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Jul 17, 2019 / Andrei Medvedev

What Cloud Service Provider does for your business that Microsoft doesn't.

There’s a lot of power in the cloud and Microsoft has one of the best solutions for wielding it. But is Microsoft Azure the ideal platform for your application or website? On its own, it might not be. However, with a reliable CSP partner who has your goals and best interests in mind, it most certainly would be. 

There’s a lot of pain inherently built into the business. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough resources to get a handle on it all.  


There are ways to reduce and sometimes even remove the pain. But it’s not always clear where the relief should come from or how to apply it. 


Unfortunately, many solutions used to help organizations like yours become more agile and successful can cause undue stress and pain. It’s not that the software or services are faulty. It’s just that it can be difficult to unlock all of their potentials without an almost insider-like knowledge of how to use and, further, support them.  


What’s nice about leveraging Microsoft Azure technologies for a website or app is that you know you have a reliable company supporting the hardware it was built on. That alone will save you a ton of headaches. Now, you just have to figure out the rest of the support piece to protect your new digital asset. 


Who does it make more sense to have to support your website or app? Microsoft or a cloud solution provider (CSP)? 


Why is Microsoft Azure such a powerful business investment?  

 

Microsoft Azure is a computing platform that allows your developer to build and manage your website or app in a secure and stable environment. What’s more, it’s all in the cloud, which makes it super reliable.  


So, picture this:  

  • A website with an AI chat bot to handle prospective customers’ questions or current customer support requests. 
  • A social networking app with advanced facial recognition to aid with quick login capabilities, auto-photo tagging, and more.  
  • An e-commerce progressive web page that puts your growing list of products into the hands of mobile visitors from all around the world.  

 

And those are just the types of solutions Microsoft Azure enables us to build. The underlying tech does amazing things to strengthen the performance of your application, too.  

 

There are even more reasons to use Microsoft Azure — many of which remove the financial strain poorly-built or -supported apps tend to put on businesses. For example: 

  • Working in the cloud makes your business more agile and competitive.   
  • Azure solutions are flexible and will adjust to your business’s fluctuating needs.  
  • They remove the burden and high costs of owning or licensing hardware.  
  • There’s no need for expensive disaster recovery services. Azure’s backup and recovery solutions protect your digital assets

 

There’s just one problem with relying on Microsoft to solely support your business hardware and software. You can’t afford to become complacent and assume it will be there for you if something on your app breaks, your website gets hacked or any other minor or major issue arises. Nor can you expect Microsoft to monitor and optimize the app for you. 


Microsoft is an amazing solution provider. However, in terms of the actual application you’ve built with Azure, there are clear reasons why you should go through a cloud solution provider for support.  


Why should a CSP support your website or app?  

 

A cloud solution provider, or CSP, is one that manages your Microsoft software solutions from end-to-end. In addition, a CSP will not only help you save money on your Microsoft Azure technologies, but it will know how to get the most out of your website or app.  

Here’s how:  

 
End-to-end coverage

 

A CSP like Convergine knows your website or app better than anyone else. After all, we were the ones who used Microsoft Azure technologies to build and power it in the first place.  


The process goes something like this:  

  • We work closely with clients to identify their goals.  
  • We create a plan for their application that will ultimately deliver on those goals.  
  • We then develop the digital asset — from the underlying technology to the app itself — using Microsoft Azure’s development tools.  

 
And while Microsoft goes to great lengths to monitor and manage the hardware and software we used to build your app, our care plans enable us to monitor and manage the health of your digital asset.  


With insider knowledge of your application and expert knowledge of the technology, a CSP partner is the only way to guarantee total protection of your product. 

 
Diligent management and monitoring 

 

You’re used to being hypervigilant when it comes to your business. You want to ensure that every moving part does exactly what it’s supposed to. But that can be difficult when your website or app uses advanced technologies like Microsoft Azure.  


A CSP enables you to have a high-performance product, without having to worry about whether it’s working for you.  


