How do major companies continue to grow and gain new customers? The answer is simple, business intelligence. Microsoft Azure is a powerful public cloud platform and a playing field equalizer for small businesses. Azure offers small businesses the same powerful business intelligence tools that large multinational companies leverage to gain insight into their business. Fully managed services such as Azure Machine Learning allows businesses to create, test, operate and manage predictive analytic solutions in the cloud using a pay-as-you-go model. The machine learning platform provides small businesses with a large collection of modules and templates for common analytics problems, and allows them to analyze data from a variety of sources to generate rich analytical reports.
At a high level, Azure provides three main building blocks: Azure Compute, Azure Data Services and Azure App Services. These services are connected using various networking and traffic management services. As the name suggests, Azure Compute provides the compute capabilities, including virtual machines, cloud services, websites and the fabric controller. Azure Data services provides relational storage, non-relational storage, and backup capabilities. Finally, Azure App services focuses on providing services such as caching, access control, and communication between components. The various Azure services allow small businesses to solve complex problems and compete with large companies without the price tag of building a data center.
By abstracting most of the complexity required with configuring, deploying and maintaining your business applications, Azure allows you to focus on building features for your users. The platform provides a marketplace where you can find a variety of templates for most business scenarios. By using these templates, you can build a fully working Sharepoint farm within minutes. Also, the Azure marketplace boasts over 3,400 different applications that are ready to be deployed at a moments notice.
By leveraging the various Azure services, small businesses can become more competitive without having to spend millions of dollars building and maintaining data centers. Through Azure, your business can offer services in many countries with minimal latencies for the end users. Also, the pay-as-you-go model allows businesses to invest their resources in product development instead of infrastructure.