My guest today is Joseph Landes, Chief Revenue Officer at Nerdio. Nerdio is an automation platform that helps MSPs manage services on Microsoft Azure and we’re going to be talking about how you can get into the business of offering cloud services hosted with Azure and more importantly how you can make money with those services. We’re going to be walking through the ins and outs of the various programs that Microsoft offers that can get you up to 80% off Azure costs so you can put that money to your bottom line instead.

And let me tell you, Joseph is the right guy to be talking to us about this. He spent the first 20 some odd years of his career at Microsoft. It’s only in the last year that he moved over to Nerdio so he’s got some great insider knowledge of Microsoft products and services that he’s going to share with us today.

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If this is your first Frankly MSP episode, I’m glad you’re here and I hope you’ll find great value in this and all our other episodes. If you’re already a hardcore fan of the podcast, thank you for your support. And I hope you’re planning to hop on a plane to California in January for Frankly MSP Live. I’m going to be there and I want to meet you. I’m going to be recording an episode live on stage. And there’s going to be a ton of other interesting folks there—some you’ve heard on the podcast before like Luis Alvarez, Barb Paluszkiewicz, Rayanne Buchianico, Nigel Moore. And some fresh faces too like bestselling author Tiffani Bova and Kris Blackmon of Channel Futures

I and the team here at Auvik have really worked hard to put together an event where you can step away from the hustle and bustle of your business for a couple of days, connect with a group of like-minded MSP leaders, pick the brains of experts in our Brain Trust, and soak up some fantastic sessions that will fuel your growth for 2020.

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Now let’s dive into my chat with Joseph Landes of Nerdio. Just a note that Joseph mentions the imminent release of Windows Virtual Desktop. This interview was recorded in late September when it wasn’t out yet but Virtual Desktop has now been publicly released, that came out Sep 30, and I’ll put a link with the details in today’s show notes.

How to Make Money With Microsoft Azure: Interview With Jospeh Landes

Joseph Landes Nerdio

Joseph Landes, Nerdio

[04:01] The cloud isn’t something in the distant future. It’s here today and full of opportunities for MSPs. It’s time to transition from SaaS and Office365 to the broader IaaS (infrastructure as a service) world like Microsoft Azure to build a successful cloud-based business and make a ton of money as an MSP.

[05:04] Not enough MSPs are leveraging the cloud which creates opportunities for MSPs that are. Deeply understanding the IaaS world and public cloud is a great way to build monthly recurring revenue.

[06:35] Challenges that MSPs face with Azure is either training existing staff or hiring new staff that know Azure. Complexity is another issue, because Azure has hundreds of services across IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Billing customers on how much they consume also seems like a risky prospect.

[08:28] The worry is pricing in case the customer over consumes the services.

[09:23] Microsoft has programs in place that allow MSPs to optimize their cost and actually make more.

[10:03] Becoming a CSP reseller or cloud solution provider reseller will give you at least a 10% discount on Azure. Azure hybrid usage allows you to leverage licences purchased in the past.

[10:44] You can also save a ton of money with reserved instances or prepaying for a block of compute from Microsoft. You could also use an automation platform like Nerdio for Azure with built in auto-scaling capabilities.

[11:42] To become a CSP reseller go to a cloud distributor like SherWeb, Pax8, or Ingram Micro and explain that you are an MSP wanting to become a CSP.

[12:23] You are committing to buy your Azure from your distributor. Each distributor has their own requirements.

[12:53] Reducing the cost of virtual machines will save money and increase your margins. Public cloud computing and Microsoft Azure have two meters spinning: the compute meter and the operating system meter. Reserved instances stops the compute meter from spinning.

[14:25] Microsoft is operating a hyperscale cloud environment and planning capacity allows them to provide a less expensive service to you.

[15:10] Nerdio has an online calculator that helps MSPs plan reserved instances. You can now make monthly reserved instance payments.

[16:44] If you lose a customer, you can cancel your reservation with a 12% cancellation fee. You could also reassign the reservation to a different customer.

[17:33] A three-year reservation will get you the best discount from Microsoft.

[18:05] Azure hybrid usage allows you to use your purchased server licence and get credit for it in the cloud. This is benefit is only available with Azure.

[19:42] Azure experts are hard to find and expensive. Retraining existing staff is an alternative to hiring new Azure experts. But automation platforms allow you to deploy, price, and manage Azure most effectively.

[21:14] Nerdio allows customers to deploy Azure in under two hours. The cost estimator helps plan pricing. The management tool helps manage and reduce help desk time. Optimization helps save money by spinning down meters.

[22:14] Windows virtual desktop should be released by the end of the calendar year. Windows 10 will support multiple user desktop sessions on a single VM.

[23:51] Joseph says that now is the time to learn how to build a successful cloud practice with Azure and Nerdio is the company to take you there.

Links from this episode

  • Frankly MSP Live
  • Joseph Landes on LinkedIn
  • Nerdio
  • SherWeb
  • Pax8
  • Ingram Micro
  • Windows Virtual Desktop announcement
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