Making Cloud More Local and Other Observations Four Months in at TierPoint

By Shea Long, TierPoint SVP of Products

It’s been a whirlwind four months since I joined TierPoint to lead the development and execution of our company’s product and service portfolios. Here are my observations and thoughts since taking on the task.

Making Cloud More Local
Although cloud adoption continues to rise, there remains a hesitation among many businesses to deploy their mission critical applications and infrastructure on a solution provider’s server that is located far, far away. If your organization is in Florida, do you want to your cloud to live in Seattle? That may be fine for some workloads, but for the most vital ones? So I see one of TierPoint’s big opportunities as making cloud computing more local. That means building out more locations in more markets where we can offer an array of managed services that emphasize human-to-human communication with clients. There is value in someone getting to see their cloud and getting a chance to interact with the architect who designed their solution.

The Question I Get Asked Most
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jeff Ferry of the Daily Cloud. One of his first questions was similar to one I get asked all the time. How are you different than players like AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, etc.? I noted that those firms are great in some use cases, such as being able to spin up a virtual machine for application and development testing. But many enterprises use cloud for either major production workloads or backups of critical data. They want SLAs, help maintaining regulation compliance, and a broad portfolio of managed services among other things that require them to work with people who are empowered to make things right. TierPoint provides a world class cloud technology on par with the big box clouds, but with local expertise to complement our clients’ teams.

Long,Shea 8.06My 2016 Focus
As most of you know, TierPoint acquired Windstream Hosted Solutions (WHS). That deal closed last month and we immediately began product integration in earnest. TierPoint’s and WHS’ product portfolio mesh nicely, but we have some work to do to make sure we can deliver the right products in all of the markets we now serve. Expanding and strengthening our managed services offerings is a top priority. Hosted Solutions brings with it a wonderfully mature portfolio of managed services, such as their award winning DRaaS offerings.

Helping clients migrate applications and workloads to the cloud – either from another cloud or from their own data center – is another hot area that can be nerve-racking and potentially painful for customers. From an offering standpoint, I want to make sure we keep the pedal to the metal on making migration more of a customer strategic advantage. Migration can be an opportunity for clients to be more agile, secure and efficient.

Security and Hybrid IT are two other areas of our product focus. TierPoint excels when it comes to security, and you will be hearing more about our innovative solutions in this area. Hybrid IT means enabling customers to manage workloads in any location: on premise, at TierPoint or in an Azure environment; this is an area our clients are pushing for so we are responding.

I am excited for the coming year. TierPoint is growing organically and via acquisition. We’re entering more and more markets at a rapid clip, which gives us great opportunity to keep cloud computing more local. It also brings great challenges to be more responsive to customer needs and enable them to innovate and serve their customers.

Feedback Encouraged
I will be sharing more thoughts and observations over the coming year. I’d like to also have a dialogue with you and learn more what you are passionate about as it relates to IT. Feel free to reach out at shea.long@tierpoint.