Azure, Office 365, & the Mobile Workforce, Pt. 1

More and more companies are looking at what Microsoft Azure and Office 365 can do to help improve productivity, strengthen security, achieve scalability, and reduce costs. We’ll first look at Azure and its benefits.

Azure was designed for the modern business, in that it is a flexible cloud platform that allows small and medium sized businesses to build, deploy, and manage applications by leveraging the power of Microsoft’s global network of data centers. This flexibility provides businesses with both Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) capabilities. With that, here are some of the major benefits of the Azure Cloud…

App Services

Companies now have the ability to launch both customer applications and internal apps in the cloud via Microsoft Azure. The cloud environment allows businesses to quickly deploy applications in the cloud, which saves on infrastructure costs while also reducing the burden on in-house IT management. The pay-as-you go pricing and scalability structure of Azure allows small and medium businesses to better manage their IT budgets by only paying for what they need.

Computing Power

Azure’s flexible computing power gives companies on-demand, enterprise-level computing power. Virtual machines provide additional processing power and storage and can be deployed in minutes. Azure also provides reliable web-hosting services that allow businesses to host websites on a secure cloud server that is managed by Microsoft and backed by their up-time guarantee. Moving these items to the cloud also creates a competitive advantage by making data, files, and entire machines, that were traditionally hosted on-site, available over the cloud both off-site and on mobile devices.

Security

Microsoft Azure was created with security in mind. Security is at the top of all companies’ list of concerns when considering moving their data to the cloud. Microsoft has industry regulations and requirements that are managed by the Online Services Security and Compliance team. This team maintains the security control framework and pushes policies and programs that guarantee compliance and manage security risks.

Storage

It is an obvious fact that companies accumulate more and more digital information over time. Most of this data ends up being archived, which can require massive amounts of hardware. However, Azure’s cloud storage service allows businesses to store large amounts of unstructured data (i.e. text or binary data) and allows users to access that data from anywhere in the world through an active internet connection.

How do Azure and Office 365 Fit Together

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform and is really an extension of Office 365. The added benefit of Azure is that it allows you to run customized business applications from a virtual machine standpoint and to develop custom web applications that can easily integrate with SharePoint online. Azure also extends Office 365 with custom mobile application support.

Next week we'll examine their differences and how the combination of Azure and Office 365 can fulfill even more solutions while eliminating costs.