From infrastructure to innovation

Marcel Nieuwpoort

Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who use Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions aren’t just more efficient – they’re more innovative too. In this blog, I will explain why ISVs who use IaaS and PaaS have more time to ensure that they stand out from their competitors.

PaaS as a solid basis for further development

Purchasing PaaS solutions is becoming an increasingly attractive option for ISVs. This is because the more advanced software becomes, the harder it is for ISVs to build their own. ISVs may need to spend years developing their software to even come close to the standard offered by the big cloud vendors.

By using Microsoft services, ISVs no longer need to reinvent the wheel. For instance, we offer Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a service, which allows ISVs to use Microsoft’s AI innovations to expand their own software. In this way, ISVs can immediately raise their AI capacity to a competitive level.

When does it make sense to opt for IaaS, PaaS or SaaS?

There are differences of degree between a fully on-premises set up and SaaS solutions. The option that suits a particular ISV will depend on the measure of control and responsibility that is desired.

There are three alternatives to a fully on-premises set up:

● Through IaaS, Microsoft takes responsibility for servers, firewalls and data storage.

● With PaaS, Microsoft also offers operating systems, business analytics and tools for developers. ISVs can then use Microsoft software to continue developing their own solutions.

● Through SaaS, we also host applications. These are ready-to-use services for the end user, such as Office 365 or Xbox Live.

An increasing number of ISVs are integrating SaaS solutions, such as Dynamics, our ERP and CRM systems, into their own software. This means that they expand Microsoft SaaS functionalities with their own add-ons.

Scalability, time-to-market, and innovation

Purchasing Microsoft PaaS has many major advantages:

● Shorter time-to-market

● Fast and unlimited scalability

● More time for innovation

Some ISVs think that if everyone were to use a similar PaaS solution, there would be little scope for companies to stand out from their competitors. But the opposite is in fact true.

When you purchase PaaS, the time you spend building and maintaining software is reduced substantially. This leaves you with much more time to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.

Microsoft supplies the building blocks and companies can use them to design their own structures. This frees up ISVs to spend more time developing the intellectual property that will make them unique, embarking on an even steeper innovation curve.

The ideal preparation for the transition to PaaS

Purchasing PaaS offers many benefits. One of the main reasons why Microsoft services aren’t yet used by everyone is that not everyone knows about them. That’s a challenge that Microsoft will have to tackle. Another key reason is that not all ISVs have had the time to prepare for the transition from an on-premises solution to a cloud-based one.

To find out which PaaS solutions are suitable for them, ISVs need to put their services in containers. They need to turn a broad package of functionalities into microservices. We are happy to assist ISVs in this process.

How a video security company is using PaaS to fight crime

An interesting example of a company that has recently switched to the cloud is a maker of hardware and software for bodycams used by the police and others.

The videos recorded by the bodycams are placed in the Microsoft cloud and analysed using the algorithms of our PaaS solution ‘Cognitive Services’.

The company’s budget would never have stretched to accommodate them developing the AI functionality offered by Cognitive Services themselves, but we’ve made this accessible for them. This means that the company can provide a better service to its customers and spend more time ensuring that it stands out from its competitors.

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