Atmosera believes the combination of Azure’s maturity and problems many customers have had using the cloud themselves will sustain incredible growth rates for Azure-focused MSPs.
Portland-based MSP Atmosera, one of Microsoft’s first partners around the Azure private cloud, has announced the availability of Atmosera Managed Azure Services for public, private, and hybrid Azure cloud solution delivery. The announcement culminates a successful pivoting of the company’s business and its complete focus on the Azure platform.
The company dates from 1995, when it was known as EasyStreet. Originally they were an ISP, which added colo capabilities and managed services in 2001. In 2012, both EasyStreet and Infinity Internet were acquired by venture firm Seaport Capital. In 2015 the company was rebranded as Atmosera and the decision was made to focus on the hybrid cloud.
“We saw the opportunity to reposition ourselves,” said John Trembley, Atmosera’s CMO. “We knew we had to have a public cloud strategy. We looked at AWS. We were a big VMware shop, so we looked at that. Finally, we decided on Microsoft Azure.”
Atmosera made the decision to commit their future to Azure when the platform was in its very early days.
“Today, we are 100 per cent focused on the Microsoft cloud platform, because we believe that it’s important to be specialized,” Trembley said. “As an early adopter, we were certified as a Microsoft Cloud OS Network (COSN) Provider early on, and were their first CSP globally to deploy a certified solution on Azure for hybrid clouds. This early adopter status allowed us to get a lot of access to Microsoft and hone our skills at a time when Azure was still early in its maturity.”
Trembley said that there are still a lot more solution providers focusing on AWS than Azure.
“Azure specialists are still not that common,” he said. “Many MSPs have focused on AWS and it’s somewhat crowded. Its growth has flattened, however, and many analysts expect Azure to pass AWS over the next year.”
Over the last two years, Atmosera has been productizing many pre-configured solutions around specific use cases on Azure. This includes archive, backup, disaster recovery, and cloud migration, plus an Atmosera Follow the Sun Master Data offering that reduces latency, increases data resiliency and improves application usability.
“All of this is now Generally Available, and that’s really the announcement,” Trembley said. “Before, these services were more beta format. We have determined which SKUs in Azure to use, and how best to configure them to make a regimented, repeatable approach. There is still some level of customization on top – but no more than about 20 per cent. While Azure is still very new, being able to package services in this way gives the customer a lot greater confidence in the platform.”
Atmosera works with its own channel, a small number of large VARs.
“These preconfigured solutions are very important to them,” Trembley noted. “We co-sell with those VARs, and this allows their sales teams to knock on doors with something to land into the account.”
Customers are increasingly aware of Azure’s maturity, Trembley stated.
“We are experiencing hockey stick curve growth with Azure – a 1111 per cent growth rate in Azure this year,” he said. “We are starting to get a lot of significant inbound leads.”
In addition to this maturity, Trembley said that the opportunity for CSPs is greater because of some customers’ exasperation with the cloud.
“All of the hyperscalers have marketed that the cloud is so easy – but of course it’s not, and you always have to be adjusting and fine tuning,” he said. “Many companies tried it on their own and now are looking for an MSP.”
Trembley indicated that he thinks MSPs have an advantage over system integrators at providing this service.
“There are a lot of system integrators, and they can do the migration work, but often they don’t do much once they have you up and running,” he said. “CSPs who are traditional SIs also tend to do more what the customer wants. That’s not always what’s best. Sometimes you have to go beyond what the customer wants to give them what they need. This is especially important in mission-critical workloads.”
Atmosera is expecting continued strong results, now that their productized services are fully available.
“We made a very calculated decision to go after the Microsoft ecosystem,” Trembley said. “Customers who still think that AWS is the de facto standard, and who haven’t looked closely at Microsoft need to do so. It’s a very advanced solution, and they do a very good job of supporting their MSPs.”