Partner Spotlight: Going Global through Transactable Offers, with Dexter Hardy
Published Nov 22 2023 08:57 AM 1,762 Views


In this edition of our Partner Spotlight series, we continue highlighting partners at the forefront of app innovation on the commercial marketplace. Throughout the series, we will be telling the unique stories of partners who are leading the way with AI in app development, who are building using multiple Microsoft products, and who are publishing transactable applications on the marketplace. In this article, I sat down with ntegral's Founder, President, and CTO Dexter Hardy to learn more about their story and partner journey.


About Dexter: Entrepreneur, founder, President, and CTO of ntegral Inc, Dexter Hardy has over 20 years of Enterprise IT experience and is a thought leader in architecting “Infrastructure as Code as a Service” innovation to serve fortune brands and enterprises to achieve their business outcomes.



[JR]: Tell us about ntegral and its mission. What inspired the founding?

[DH]: Founded in 2002, ntegral is a Microsoft AI Cloud Partner offering optimized and secure enterprise workload solutions for businesses, governments, and non-profits. With over 250+ Azure Marketplace products, as well as, offering DevOps and IT Consulting services for our clients across the globe. As a CyberReadyMBE® certified company, security is an integral part of our offerings as we simplify technology transformation to accelerate business productivity and performance. our mission is to empower organizations to scale growth in an evolving business landscape.


[JR]: Can you tell us a bit about the application(s) you have available on the marketplace? How does it work?

[DH]: We have a variety of enterprise VM workloads and Azure Managed Application to allow businesses to focus on their core business and not have to focus on how to deploy resources to the cloud.


Companies benefit from our selection of enterprise VM workloads and Azure Managed Applications; enabling them to shift the focus away from the tedious task of deploying resources in the cloud, and instead pay attention to the core competencies of their business operations. By partnering with us, businesses can both streamline their asset digitization process and decrease overhead in back-office operations. Additionally, we provide businesses the ability to fully customize their resources to match their individual growth needs. Through our platform, businesses no longer have to invest their precious managerial and fiscal resources in setting up and maintaining a private cloud infrastructure. 


[JR]: Can you talk about your experience in building an app for the commercial marketplace through ISV Success? How has Microsoft supported you along your journey?

[DH]: ISV Success unlocks deeper insights for organizations that are looking to make a mark in the Azure Marketplace. From developing to deploying applications, the program carefully guides entities through myriad nuances that are associated with creating scalable digital products in the cloud. It supports entrepreneurs, teams, start-ups, and those looking to up their game of cloud infrastructure. With the valuable resources available through the program, organizations can get an invaluable opportunity to better understand the tough challenges involved. Overall, the ISV success program is the perfect partner for anyone looking to make a place in the Azure Marketplace.


[JR]: Can you talk about your experience publishing transactable app(s) on the marketplace?

[DH]: Leveraging the ISV success team's Mastering the Marketplace program made the process of publishing our first transactable app easier than ever! With their resources by our side, we had everything we needed to get our app up and running in a flash. From optimizing the look and feel to helping us allocate the right resources in the store, their team had our backs at every stage of the process. It was truly a game changer! Thanks to their support, we quickly went through the steps needed to publish our app successfully. We couldn't have done it without them!


The Azure Marketplace and publishing transactable offers have been a real game changer for ntegral. We published our first transactable offer to the marketplace about two years ago and that first year we had customers in over 40 countries. The following year, we grew to have customers in over 100 countries. Throughout our journey the ISV Success team has been a key resource to help us create, build, and deploy our solutions in an efficient and scalable way.


[JR]: What Microsoft cloud products did you use in your app development, and how did you decide to use those products?

[DH]: We are dedicated to taking advantage of the latest cloud technologies to revolutionize our solutions. Right now, Azure Cloud, Cosmos DB, Azure Functions, Azure App Services and Azure Kubernetes Services are at the core of our build and deployment program. These reliable tools empower us to keep up with modern trends, giving us the vibrant power to achieve success quickly and easily.


[JR]: How is ntegral leveraging or planning to leverage AI in app development?

[DH]: At Ntegral, we are thrilled to use the power and potential of Artificial Intelligence in our Simba product range. With the application of AI in our offerings, businesses can swiftly deploy solutions to the Azure cloud. This allows our clients to embrace the cloud, its cutting-edge potential, and execute ground-breaking projects quicker than ever before. Ultimately, AI is introducing new possibilities in how businesses capitalize upon the efficiencies offered by cloud computing technology. We are delighted to enable such advancements to our clients and excite them with a quicker route to innovation.


[JR]: How do you use user feedback to improve your app and user experience?

