How Azure is Transforming SMEs

In today’s competitive landscape, SMEs have an edge over large enterprises that they need to leverage now more than ever: speed and agility.


Unlike corporates, SMEs operate on small teams that can make – and implement – decisions in hours and days, not weeks and months.

One of the challenges SMEs continue to face however is cash flow. Without the ability to invest in enterprise-level hardware, SMEs have been constrained by access to technology.


As we all know, the Cloud has changed the game. Access to enterprise-level software at flexible pricing structures that could grow with a business’s needs means that SMEs can now compete head-on with corporates, while still bringing speed and agility to the table.


This was always Microsoft’s vision: To provide businesses large and small alike with the same tools and functionality, and Azure is the culmination of that vision.


Scale according to your needs


On Azure, you can scale up and scale down at any time, depending on workloads. Not only does this give SMEs flexibility, but it removes all restraints that are present with on-premise hardware. For an SME, where cash is king, this removes the costs of maintaining hardware or physical servers. In addition, public cloud solutions and hybrid solutions like Azure increase speed, efficiency, agility and productivity in a business because they are software defined.


We like to call it ‘pay as you grow’, because you don’t need to invest in more servers as your capacity and needs increase, you just need to invest in more services, or unlock more users. You pay for what you need – and nothing more.


This gives SMEs the freedom to grow without incurring large capex costs. One of the biggest growth challenges that SMEs face is overextending themselves – investing in growth that the business cannot maintain because of the investment’s impact on cash flow.


In South Africa, more than 80% of business owners have identified seasonal cash flow as the greatest challenge facing the SME sector today, which begs the question: How do you grow without overextending yourself?

One of the key ways is through software as a service (Saas), platform as a service (PaaS)and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – which is Azure’s value proposition.


Zero down-time


As Africa’s largest Cloud distributor, we have seen the impact that having access to speed of deployment, operations and scalability when they need it has had on the growth of SMEs. Why invest in any solution before you need it? And more importantly, why invest in something until you can see the impact it will have on your business?


Flexible Cloud solutions ensure that you only use – and pay for – what you need, when you need it. Running your business through Azure also ensures that your business is always operating on up-time, with zero down-time. The loss of revenue and system downtimes can be devastating for SMEs, which is just one more reason to seriously consider what Azure can do for your business.


First Distribution is one of the leading value-added distributors in Africa, with a world-class product portfolio and an excellent staff compliment to support and manage its vendors with an unrivalled level of expertise.

First Distribution has grown from a company focused exclusively on IBM to one that represents the world’s best technologies relating to the Datacentre, Cloud, Networking and Security offerings.

Visit to find out more.

Africa, Microsoft, Azure

Recent Posts