For the most part, Microsoft is a competent and responsible cloud provider. While they do monitor and manage the physical infrastructure that powers their systems, they’re not responsible for managing the cloud solutions created for your application. Or the application itself.  And those certainly need someone’s attention.  

At Convergine, we keep an eye out for things like:  

  • Software updates.  
  • Problems in the code.  
  • Loading issues. 
  • Security vulnerabilities or breaches.  
  • Other issues that could affect the performance of your app. 


In other words, a CSP is there to monitor the overall health of your product and will swoop in, ready to take action, when it’s needed.  

 

A supportive partner 

 

Watching over your application is one thing. Actually, being there for you and supporting you when something goes wrong or needs fixing is a completely different thing. This is the key differentiator between working directly with Microsoft and working with a CSP.  


Look, it’s not as though Microsoft ignores its customers. Its support team will be there to provide standard support coverage for your platform when you need it. However, your business deserves more than that.  


With a CSP, you get total support for your entire application — the software, license, code, and infrastructure. This means you don’t have to wait around for Microsoft to respond nor do you have to go digging around in online communities, trying to find answers to problems with your software.   


In addition, the level of service goes above and beyond what Microsoft alone can provide. You get an experienced and expert partner who is:  

  • Local  
  • Responsive 
  • Efficient 
  • Equipped 
  • Flexible 
  • Agile 
  • Committed 

 
A CSP becomes your single, cost-effective point of contact for all things related to your application, simplifying your responsibility as it pertains to managing, monitoring, and supporting it.  

 
A service level agreement that works for you 

 

An SLA is a guarantee, or agreement, that companies like Microsoft provide to customers. Essentially, it lays out what Microsoft owes you in terms of supporting its infrastructure. For example, the guarantee includes statements like the following:  

No less than 99.9% uptime. 

It’s safe to assume then that Microsoft’s support team is available to bring your product back online in the case of an outage almost every single time it happens (if it happens at all). 


Now, to guarantee a level of support that high, Microsoft’s support team would have to be available around the clock. However, with a standard contract, support reps may only be required to respond to you within 24 to 48 hours — which is a scary prospect if something’s gone wrong with your website or app.  


You need someone to monitor your app 24/7 and be able to take immediate action to resolve issues. Unfortunately, unless you’re willing to pay an extra $1,000+ for a premium SLA (2 hours response time) with Microsoft, there’s no guarantee that will happen. Plus, Microsoft’s SLA and support only cover its platform… not your actual product or code. 

 
The only way to get this kind of strong SLA, and support that protects the integrity of your product, is to partner with a CSP.  
 

Convergine offers a strong SLA that was built to protect every single one of our customers. Not only that, our SLA doesn’t just guarantee a fast turnaround for support requests or higher success rates.  


Our team often identifies ways to mitigate risks and avoid future disaster while working on support requests. This enables us to strengthen your product; consequently, giving you more time to spend on your business rather than being stressed out over the latest issue with your website or app. 

 

To recap 

 

Imagine spending all that money on a custom app or website, only for it to go offline, for your features to break, or for it get hacked. Talk about pain! That’s one of the reasons why Microsoft Azure is a fundamental part of our processes here. Here’s the thing though:  


Azure is a fantastic cloud computing platform. However, it’s not really something we’d be comfortable leaving our clients to watch over or for Microsoft to solely manage. Many of the reasons why it’s so beneficial to businesses and why it leads to greater productivity and lower costs is because of how well it performs — but you need a partner to ensure that happens.  


You could certainly leave it in Microsoft’s hands. But that wouldn’t be the most cost-effective approach nor would you have anyone to take care of the product itself. You need a cloud solution provider like Convergine who understands your business’s solution inside and out and who is a Silver Microsoft partner with fluency in Microsoft Azure technologies. 

 
 

Andrei Medvedev

We love what we do, and we think of it as an art form, but it’s not all about looks and ingenuity. Underlying the artist’s aesthetic in both our process and our products is problem-solving practicality and shrewd business sense.

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