[DH]: We make the most of our Microsoft Partner Center Insight and Analytics capabilities to understand which products are in higher demand. By performing A/B testing for the product names and descriptions, we can see which works best for geographical regions. This enables us to be strategic and informed with our product presentations. Looking closely at every detail pays off and allows us to exceed customer expectations. From localized naming conventions to precise descriptions, we can deliver tailored solutions that better suit our customer needs. In other words, we get better results by smartly optimizing our product offerings across different regions.


[JR]: Have you had the opportunity to collaborate with other ISVs within the Microsoft ecosystem? If yes, how has this collaboration been beneficial?

[DH]: Collaborating with other Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) has provided significant value to our efforts. By learning from existing networks, we’re able to quickly innovate and leverage Microsoft’s respective ecosystems and customer base to get the most out of our solutions. Engaging with teams that have experience optimizing around these metrics has proven to be an incredibly useful resource. We’re excited to gain insight from the wider technical community and continue to increase our rate of improvement.


[JR]: What excites you about the future of tech?

[DH]: Leveraging the power of AI – innovating at the speed of AI. By leveraging cutting-edge AI technology, the power of innovation can be increased exponentially. Instead of operating at human speeds, smaller, nimble organizations can benefit from the AI revolution, revolutionizing every sector of their operations. Solutions can be delivered quicker and faster than ever before, meeting increasing customer demand faster. The potential of AI technology translates into amazing opportunities and capacity to create revolutionary solutions, evolving at a speed never before seen. Introducing AI into everyday workplace processes can facilitate unprecedented achievements and rapid scale at a low cost.


[JR]: What advice would you give to other ISVs who are considering publishing their apps on Microsoft's commercial marketplace?

[DH]: As an ISV, I know publication to the Microsoft commercial Marketplace is essential for digital success. With over 4 million daily active users on the Azure Marketplace, it's clear why taking advantage of this platform should be at the top of your list. A publication to the Azure Marketplace puts the capability and scalability of your offerings in front of an already engaged audience. It's a smart move, and one I would personally advise to any ISV looking to advance their enterprise solution capabilities. Don't miss out on the valuable opportunities the Microsoft's Marketplace offers businesses.


[JR]: Are there any best practices or lessons learned that you would like to share with aspiring ISVs?

[DH]: Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) using the Azure Marketplace can follow several best practices to ensure a successful and effective partnership with Microsoft Azure. Here are some key recommendations:

  • Understand Azure Marketplace Policies:  Familiarize yourself with Azure Marketplace policies, including pricing, security requirements, and other guidelines. Ensure that your product aligns with these policies.
  • Optimize Your Listings:  Craft clear and compelling product listings. Clearly communicate the value proposition, features, and benefits of your solution. Use high-quality images, videos, and documentation to enhance your listing.
  • Ensure Security and Compliance:  Adhere to Azure's security and compliance standards. Clearly communicate how your product handles security, data privacy, and compliance requirements. This can instill confidence in potential customers.
  • Leverage Azure Services:  Integrate your solution with Azure services whenever possible. This not only enhances the functionality of your product but also demonstrates a commitment to the Azure ecosystem.
  • Optimize for Azure Marketplace SEO:  Implement relevant keywords in your product description and metadata to improve search engine optimization within the Azure Marketplace. This can help potential customers discover your solution more easily.
  • Engage in Marketing and Promotion:  Actively promote your product through various channels. Participate in Azure marketing initiatives, webinars, and events. Leverage social media and other platforms to increase visibility.
  • Gather and Showcase Customer Reviews:  Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Positive reviews can build trust and credibility. Address any negative feedback promptly and professionally.
  • Monitor Analytics and Metrics:  Utilize analytics tools to track the performance of your product on the Azure Marketplace. Understand user behavior, conversion rates, and other key metrics to make informed decisions.
  • Stay Informed about Azure Updates:  Keep yourself informed about updates and changes to the Azure ecosystem. Ensure that your product remains compatible with the latest Azure features and services.

By following these best practices, ISVs can enhance their presence on the Azure Marketplace, attract more customers, and build successful, long-term partnerships with Microsoft Azure.


[JR]: How do you see your collaboration with Microsoft evolving in the future?

[DH]: Our team persistently develops and enhances cutting-edge solutions to facilitate Azure customers' seamless utilization of the Azure Cloud, we take pride in being a pivotal component of Microsoft's strategic approach.  We recognize the significant role we play in Microsoft's strategy to strengthen and broaden relationships with enterprise clients. Our goal is to not just deepen, but also broaden our connection with enterprise clientele and Microsoft. Our tech-savvy and formal approach is aimed at meeting the needs of professionals in various industries while adding value to the Microsoft Azure Cloud ecosystem.



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