Microsoft is renowned for battle testing, updating, and improving its products. In the Cloud, their aggressive innovation is really something to behold. This week, Microsoft sought to redefine the cloud by announcing major news for Windows Server 2012 and their Cloud OS strategy of consistent platforms between private datacenters, hosted datacenter and Windows Azure. Zuora congratulates Microsoft on its progress, and believes that having such an important player actively improve their offerings in the cloud can only be good for everyone.
With this beta release of technologies for Windows Server and System Center, Microsoft is focusing on hosting service providers by equipping them with finished services for high density web site hosting as well as virtual machine creation and management. These solutions are designed to be fully self-service, “allowing end customers to procure and manage their own resources within a framework defined by the hosting service provider,” explains the Microsoft release. This is enabled through their modern web-based, device friendly, Service Management Portal and Service Management API layer. The portal can be white labeled and branded by the service provider or you can leverage the Service Management API to integrate with pre-existing portals.
This new API layer is also open for 3rd party integration and extension and Zuora is already making contributions to this new platform. As customer usage is captured by the Service Management API, service providers can easily now connect with Zuora to bill and charge for services based on customer consumption.
Zuora enables monetization strategies to these hosting service providers who are taking advantage of the new Windows Server technologies. If your business is making the shift to the cloud, then you have likely started to change your technical infrastructure to be able to deliver elastic computing to your customers.At the same time, the shift to cloud computing will require significant changes to your business model. Instead of making one-time, big-bang purchases of perpetual licenses, your customers in the cloud will now demand to see multiple subscription pricing plans online, pick what is best suited to their needs, and pay on a recurring basis and only for what is used. While perhaps seeming simple at first glance, the cloud business model will have cons and pitfalls, and Zuora’s multi-tenant approach to cloud commerce infrastructure is designed to help businesses that are making the change to the cloud.
At Zuora, we appreciate the importance of flexibility and scalability. Zuora’s cloud billing platform makes it easy to accommodate usage-based billing, pay-as-you-go or charging users per terabyte stored, IP address, gigabyte transferred, CPU instance, or application user. Zuora’s cloud billing solution is built for this new business model out-of-the-box. And with Zuora’s APIs it’s a cinch to hook into metering systems from leading vendors like Microsoft.
We are thrilled to be working with Microsoft Windows Server team to help enable service providers to monetize for these new great offerings leveraging the latest Windows Server 2012 technology.