Microsoft Partner NB Technology Projects 23 Percent Growth Thanks To Cloud, Cybersecurity Push
Wade Tyler Millward
‘We’re doing more training in the Azure space to learn to be as proficient as we can with that,’ NB Technology CEO Moses Nueman Jr. tells CRN in an interview.
NB Technology, a Belmont, N.C.-based Microsoft partner, projects 23 percent growth in gross sales year over year in 2023 as it moves toward full cloud services offerings and improving its customers’ cybersecurity strength.
The company of about five employees has carved out a niche helping small businesses migrate on-premises staffers and remote workers to Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop plus providing backup and disaster recovery (DR) to businesses, CEO Moses Nueman Jr. told CRN in an interview.
During the “fourth quarter 2022, we’re doing more training in the Azure space to learn to be as proficient as we can with that. And bringing more engineers onboard to help,” said Nueman, who declined to disclose revenue figures. “That’s going to help us market to outside of the state more so we can pretty much get customers anywhere in the United States.”
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Is Microsoft cybersecurity growing?
NB does have some customers outside of the U.S., but most of Nueman’s clients are in the Charlotte metro area.
Like other partners, growing the business this year has included some challenges. NB has been one of many Microsoft partners to have to talk to customers about new contract pricing due to the Redmond, Wash.-based vendor’s new commerce experience (NCE) rollout.
“We had to talk to our customers about the options to move to a yearly agreement or stay monthly and pay the premium,” Nueman said. “It’s been a challenge. We’re still going through it with some customers but we manage it. … I’ll say a good 60 percent of our customers just went ahead with (the monthly premium).”
Nueman’s investments align with what Microsoft has been saying publicly about the need for its Azure and cloud services and the work partners do to help smaller customers – although the vendor has taken more of a conservative stance on growth given how customers are reacting to high inflation in the U.S. and the potential for a recession next year.
During the company’s October quarterly earnings call, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said that a lot of work during the quarter came by partners and Microsoft sales and customer success teams optimizing customer Azure and cloud workloads as Azure growth continues to decelerate.
On workload optimization, “we saw that across all segments,” Hood said. “If there was one segment where I may have seen it a bit more, I would say, in the small or midsize segment of the market. That tends to be more through partner[s]. We rely on partners to help customers do those same optimizations and prepare workloads.”
She continued: “If you step back and say, ‘This is how you drive ultimate share gains and build customer loyalty and help customers grow’ – I think that needs to be the focus of our teams inside the company and also the partners that we rely on to help customers do that as well.”
Microsoft has added new security options to a premium version of its Teams collaboration application, CEO Satya Nadella said on the October call. More than 860,000 organizations across every industry now use Microsoft security solutions, up 33 percent year over year.
“They can save up to 60 percent when they consolidate our security stack,” Nadella said “And the number of customers with more than four workloads have increased 50 percent year over year.”
Part of the challenge to growing in the cybersecurity space for Nueman and other partners has been knowing when to walk away from a client putting too much liability on a partner business by not going with a stronger posture.
Nueman shared a story of a health care client who – even after its electronic medical records (EMR) vendor was hacked – declined NB’s offer to upgrade its network and security.
“So we said, ‘Sorry – we don’t want that liability,’” Nueman said. “So we had to let them go.”
Here’s what else Nueman had to say.