Pathway to Public Cloud: Our Cloud Intelligence Service

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2019
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By Josh Owens
CIS Sales Specialist

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As outlined in Part 1 of this blog; “Faster, Easier, Cheaper, Better!” are heralded as benefits of moving to the public cloud. These benefits don’t of course come automatically, which is why over the last 18 months, we have been developing a Cloud Intelligence Service to help our customers gain control through improved insight into their cloud spend.

Barriers to success with cloud migration

We noticed that despite many of our customers adopting a multi-cloud strategy, they are regularly not achieving the desired outcomes in cost reduction, ease of management, and efficiency that they hoped for. Native Cloud tooling wasn’t providing the level of functionality customers wanted, with recommendations into reservations and other optimisations missing in parts and the ability to apportion costs amongst business functions limited. We found customers using all sorts of tooling to solve the issue; from complex calculations in Excel and Business Intelligence tools, to some more elaborate solutions, with partial success. We knew very early on that our customers needed much more and began to look for a partner we could work closely with to develop our service.

We spent over a year in research and development

It was very important to us that when we came to market with our Cloud Intelligence solution, it was fully realised and as effective as possible. We wanted our service to be built around a market-leading tool developed by a trusted partner. CloudHealth Technologies are not only a company that we were excited to partner with, but also manage one of the most respected and trusted cloud management platforms on the market. Before CloudHealth was acquired by VMWare and achieved the position they have today with Forrester and other industry accolades, we realised the value they provided and began our to build our relationship with them.

We developed a close working relationship with CloudHealth and worked together to create the best offering we possibly could. Bob Kilbride, Senior Director of Global Channels at CloudHealth. “We truly value the opportunity to work with such a deeply respected industry leader to ensure that today’s businesses are using the cloud to enable greater levels of innovation and speed.”

We developed a service

Our Cloud Intelligence Platform, powered by CloudHealth, provided an excellent basis for our customers to gain an understanding of their environment. However, we realised that our customers have many options for management tools, but dealing with sprawling cloud spend needed more than a technology platform alone. We wanted to work alongside our customers to make sure that they saw positive change in their Cloud estates. We spent months building our support capabilities to help our customers achieve optimisation in their Cloud environments. Our Cloud Analysts became trained and certified in the CloudHealth platform and developed skills in spend control policies, reserved instance (RI) strategies, and visual reporting. We now have an extensive, cross-functional team of Cloud Technicians, Service Architects, Asset Intelligence Analysts, and Cloud Service Product Management to continue supporting customers and evolving our service.

We started getting recognised

Through building the Cloud Intelligence Service we saw the benefit of an active Cloud Analyst working with our customers and received strong feedback.  “The customers I speak to ask for greater visibility and control”, said Dean Gardner, Softcat’s Chief Cloud Technologist. “I was really pleased to take the Cloud Intelligence Service to them to improve their operational intelligence and help them make better decisions from actual usage patterns.” After a lot of work with CloudHealth during 2018 we ended it by winning EMEA Partner of the Year for our work together.

High ambition for the future

Earlier this year, we took on a Development Manager and a new Cloud Intelligence Specialist to continue the great work in Cloud Intelligence that we have achieved since the start of this journey. Our goal is for the Cloud Intelligence Service to become an essential aspect of effective and easy Cloud management for all our customers entering the world of public cloud.

Get in Touch

If you are interested in our Cloud Intelligence Service, or have any questions around anything we have spoken about in this series, get in touch with your Softcat Account Manager, or hit the button below.

If you'd like to read the rest of our Pathway to Public Cloud series, you can find part 1 here, and part 2, here

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