentication services, and software for testing load, stress, performance, and security.
The technology stack had to be this comprehensive to meet the extensive and diverse list of functional and non-functional requirements. The other big challenge for us was how to integrate the complex technology across multiple data centers. This was often much more difficult than using the technology itself.
Simplicity with Microsoft 365
At rhipe, our Managed Service Provider partners are in the SMB market who typically have a high number of smaller customers in multiple markets. As such, they are faced with a similar diverse set of requirements to those I have described above.
I often meet with partners to help them with the challenge of meeting their 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 using 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 have 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