What is the best cloud for your organisation? Anton van Rooyen, Senior Business Development Manager at Axiz Cloud Technologies, often mulls this question because he’s asked it often. The obvious answer is that it depends – every company will have different needs.

But there is another angle, a more straightforward consideration: “I believe one place you should look is at the company that you’ve trusted for the longest period of time. If it has a cloud environment today, that could be the best cloud for you to work with.”

For many companies, the natural answer is Microsoft. Under its current leadership, Microsoft has shifted from the monolithic systems of yesteryear and, through Azure, into one of the dominant cloud players in the market. This transition includes many of the applications and services that make Microsoft a household corporate name, and the result is something that can meet both productivity and security needs.

All in the ecosystem

Axiz is very close to Microsoft and a recognised cloud service provider (CSP) that leverages the Microsoft Azure public cloud stack. For at least six years, Axiz has been building, testing and releasing a wide array of capabilities for its channel customers, enabling them to provide solutions that incorporate the best in cloud services.

“It’s important to understand that cloud is just one element in a wider range of building blocks for solutions. So, when Axiz developed as a CSP, we didn’t simply pivot to cloud. We built a platform that incorporates cloud with a wider range of services and products that our customers can use to deliver value to their end-customers,” says Van Rooyen.

This multifunction view reflects what Microsoft has created. For example, the company is renowned for its productivity tools such as Word, Excel and Teams, and comprehensive identity management tools such as ActiveDirectory. When infused with the Azure cloud, these elements come together as a flowing ecosystem that provides for productivity and security at the same time.

Microsoft celebrates an ecosystem approach, Van Rooyen explains. “Through technology services – for instance, Azure Active Directory, Advanced Email Threat Protection, Defender and especially on endpoint management – Microsoft has developed ways of dealing with sophisticated cyber threats through an ecosystem approach.”

Visibility is the answer

Security is only as good as the visibility and response it can provide. This is a titanic struggle for many companies, where technology environments grow complex, nuanced and opaque. But instead of forcing everything to behave in one way, a more modern philosophy has a different approach. Zero trust methodology says that the best security can come from consolidating the management of user identities.

“Leveraging Microsoft’s ecosystem, at Axiz we bring in a configuration manager that connects all of the different applications to start using one type of identity. Using one form of access management helps get away from the heavily federated IT environments of the past. It helps add measures such as multi-factor authentication and gives administrators a single view from which to observe and take action.”

Observe is a crucial word in this discussion. The primary reason why fractured security fails is that there isn’t enough visibility. That all changes by bringing different elements together through an ecosystem and with a single point for user management.

Yet, security needn’t curtail productivity. Through leveraging an ecosystem such as Microsoft’s, one can have the best of both worlds: Responsive, comprehensive security and unfettered, flow-based productivity. Link any application or device to any task it’s entitled to, through a user identity, powered by the Azure cloud’s powerful integration and scope.

Axiz has developed as a CSP to offer its channel customers and partners this powerful synergy. It helps facilitate different elements such as licensing and solution design and brings its full weight as a Microsoft partner to the benefit of Axiz partners and their clients: “Axiz has full access to Microsoft premium support. One of the first things that we do is make sure that we can support our customers and can put them in touch directly with Microsoft, with the right unit in the right division, and they will respond immediately to you.”

Productivity and security don’t have to compromise for each other. Thanks to ecosystems, they can operate in harmony. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the market that achieves this better than Microsoft, a trusted name among businesses of all sizes. Through Axiz and its expanding cloud services muscle, you can readily bring that value through to your clients.