Executive Sponsorship: Don’t Migrate to the Cloud Without It

Exec Level Sponsorship_Cloud Migration

By Octavio Morales, Senior Vice President — Operations

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in or what type of project you’re managing. Change is hard. The bigger the change, the more you need senior leadership to help pave the way. Migrating to the cloud can fall into this category. And, while you might have a C-level executive such as a CIO or CTO driving the project, here are a handful of reasons why it can be a good idea to enlist executive sponsorship from outside the IT realm as well:

Alignment to business goals. In the Society for Information Management’s latest survey of Chief Information Officers, alignment to IT was the number one issue for CIOs in 2016. Having an executive sponsor from the business side of the organization can help you understand how your cloud migration strategy needs to support the business and articulate the business benefits of your strategy to others.

Cost/benefit analysis. When you migrate to the cloud, decisions will need to be made that require a thorough understanding of the cost/benefits analysis. For example, which cloud model suits your organization best: public? private? hosted private? colocation? hybrid? The most effective solution may not always look the least expensive on paper. An executive who can articulate the business reasons for choosing one over the other to the rest of the C-Suite can be an invaluable ally. Continue reading

SIAS Grows Their IBM IaaS Offerings with TierPoint Infrastructure & Services

By Ralph Thomas, VP and GM, TierPoint New York Operations

One of the growing elements of TierPoint’s business in New York is helping customers in the technology industry innovate and create revenue streams using our facilities and services.  We provide easy access to efficient power, connectivity, the Internet and a host of additional services while the customer delivers specialized services and applications to their customers.  In some cases, clients use a mix of TierPoint colocation and managed services.  More frequently, they are taking advantage of our cloud and hybrid cloud services to deliver platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings and software as a service (SaaS) applications among other solutions.

Secure Infrastructure & Services LLC (SIAS) is a prime example of this trend.  They are a fast-growing customer that is tapping into a market that is going through a quiet resurgence. Here is their story.

IBM Reinvests in Power Systems
IBM Power Systems are a line of computer servers that were introduced in the early 1990s.  They were very popular among the Fortune 500 and small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) but their growth stagnated as Microsoft Windows and flavors of Linux emerged in the Internet age.  Worse, IT pros and developers turned their attention elsewhere making finding support more difficult.  About two years ago, IBM decided to reinvest in Power Systems to tackle increasingly large workloads along with customers’ heavy uptime demands.

Around the same time, SIAS was formed to offer infrastructure and consulting services to AS400 iSeries (part of the Power Systems family) users as well as other users of the IBM AIX operating system.

2016
For the first time in five years, IBM Power Systems have achieved four consecutive quarters of revenue growth. Many of the legacy systems in use have reached their end of life yet the applications written for them remain popular.  However, Peter Briggs, SIAS’ managing partner, says that “most companies are increasingly frustrated managing this infrastructure.  It is also very difficult to find IT resources with the requisite expertise to maintain them.”  This is the problem that SIAS solves.

sailing to MV

Peter Briggs, managing partner at SIAS, helps clients navigate IBM infrastructure challenges

In conjunction with TierPoint, SIAS has designed a virtual cloud platform that allows them to offer capacity on demand for all kinds of workloads for IBM users.  This includes production capacity, virtualized capacity and a lot of disaster recovery (DR) and replication workloads. Typically customers like to run enterprise resource planning (ERP), financials and other mission critical applications that require high-volume transactions.

DR is one of the top challenges of these IBM users.  “We find that companies that are willing to maintain these systems on their own for production workloads are very reluctant to recreate the environment in a separate location for DR purposes,” says Briggs.  “This is one of our biggest opportunities because we can maintain customers’ DR solutions for significantly less money and eliminate the IT overhead associated with maintaining it themselves.”

SIAS’ services are run on its own equipment housed inside TierPoint’s Westchester County data center.

Creating a Symbiotic Relationship
So at this point, you may have noticed that SIAS offers many of the same services that we do.  That’s true, but even though our data centers are vendor agnostic, our clouds are largely Wintel, VMware, Cisco and NetApp.  SIAS has deep specialized IBM expertise around AIX and OS5, frankly a rarity.  We have developed a symbiotic relationship with them to serve customers that have multi-platform requirements, such as Ocean State Job Lot, yet they still purchase a set of products from us ranging from Internet provisioning, cross connects and support services.

SIAS’ Peter Briggs:
“Our relationship with TierPoint works because they have a lot of people who understand our business.  I can always get someone on the phone up through senior management if I have an issue.  They are always stirring the pot to help me win business.”

What’s Next
SIAS has begun work on a second virtual platform at TierPoint’s Bethlehem, PA location with possibly a third in Marlborough, MA.  It is rewarding to see SIAS grow. The company is one of several examples of TierPoint’s clients that have built businesses based on TierPoint infrastructure and managed services.  In a future piece, we’ll cover a company that uses our cloud to offer a desktop-as-a-service solution and another that offers a platform-as-a-service to allow customers to run everything from Oracle to Hadoop.

Message from the Pope of TierPoint: Plan and Prepare for the Cloud

By Jeremy Pope, GM, TierPoint Texas

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of posts authored by TierPoint senior executives commenting on a variety of topics including industry and technology trends, customer pain points and stories that help readers get to know TierPoint a little better. First up is Jeremy Pope, general manager of TierPoint Texas.

Jeremy Pope

Jeremy Pope

On Helping Clients Transition to the Cloud
I was born in South Louisiana, where I spent much of my time outdoors with my grandfather who was a logger and avid outdoorsman. He introduced me to the outdoors, and I never lost that bug. Whether it is spending time in the mountains or in the wilderness, you can learn a lot about business from nature. Perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned is the importance of preparation and having a strong game plan. You cannot expect to be successful without clearly thinking through contingencies that can make you more agile and accurate in your decision making. Continue reading

Planning for a Successful Cloud Migration

By Scott Fuhriman, VP Sales and Product Development

Considering a migration to the cloud? While the move can mean major IT savings and improved performance, the shift of enterprise systems and infrastructure from traditional to cloud environments needs to be planned carefully to ensure a real payoff and minimize risk. The process of migration requires an analysis of business, technical and operational considerations as well as an understanding of emerging cloud technologies and architectures.

Business Strategy Should Drive Cloud Strategy
Because cloud migration is fundamentally a business decision, it’s important to examine business strategies and processes and map them to the right cloud architecture and cloud strategies. Depending on the nature of your business and the applications you use to operate, cloud technologies provide different levels of availability, failover, security and other services. Continue reading

Cloud Adoption Drives Growth in Colocation

By Scott Fuhriman, VP Sales and Product Development

If you’re wondering “colocation or cloud,” stop right there. The problem is the word “or.” The two are not exclusive: Colocation can be part of a cloud solution, a great step towards a cloud-based model, and a perfectly sufficient strategy all on its own.

Growth AheadIn all these forms, colocation is on the rise, and increased cloud adoption is one of the main drivers of growth in colocation. A new report released by DCD Intelligence shows that almost a quarter of all data center footprint in the North America region is now outsourced, and predicts a further increase of 15 percent by the end of 2014.

There are many great reasons for this growth, and most fall into one of three categories: cost savings, reliability, and scalability. Continue reading