Out of the box and into the cloud
Solutions Sales Professional
Q: What is your role at Humansoft?
A: I am the Microsoft Azure Partner Solutions Sales Professional at Humansoft Kft. My role is to develop and implement the Microsoft Azure sales strategy, as well assist in the development of Humansoft’s cloud-based service portfolio.
Q: Can you describe the key elements of the Microsoft Azure platform?
A: Microsoft Azure is neither a product nor a service; it is brand covering a broad cloud platform portfolio. The physical components of Azure are data centers, which are located in 19+ location around the world, at least two of them are in Europe. I would say that it provides backend computing and storage capacity for business solutions (like ERP, CRM, key line-of-business applications).
Is it similar to a company’s outsourced data center, the main financial difference is in the flexibility. There is no need for the systems (hardware, software, server room, etc.) to be sized and purchased in advance.
In the case of Microsoft Azure, the resources can be scaled to the needs at hand (like huge traffic for a marketing campaign), and the client only pays for actual usage. Also the company’s IT staff can focus on more important business functions: the basic operational maintenance is provided by Microsoft and the systems can be supported by Humansoft.
The expansion of the portfolio is really fast: Azure based cloud services are continuously being developed, new features are announced almost on a daily basis.
Q: Why are local companies resistant to it and what is Humansoft doing in the region to increase the acceptance of Azure?
A: Many confuse enterprise cloud services with consumer cloud services and the commonly perpetuated negative information or rumors which have become a basis for judging such solutions.
It’s also common that potential users don’t have enough information about a given service, and they draw conclusions based on this lack of knowledge about every aspect of the service.
A typical false assumption is when decision makers believe that it is more difficult to achieve security compliance with Microsoft Azure than with on-premises traditional IT.
Q: How do you persuade companies to switch to the cloud? Can you talk a bit about that process?
A: Together with Microsoft we provide our customers with pilot and demonstration opportunities so businesses can get proof of the benefits without prior commitment or risk.
To build confidence we first look at those less critical areas of a business, which still require a lot of resources, like development and testing environments. We also try to identify if backup, disaster recovery capabilities or huge data storage/archival needs are being addressed.
Q: What are the real or imagined security and privacy concerns of the Azure platform?
A: As I mentioned earlier, the public’s opinion about cloud service security is based more on presumption than on facts. Microsoft has invested a great deal in the security of its data centers and services. Accordingly, Microsoft Azure’s services meet international, EU and Hungarian data privacy and security regulations as well as several industry regulations like financial sector (PCI-DSS), life sciences (GxP).
Q: What are the first steps needed to make Azure more widely accepted?
A: We are doing a great deal to popularize Microsoft Azure and of course, we are also active Azure users. Whether at events or in everyday client meetings, we try to convey to our clients the real advantages we’ve experienced with the cloud.
I believe that the first and most important step is to try it. There are areas in every company where Azure’s services can be tested without risk and to gain practical experience. In such instances, Humansoft and Microsoft offer very good consultations, demos and pilots.