I invited over the past two years several technology partners and resellers to share their opinions on this blog. