To reduce their overheads, many organisations are currently moving from localised IT infrastructures to centralised, cloud-based ones. In consolidating the expertise of both teams, Softcat has enabled its consultants to help them achieve this while ensuring that their infrastructures are adequately protected.
“Security is a very important concern when you’re putting a lot of technology in the cloud, as many of our clients are,” explained Matt Helling, head of Softcat’s new network and security team. “Now that we have combined our network and security divisions, our clients won’t have to have one conversation about things like core switching and routing, and then a separate one about, say, firewalling and penetration testing. Instead, their single point of contact can consider all of these things as a whole. In one fell swoop we make sure they are covered from all angles.”
He continued: “I think customers will like our new unified approach. The network and security consultant you are dealing with will work with you throughout the project, from initial discussions through to meetings, project planning and project management. This person ensures that our engineers have scoped out the project correctly and are delivering it on time, all the way through to completion.”
Over the course of six months, Softcat has given all members of its security division in-depth training in networking to ensure they can find the most effective ways to meet customers’ specific business and technical requirements in networking as well as security. Its vendor managers developed some user case scenarios for the trainees to work through, focusing on different requirements relating to different technologies from a number of major vendors, including HP and Cisco. The training looked at how to address customers’ current networking needs, but also focused on how to anticipate and address how these might change in future.
Softcat is gaining a reputation as a ‘partner of choice’ within cloud computing. Not only is it one of just a handful of UK suppliers accredited by HP as a strategic Cloud Centre of Excellence, but earlier this year Softcat also received Cloud Champion certification from Microsoft, was named VMware’s Partner of the Year, and won in the Cloud Computing category at this year’s MicroScope ACEs.