Azure Stack Review

Intuitive and user-friendly dashboarding and management reporting features


What is our primary use case?

We use Azure primarily for sales management. Specifically, we use it to help us manage the delivery of digital solutions that we provide to clients.  

We also use it for our own internal accounting, tracking our CRM document management, and we have developed different tailor-made solutions through which we provide additional services to our clients.  

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to creatively integrate solutions easily.  

What is most valuable?

The best thing about this product is that it is user-friendly and intuitive. That is true, especially for dashboarding and management reporting. The low code development tooling that they provide allows us to do rapid development. They also have some interesting features for self-learning, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.  

It is a complete stack that helps us to easily link various components together so that the whole component-based development connects to other open-source components. This helps make the rapid development of general solutions possible.  

What needs improvement?

As far as what we would like to see added, there are no burning issues right now. If we are looking for certain areas of improvement and we want to have specific features or functions, the flexibility of the environment allows us to easily add the functionality we want.  

There are always things that you have to find out for yourself. That creates complexity. Could Microsoft make the product easier to use? Probably by adding more scenarios, but Microsoft already has guidelines on when to use what feature. In the area of training, Microsoft already offers a lot of opportunities to further your skills with its products. These resources make it possible to get started quickly. The product is never going to do your learning for you in that way.  

I do not have any recommendations as to how the product should be enhanced as some of that is the user's responsibility and opportunity.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Azure for one and a half years now. That was half a year after we originally embarked on using the Microsoft suite.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is stable. I would say 'yes' to that twice over.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far we have not found any problems with scalability. Azure Stack was easily extendable. We started with a small cloud environment, we had to extend it over time and it grows as we do.  

Our client base is growing rapidly. We are now above a hundred clients and on average there are two to three users per client.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not been in touch with technical support myself but other people in our organization have. More or less, I think they were satisfied with the tech support services.  

For most users, the support experience depends on the subscription you have and on experience. We have some experience with Microsoft Stack people within our network. That makes a big difference. Because of that we hardly ever really need to use technical support services.  

How was the initial setup?

The setup for Azure becomes more complex when you have multiple users. When you have multiple organizations, with multiple users working or using the same solution, data storage needs to be very well separated because of privacy. That is a piece of complexity that is embedded in the way we provide our services. There is no link to Microsoft or any software provider service. We defined how to make it work that way.  

What other advice do I have?

Given the current direction and strategy of Microsoft, I think Azure Stack is one of the most comprehensive solution platforms available today.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as an eight of ten. In my case, there really is very little Microsoft can do to make the score better. I could really never give a software product a perfect score. There is always something that can be improved. If you work in a flexible, dynamic environment, you have to make choices in terms of how to design things. You have to decide which additional components to use or incorporate, or to not use what are considered standard features that most other people use. Users' choices will be different depending on their needs, application, and adaptation.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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