Several Microsoft partners attending Synnex’s Varnex conference in Orlando are willing to take a wait-and-see approach to news that Microsoft has made generally available some new Azure Infrastructure Services as it further engages in its battle with Amazon Web Services in the cloud services space.
Microsoft has been providing Azure services for some time but the Infrastructure Services has been in preview mode since June. The Redmond, Wash.-based company also announced cuts to its virtual machines and cloud services by up to 33 percent with promises to match Amazon.
“Microsoft’s going to have to do whatever it can to compete against Amazons and Google, whatever. They need to launch as much as they can. It’s how they engage with the channel that’s a challenge,” said Paul Benson, president of Virtual Communication Specialists, an Athens, Tex.-based solution provider.
Lester Keizer, CEO of Business Continuity Technologies, a Las Vegas-based VAR, agreed with Benson that Microsoft’s challenge is going to be convincing VARs to sell Azure Infrastructure Services.
“If Microsoft is really serious about playing in the channel, investing in the channel, putting their money where their mouth is, then yes, I’m interested. In the past, they talked about their [Surface] tablet, then they went the other way [direct and through limited retailers]. That caused some conflict. But if they can [engage the channel] and they show the interest, that’s of an interest to me.”
Kris Shoemaker, a marketing and development executive at ElevenConsulting, a Waterloo, Ont.-based solution provider, said his company built its own private cloud infrastructure for clients, but might be interested in Microsoft Azure services if it made sense.
“Certainly, if they have an infrastructure we could work with. We have our own private cloud infrastructure but that doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be a hybrid collaboration there,” he said.