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US Firms Turn To MSPs For Post-Pandemic Microsoft Support

FRISCO, TEXAS – JULY 03: A general view of the Microsoft logo during warm ups prior to the game between the 3 Headed Monsters and 3’s Company during BIG3 Week Three at Comerica Center on July 03, 2022 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images for BIG3)

More U.S.-based companies are using service providers to take full advantage of the Microsoft platforms they quickly adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research.

The 2023 ISG Provider Lens Microsoft Cloud Ecosystem report for the U.S. finds many enterprises invested heavily in platforms like Microsoft 365, Power Platform and the Azure hyperscale cloud to keep their businesses running during the pandemic, when work and commerce moved largely online.

Microsoft’s platforms became so popular during the pandemic that they became the source of fully half the company’s revenue. Now, those enterprise companies are looking for help using those tools on an ongoing basis – and they’re turning to MSPs to help manage them.

How is Microsoft Cloud is Evolving Inside Businesses?

Shriram Natarajan, director, Digital Business Transformation, ISG
Shriram Natarajan, director, Digital Business Transformation, ISG

Shriram Natarajan, director, Digital Business Transformation, ISG, commented:

“Microsoft enabled many U.S. companies to meet the pandemic head-on with cloud-based solutions. Now it is playing a pivotal role in longer-term digital transformation.”

Fully implementing and integrating the Microsoft suite of platforms into an organization’s business processes is often difficult due to high costs, lack of familiarity with the technology, and a shortage of skills, ISG says. System integrators, IT providers, software vendors, and advisory firms in the Microsoft cloud ecosystem address these challenges by providing strategies and solutions on top of several central Microsoft platforms.

What Microsoft Tools Are Being Adopted?

Many enterprises turned to Microsoft 365 to solve their immediate remote work issues with a focus on employee communications and messaging. The platform has now taken on a larger role around employee experience and learning, the report says.

Likewise, enterprises are engaging with providers to glean maximum value from Azure. Particularly in the U.S., with its strong cloud developer community, companies are moving to modern microservices architectures using containers and Kubernetes orchestration, ISG says. Companies are also migrating to Dynamics 365 from on-premises Microsoft Dynamics installations or other business platforms, such as SAP and Salesforce.

Microsoft Power Platform, which allows employees to develop line-of-business applications with low-code/no-code tools, also benefits from third-party assistance, the report says. Providers address security and policy compliance issues and the need for access to data.

Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research, said:

“Ease of development is only one part of the puzzle. Powerful analytics capabilities require the right data, which providers can help to make available from anywhere in an organization.”