Azure for Professional Services Firms

Discover the powerful capabilities and tools the Azure cloud platform brings to today's professional services firm.

Table of Content

    Microsoft Azure can be hard to define. The sprawling platform is best known for its cloud, compute, storage, networking, and security solutions – offered on a pay-as-you-go-basis.

    But it’s so much more than infrastructure. The Azure family contains a whopping 200+ products that span a diverse range of use cases from data warehousing and IoT streams to DevOps, conversational bots, and a DIY ML model builder.

    Azure offers several solutions that make it easy for everyone — analysts, project teams, IT, the C-suite — to work with data in a secure environment. Professional services firms can use Azure to develop innovative solutions for both employees and customers, manage and protect their data, and migrate on-prem data sources and apps to the cloud.

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    In an effort to keep things brief, we’ll spotlight some of the most powerful solutions firms should know about — with some real-world examples that ground benefits and use cases in reality.

    Azure AI

    Azure AI includes a variety of low-code/no-code AI and machine learning solutions.

    • Azure Machine Learning allows users to quickly build, train, and deploy your own ML solutions — including predictive automation models — from pre-built algorithms and parameters, and training data based on text, tabular, or image data.
    • Azure Bot Service is a bot development service that integrates with Power Virtual Assistants — allowing users to build conversational bots in a low-code environment. The bot service is designed to support fusion development — an agile, multidisciplinary development process that combines the domain knowledge of internal experts with the tech savvy of IT. So, here, you might have a consultant or a sales rep design a conversational bot in the Power Platform to solve a specific problem. Developers can then use the Bot Framework Composer to extend bot designs for more complex scenarios.
    • Azure Cognitive Search uses built-in AI capabilities like speech, vision, and natural language processing, OCR, semantic search, advanced ML capabilities, and more to turn raw, unstructured data into searchable, structured content. The platform applies deep learning models to surface the most relevant results for end-users based on intent and other contextual clues. Additionally, it provides a summary for each result, that way, users don’t waste time opening and scanning docs they ultimately don’t need.

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    Azure Analytics

    The Azure Analytics product family covers data gathering, storage, analysis, and visualization — essentially, tools that make it easier for professional services firms to work with their data. Solutions include:

    • Microsoft Purview, a unified governance tool that helps firms manage and govern their data across all hosting environments. You can use Purview to create a comprehensive map of your entire data ecosystem, flag sensitive information, automate data discovery, and preserve end-to-end data lineage.
    • Azure Synapse, a unified analytics service that combines big data analytics with data warehousing, integration, querying, and more. The platform allows users to surface powerful insights across all data sets and formats and immediately put data to use in machine learning models and BI applications.
    • There’s also Azure Chaos Studio, an experimentation platform that allows you to test applications against real or simulated disasters, disruptions, and other challenging conditions to build more resilient end-products.

    Azure Compute

    Azure’s Compute solutions provide on-demand access to cloud-based solutions — allowing orgs to pay only for what they need, and scale up, down, or move in another direction as circumstances evolve. Solutions include:

    • Virtual Machines (VM)Azure VM offers a cost-effective solution for moving critical on-prem workloads to Azure. Users only pay for the compute time they use and built-in security protections protect against cyberthreats, encrypt sensitive data, and enforce regulatory and compliance requirements.
    • Azure Virtual Desktop enables remote access to your on-prem desktop and apps. It’s a simple, secure solution designed for quick and easy deployments you can manage and scale quickly, as needed.
    • Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) — Developers using AKS can quickly deploy containerized cloud-native apps using Visual Studio Code extensions, Open Service Mesh, and pipeline actions from GitHub. Containers come with security, compliance, and governance controls, reporting tools for monitoring app health and performance, the ability to add CI/CD pipelines for easy testing.

    Final Thoughts

    As you can see, Azure plays a crucial role in data management, security, analytics, and more – and is central to maximizing the impact of your entire stack.

    But with 200+ customizable products and the near-infinite ways to combine them with each other and the rest of the Microsoft stack, Azure’s possibilities seem, well, endlessly overwhelming.

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    Professional services firms can benefit from working with a Microsoft partner who can help them select the Azure solutions that best align with their goals and existing solutions.

    Velosio’s Azure pros will not only help you find the right Azure products for your firm, they’ll work with your team to develop innovative solutions that generate value faster, minimize security threats, and help you achieve cost-savings in the cloud.

    Beyond Azure services, Velosio offers consulting services, ERP planning and implementation, and specialized solutions that help firms with resource planning, project accounting, financial reporting, and more. Contact us today to learn more.

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