What are the challenges that customers face in the industry and how do you address them?
Jack: One of the key challenges is the sheer variety of solutions. The fact that you have to be so well versed in all the "as-a-service" models and choose what to implement makes it difficult for mid-sized organizations to figure out the right strategy. Being able to understand the different nuances and deciding to choose one aspect over the other is probably the biggest challenge.
Chris: The biggest challenge is workload definition—what needs to go to and where and how can the business use it? We have seen a trend in the market, recently, where the application development team approaches the CEO and says, “We need this availability and this much throughput and hyper-converged infrastructure.” It is the developers and application support people who are driving the needs of I/O. It is a big shift from what it was years ago.
Can you tell us about Bell Techlogix and what the company does?
Chris: We are not a hardware company. We need a basic block and tackle infrastructure to run our space. One of the great things about our offering is that it is not a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution. We are a large Microsoft partner, and we do a lot within AWS. We move customers to dedicated product clouds on hyperconverged infrastructure. Therefore, it is not just moving applications from on-premise to space ‘B’. It is about, what solution is right for the company. Some organizations can have many requirements, so they cannot go to a standard public cloud, but they can go to a standard pay-to-play infrastructure-as-a-service and specific applications to an application-as-a-service model.
When implementing a solution, we start at the base layer—what is the current availability of the customer’s infrastructure and what their challenges are. We can look at those challenges in two aspects—as a cost (which sometimes it is) and as a development space. They are paying for longer term, 24/7 running infrastructure in their on-prem data center. However, they only need that in an on-demand fashion, with their ITSM service. So part of the challenge is cost. In that situation, we would love to be in the Azure space probably. Using our ITSM platform, ServiceNow, we have the ability for developers with the correct approval to go and request a server instance or application instance—to do their development work.
Jack: When we converge our analytics offering with our infrastructure and cloud services offering, we have the opportunity and the capability to give organizations insight and planning into where their spending is going to go in the future. Being able to chart specific graphs, looking at the utilization of storage/processes, not only historically, but also about the future of—based on your trend—where this is going. Then we have a conversation with a CIO, CTO, or CEO about their business acquisitions and new products that are going to hit the market, which will affect this trend. We use those insights to influence the decision to rapidly provision new process and capacity, as they would not need to scale.
We help academic institutions with their cloud spending and help them take advantage of grant money for research and students. We take cloud activity and track the money by research initiatives or by grants so that when someone is provisioning an ad-hoc server or storage or processing capacity, it can be tracked and tied back from a finance standpoint. That visibility into finance is something that is not that common and being able to help organizations navigate the rules of engagement of class servers can have real financial implications.
What are the distinct features of your solution that give you a competitive edge?
Jack: What we do well at Bell Techlogix is we have the same or better capabilities, processes, and technology as many large managed services providers. But we are a little bit smaller, which makes us a little bit more nimble, flexible, closer to the business goals, and the business directions that organizations are looking for. The challenge for today's CIOs is how they can make a difference in the boardroom. How do they connect to the business and drive it forward? That is what we work with them to achieve.
Can you provide a case study that highlights your solutions?
Jack: There is a manufacturing company on the East Coast that produces sails for sailboats as well as a clothing line. They had an aging infrastructure and application sets in their data center. As they were looking to reinvent their business, they needed to move it to a cloud-only, cloud-first methodology. Starting with their ERP, they looked to us to help them to get that into an online mode. Microsoft does have a great ERP platform with Azure and Dynamics. But at the time they were making the move, Microsoft was not offering that in a cloud-based methodology yet. So we worked with them to help migrate their ERP and CRM platforms to cloud-based implementations of Microsoft's products. They transformed their core business in the US and also extended that into their global operations, including manufacturing in the APAC region. It led the charge for them to move other systems and services into a cloud-based implementation.
What does the future look like for Bell Techlogix?
Chris: One of the things that we have started to work on and we have recently made some new hires is in the application space. We have focused a lot on infrastructure-as-a-service and PaaS. We have not focused as much on the IoT experience, and when we look at endpoints, it is no longer just desktops, laptops, and mobile phones. It is dishwashers and refrigerators. So, we are doing a lot in the application space moving forward as we look at IoT and the management of devices that are not just standard physical compute devices. We are also going to strengthen our partnerships as we look closer at hyperconverged technology. It can challenge VMware at the virtualization layer. So we are watching that closely because that is going to change the dedicated private cloud, hybrid cloud, and some of the public cloud offerings.
The managed IT services are designed to enhance the data center and cloud capabilities, thus driving service excellence and digitalization.
FREMONT, CA: The digitalization of industries across various sectors has been streamlined by the emergence of robust tech solution companies, among which, Bell Techlogix and Calgon Carbon are one of the foremost. The two service providers recently announced the extension of their managed services partnership. The partnership will cover end-to-end infrastructure services for the next 36 months.