If you’re a business owner, you may not know what Microsoft Azure is and how it can help your business.
In the company’s own words, Microsoft Azure offers “more than 200 products and cloud services designed to help you bring new solutions to life.”
These products and services exist in a giant cloud server that anyone can rent space on and use to do just about anything.
We understand that wading through two hundred products and services is a herculean task, so we thought we would pick three right off the bat to help you get your feet wet with Azure.
What’s a WVM and Why Should I Care?
One way your business can utilize Microsoft Azure is to spin up a Windows Virtual Machine (WVM). A virtual machine is exactly what it sounds like: it is a machine within your machine.
Just like you can run any app or program on your computer, you can run a server (like SQL) or operating system (like Windows 10) in its own window. The virtual machine is contained within that window, so it cannot affect the rest of your computer. Hence why many companies use virtual machines for testing and development purposes.
You can even run multiple virtual machines on the same physical device. Each virtual machine also uses virtual hardware (CPU, GPU, memory, hard drives, etc.) that maps to your device’s physical hardware. This means you can get access to even more power while also saving on costs related to buying and maintaining more expensive equipment.
We see two obvious ways WVMs can help your business:
Reduce Costs While Also Enhancing Security
Ideally, a company should not have its data center on-site. Companies need a machine to always be on, which cannot be guaranteed in commercial buildings.
Additionally, if you do have data centers or servers on-site, why?
Do you want to continue paying for commercial real estate as the world moves to a more remote workforce?
Do you want to keep manually patching and updating your physical servers or worrying about hardware that could get damaged or stolen?
Why not at least “lift and shift” to the cloud, so at least you are not wasting money on infrastructure?
We are sure there are other areas of your business where this money could be put to better use.
You can start with a hybrid approach by standing up a Windows 2016 Server in the cloud if you already have one on-prem. Additionally, the firewall in Microsoft’s cloud is most likely better than the one you have in your office (unless you happen to work for the NSA), so your data will be more secure.
Secure Your Remote Workforce
If you have new or existing team members who need access to secure content and don’t want to procure them a machine, Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) may be the perfect solution.
With WVD, your employees can access Windows 10 desktops on any device, anywhere. Your team will get the same great Microsoft Teams and Office experience as they would using a local desktop or laptop without having to pay for additional licenses. WVD is free and can be used with your existing Microsoft 365 or Windows per-user licenses.
Your Employees Will Thank You for Single Sign-On
If your company uses Microsoft Office 365 in conjunction with other cloud apps such as patient management software or scheduling software, Single Sign-On (SSO) could save your employees’ time.
Instead of memorizing ten different usernames and passwords, we can synchronize your Office 365 credentials using Azure Active Directory and our Data Toolkit, so your team can spend less time logging in and more time working. Larger organizations or organizations with high employee turnover would quickly see returns from SSI.
Let Microsoft Azure Do the Heavy Lifting
Suppose your business has a lot of reporting from different systems like accounting, operations, sales, and scheduling. In that case, you may struggle to consolidate all the information into one place to analyze it. Perhaps you are already using Excel or PowerBI to collect this data, but if you are copying and pasting this information, that leaves a lot of room for user error.
You also do not want to waste your time typing, copying and pasting, and then typing some more. You want your data capture to be automated so that you can worry about more pressing business needs.
With our Data Toolkit and Microsoft Azure, we can grab your data from most applications, put it in a central location, and then clean it.
Once we have cleaned the data, you can get right to analyzing it to understand what is going on in your business.
Get Started with Microsoft Azure Today
Again, these three examples are just the tip of the iceberg of what Microsoft Azure offers. We’re confident that they will save you time and money while leaving you wanting to explore Azure further.
That is why this February, we are sponsoring up to $5K in Azure Services (while supplies last), in our trial environment for customers to put Azure through the paces so you can discover why we love Azure, and you should too.