Many software vendors (ISVs) still tend to dismiss software development in the cloud as something for the future. Other ISVs are already developing and delivering their applications in the cloud. Some ISVs choose the cloud for its cost effectiveness, agility and flexibility. Others are pushed to the cloud by their customers. Some will even see it as a necessity to survive the war on talent.
Three EMEA cloud channel solutions experts from Insight, Marco Manganiello (Belgium/Luxembourg), Gerold Pulverer (Austria/Switzerland) and Roger Osterberg (EMEA) discuss issues they are addressing with ISVs on a daily basis to help them successfully find new ways forward in the cloud.
How ISV companies differ
The ISV market is diverse. Roughly speaking, there are three types of businesses, each with their own characteristics and needs, says Roger Osterberg. "The first group are the ISVs that have been in business for many years. They have legacy software in on-premise environments and may be looking at public cloud, but have their reservations. What is coming down the pike? However, they also see the benefits of recurring revenue, easier setup and management, and cost benefits.”
A second group of ISVs have part of their workloads in the cloud – Azure, Amazon, Google – and are looking for ways to further grow their business. “These ISVs want to evaluate their applications, get input on how to improve and manage their infrastructure, how to save costs. The third group are the start-ups. Young ISVs whose applications are 99.9% cloud-native. Often started in Amazon, because of the tools developers find there, but also interested in what Azure has to offer, for example in terms of co-selling opportunities, optimization and security."
Each group of ISVs and each ISV individually has its own scenario and must find new ways to move forward in the cloud, depending on where they are in their cloud journey. Here are seven common scenarios that arise.
Explore cloud opportunities
ISVs with long-lasting legacy software in on-premise environments are exploring opportunities and benefits of the cloud and assessing potential risks. “In their initial phase, ISVs are looking for support in how new cloud technology can help improve their business, says Marco Manganiello. “What is the impact on people and technology? How do I adapt my business model and build a migration plan?”.
Find guidance in the licensing jungle
Many ISVs also have concerns around licensing, especially in hybrid environments. Azure is rather complex in terms of licensing and costs, making it difficult to set off: where do you begin? How do you set up your infrastructure correctly and avoid risks? “ISVs are unaware of the opportunities and benefits within the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program or how to combine this with on-premise licensing,” says Gerold Pulverer.
Modernize the delivery engine
ISVs traditionally focus on software development and delivery rather than infrastructure. When moving to the cloud and a new infrastructure, their worst nightmare is that a significant portion of the code has to be rewritten. Roger Osterberg sees the number of POCs for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in Azure increasing. "WVD is a logical move for ISVs. When you have a Windows 32 or 64-bit application in RDS or Citrix, it can be migrated to WVD as the new delivery engine with very minor changes. ISVs sometimes continue to do the management themselves, but we increasingly see that they opt for managed services, where we take over the entire management."
Optimize and recalculate costs
Once ISVs have moved to the cloud, Marco Manganiello sees a need to optimize cloud usage and save costs. For example, with ISVs that have already occasionally moved services to the cloud, but have not really thought about cost optimization. “In Belgium, I had a company that had been running operations in Azure and AWS for a long time with quite a large consumption. We assessed their cloud usage and rightsized VMs to reduce costs. They saw the benefits and decided to contract us to optimize and monitor their setup on a regular basis through ongoing managed services."
Explore SaaS opportunities
Another important benefit for ISVs is the delivery of Software as a Service (SaaS). Directly in Azure with new applications or by SaaS-ifying legacy applications. This enables them to create recurring revenue, open up new customer segments and deliver significant additional value to their customers, while reducing complexity and lowering TCO. Gerold Pulverer knows that SaaSification takes a lot of expertise to get it right. "Most ISVs seek help with this," he says.
Consider a co-selling strategy
“Co-selling is another way for ISVs to grow their business,” Gerold continues. “Microsoft has developed a co-selling strategy for ISVs to unleash new potential by offering their applications through Azure Marketplace and AppSource. Again, we see that many ISVs are struggling with how to find their way around programmes, licences, rebates, certifications and so on. It saves a lot of energy and money if you can get guidance here to get you started and avoid pitfalls.”
Secure cloud applications
Last but not least, there is an increasing need to leverage the right security measures for cloud applications. ”That is a very common scenario nowadays with new, cloud-native ISVs,” says Roger Osterberg. “These companies have perfect DevOps skills to build their applications. However, when it comes to security, it is difficult to adopt the right security practices from the thousands of services available in Azure. The question is whether they want to develop and maintain these skills themselves or rather focus on their core business and get professional support from a dedicated team of specialists.”
New ways forward
No matter what the driver will be, cloud usage will continue to grow and ISVs will move their applications and development processes to the cloud. The possibilities of the cloud seem limitless and ISVs are increasingly aware that they cannot cover all aspects of Azure themselves. Insight helps companies in the next phase of growth, combining expert advice with hands-on support to optimize the existing setup and transform core workloads and take advantage of new opportunities, From the very early pre-project explorations up to the actual transformation, optimization and management.
Contact us to find out how we can support you in your cloud journey.
Sales Manager - Cloud Channel
Sales Manager - Cloud Channel
Azure Solution Sales Manager