HOSTING customers enjoyed two days of learning, networking and hospitality during the 2015 HOSTING Customer Summit – Charting the Course to the Unified Cloud. The HOSTING team, along with key partners, shared ideas, insights and best practices for developing and managing cloud services across multiple infrastructure providers including: AWS and Microsoft Azure. Following are some highlights from the event. We shall share recorded sessions here in the coming weeks.
The HOSTING Unified Cloud™ – “Come Fly with Me”
The summit kicked off with a presentation on cloud trends by HOSTING Chief Strategy Officer, Andy Schroepfer. Drawing upon insights from his recent white paper, The Defining White Paper for the Unified Cloud, Andy discussed how online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Priceline, Expedia and Orbitz aggregated a trillion dollar industry for the benefit of traveler, unifying a market that showed the same characteristics as the cloud industry does today. Some of the similarities between the travel and cloud industries include:
A core group of suppliers
There was a time when several new air carriers entered the market each year. Competition led to customer choice and greater affordability. By 2000, the airline had already undergone significant consolidation. New entrants, such as Jet Blue, have been relegated to “niche player” status. This consolidation is similar to the state of cloud services where there are no new entrants – Amazon Web Services (AWS) is akin to Delta Airlines and Jet Blue is similar to Microsoft Azure.
Low differentiation among suppliers
While airlines offer slightly different fares, departure times, seat availability, connections, etc., they usually get you to your desired destination. The same can be said of the compute, storage, or networking resource of the cloud stack. While each cloud service provider (CSP) claims to be different, most of them accomplish the same technology goals, albeit with varying success and commitment to customer service.
Airlines were instrumental in the development of OTAs, addressing buyer frustration that stemmed from having to log onto multiple sites in order to compare fares. Similar to the airlines, there is rising frustration from IT teams tending to multiple control panels in order to manage their organization’s cloud environments.
Andy emphasized that the unified cloud is “the best weapon to defend against vendor lock-in,” meaning that customers will have the flexibility to select the right platform for each of their applications.
“Expect many unifiers,” Andy noted, “AWS, Azure and Azure will be among the first to market.”
Introducing the HOSTING Unified Cloud
Sean Bruton, HOSTING VP of Product, took the stage to provide an overview of the HOSTING Unified Cloud and how it fills in critical solutions gaps left by AWS and Azure, including availability, security and compliance. For organizations who want to solve their real IT challenges, the HOSTING Unified Cloud provides the following benefits.
- Freedom to create applications using the latest cloud innovation tools – regardless of platform
- Highest levels of performance, security and compliance
- A single view into the health and wellness of organization’s applications
Sean also described the following features found in the HOSTING Unified Cloud including:
- One Partner | One View
- Intrusion Detection
- Log Monitoring
- Malware Protection
- Web Application Firewall
- Integrity Monitoring
- Vulnerability Scanning
- Dynamic compliance monitoring (HIPAA, PCI)
- Spend management
- Quarterly billing
- Spend management dashboard
- Investment review against business objectives
“If you want to get out of the data center business, manage AWS or Azure on your own,” Sean concluded, “If you want to solve your real IT headaches, consider investing in the HOSTING Unified Cloud.”
A unified cloud is key to business transformation
James Staten, Chief Strategist for Microsoft Cloud + Enterprise, shared how organizations can best leverage the cloud – starting with the customer experience.
“Customers are demanding smarter products, more intelligent support and higher levels of personalization,” James notes. “The pace in which the customer relationship has changed, due to digital disruption and lower switch costs.”
James told the audience that in order to deliver greater customer engagement, organizations must do the following successfully:
- Create smarter products and services
- Deliver a mobile experience.
- IoT-enable your products
- Have more intelligent touchpoints
- Create and iterate better customer experiences
- Use data to inform better and faster business decisions, and product and experience iterations.
Data and analytics help achieve both by allowing companies to answer key questions such as:
- What other products would customer Y purchase?
- What is the likelihood of customer Y churning?
- What is the price elasticity of product Z?
- Do we have sufficient product availability for the holidays?
James emphasized that leveraging scalable, multi-tenant cloud-based solutions such as the HOSTING Unified Cloud allow companies to glean insights from their data, extend their on-premises applications, innovate rapidly and tap into new markets. HOSTING Microsoft Azure experts help organizations “rightsource” organizations’ existing technology portfolios, helping them address the following questions.
- What do I move first?
- How do I continue to leverage what I have?
- How do I move forward?
Are you getting the most out of your current AWS or Azure cloud environment? Contact HOSTING to schedule a complimentary review of your existing configuration and current business goals. We can show you how to achieve the most efficient solution on your current platform, and compare it against other leading cloud infrastructure providers to ensure you are getting the maximum return on your investment.