Many small and medium-sized organizations we speak to have shied away from embracing Microsoft 365 Premium due to concerns about costs and excess features that they are unlikely to use. This is understandable. The platform, after all, is aimed at larger, international enterprises.
However, while Microsoft often creates solutions targeted at multinational companies, it also develops products aimed at smaller organizations. One such product is Azure P1, a great cloud-based platform that has numerous applications for SMBs.
Discover below how Azure P1 could be of use in your organization.
Microsoft 365 Premium vs Azure P1
Firstly, to avoid any confusion, we’ll give a quick overview of how each platform works.
Microsoft 365 Premium is a subscription-based service that includes a range of productivity and collaboration tools, such as Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive. It is designed for businesses and organizations that need a comprehensive set of tools for communication, collaboration, and productivity.
Azure P1 is also a subscription-based service. It provides access to a range of cloud-based computing resources, including virtual machines, storage, and networking. It is part of the Azure platform, which is a cloud-based infrastructure and services platform that enables businesses and organizations to build, deploy, and manage applications and services.
How Can Azure P1 Help SMBs?
Azure P1 is particularly well-suited for organizations that require a high level of scalability and flexibility in their computing resources, and that need the ability to customize their resources to meet their specific needs at speed and scale. For businesses that have many users on Business Basic plans, Azure P1 is a great security supplement.
For SMBs, the benefits of the platform include:
- Low costs: Azure P1 allows SMBs to scale their computing resources up or down as needed, without the need to purchase additional hardware or infrastructure. This can help SMBs save money and avoid the upfront costs of building and maintaining their own on-premises infrastructure.
- Flexibility: Azure P1 provides a range of computing resources that can be customized to meet the specific needs of an SMB. This allows SMBs to choose the resources that are right for their business and pay only for what they use.
- Security: Azure P1 includes a number of security features and controls to help protect SMBs’ data and applications. This includes support for multi-factor authentication, role-based access controls, and conditional access policies, all of which can help SMBs meet their security and compliance requirements and reduce the risk of data breaches.
- Reliability: Azure P1 is backed by a 99.9% uptime SLA, which means organizations can rely on the service to be available when they need it.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Azure P1?
Like any product or service, Azure P1 has some potential drawbacks that may not make it the best fit for every business or organization. Some of the potential cons of Azure P1 include:
- Cost: Azure P1 is a subscription-based service, which means that you will need to pay a recurring fee to use it. Depending on your specific needs, this cost may be higher than the cost of building and maintaining your own on-premises infrastructure.
- Complexity: Azure P1 provides a wide range of cloud-based computing resources, which can make it complex to use and manage. This may require organizations to invest in additional training and resources to fully leverage the capabilities of Azure P1.
- Limited customization: While Azure P1 allows organizations to customize their computing resources to some degree, it may not provide the level of customization that tech-native organizations need. For example Azure P1 does not include Microsoft Mobile EndPoint Protection (Intune) but that is included in Business Premium
Should I Invest in Azure P1?
If your business or organization needs a range of cloud-based computing resources, Azure P1 could be a great addition to your IT infrastructure. Saying this, we don’t think that using Azure P1 should mean forgoing Microsoft 365.
In fact, in our view, one of the best things to do is to embrace Azure P1 in combination with the Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan. For example, Azure P1 can be used to host and manage applications and services, while Microsoft 365 Business Basic can be used to collaborate and communicate with team members and customers.
To use Azure P1 and Microsoft 365 Business Basic together, you will need to have a subscription to both services. Once you have both subscriptions, you can start using the tools and resources provided by each service to support your business or organization.
It is important to carefully consider your specific needs and the features and capabilities of both products to determine how they can best be used together to meet your business or organization’s needs. We recommend consulting with a managed IT provider like us to make setup and management of both platforms seamless and quick.
Start Your Azure P1 Journey Today
If you’d like to learn more about Azure P1, or are keen to get started, we can help. We provide crucial IT management solutions for small businesses. We offer a free assessment and consultation throughout the greater central Florida area.
Contact us today to get started.