Brought on by necessity so companies could remain productive during the pandemic, remote work is now an established norm. In fact, Gartner’s most recent CFO survey found that 74% of companies plan to permanently shift more on-site workers to remote work in a post-COVID-19 world. This presents a significant opportunity for managed services providers (MSPs), particularly as it relates to managing the efficient and productive delivery of virtual desktops and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solutions hosted in Microsoft Azure.
Why Azure? Azure provides the ability to configure a virtual office space that conforms to the highest security requirements while also being one of the most dynamic and flexible solutions on the market today. Enterprise organizations and MSPs alike get to work with the confidence that their virtual environments are backed by Microsoft’s trillion-dollar security backbone and the most modern and advanced security features.
If you are looking to build up or establish your DaaS and virtual desktop managed services practice, consider how ready you are to provide the following:
1Guide Customer Selection
Microsoft offers two very robust solutions for virtual desktops in Azure–Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and Windows 365 (Cloud PC). Both solutions offer powerful virtual desktop capabilities for the remote or hybrid work environment, however, there are important differences that may lend benefits for different customers. While the end-user experience is almost identical between AVD and Windows 365, there are many nuanced differences including the Azure subscription required, compute costs, storage requirements, networking and security expenses, user profiles and more. By becoming an expert in each Azure-delivered solution or forming relationships with vendors who are, your MSP business will deliver high value for customers seeking to adopt a DaaS solution.
Customers looking to adopt virtual desktops for remote workers often have immediate, time-sensitive needs. They want to get to value fast and empower workers so that productivity never wanes. MSPs that can simplify the deployment process for AVD or Windows 365 and get new desktops provisioned, and users set up in just a few hours, will stand out among the competition. Employ tools and build expertise so that your delivery process is fast and efficient so that customers see rapid time to value.
Businesses both large and small are beginning to see the cost sting of unoptimized cloud workloads. Unmanaged cloud waste can add up fast and has many organizations becoming more and more skeptical of the true cost of the cloud. The MSP that can show customers how to lower their overall end user computing costs, while optimizing cloud costs and resources, will have a much better opportunity to pull in customers evaluating virtual desktop and DaaS options but who are still uncertain of the cloud. Deliver more value by leveraging automation and management technologies that can reduce compute and storage costs through advanced auto-scaling so that those cost savings can be carried through for the customer. This will make the move to an Azure-delivered Cloud PC or virtual desktop even more attractive.
4Secure and Protect
Every MSP knows that security and data protection are paramount for any customer evaluating a managed service. Virtual desktops are no exception. In fact, security and protection may be among the most critical criteria for protecting end user computing environments given their use by less technical employees and proliferation across remote and unmanaged networks. When delivering AVD and Windows 365 services, be sure to have a resilient solution for data backup and recovery.
Building your DaaS and virtual desktop managed service in Azure can be a high-value service to grow your business, and it doesn’t have to mean a heavy investment in additional staff or resources. By doing your homework and employing the appropriate tools and techniques you can serve the growing needs your customers have for enabling their remote workers, with the speed, value and security you need to set your service apart.