To raise its market share, Microsoft is making an exchange offer to small and medium businesses (SMBs) to give away their hardware in return for a cloud setup.
Under the three-month scheme, which is exclusively launched for India market, Microsoft is reaching out to organisations with 250 personal computers or less, offering them Azure credit in exchange for their hardware. The company has opened a toll-free number and web access for the businesses to reach out to.
“This is an opportunity for SMBs to get value for their legacy hardware and at the same time leap to the cloud. This will help them reduce maintenance costs and get on a modern platform,” said Karan Bajwa, managing director of Microsoft India. Microsoft has partnered with Mumbai-based Just-Dispose, which would collect the hardware from the customer, and provide a purchase acknowledgement and a figure for the cash value of the hardware. Based on this, the business can buy Azure credit and build a cloud platform and host applications.
The organization, however, needs to commit certain amount every year to avail monthly credit on Windows Azure. This credit will cover over 30%-50 % of the investment that they incur while moving into the cloud. For instance, if the value of the existing computer servers is in estimated by JustDispose to be in the range of $200-$ 1000, the customer needs to pay a minimum of $3000 a year as a guarantee amount. The business would then get credit towards Windows Azure services upto a maximum of $500 per month for two months, in addition to the $3000 already in its credit.
Overall the small business would end up paying $3000 for its Azure subscription worth $4000, according to Microsoft . Over the last 12-18 months, the Redmond-based software giant has built a strong position in the private cloud market with enterprises , but the quantum of growth is coming from the untapped space of public cloud that SMBs go for. According to Meetul Patel, general manager, SMB, Microsoft India, there are around 50 million small businesses, where only roughly 5 million are using PCs. “This is lost growth opportunity of $56 million,” Patel added.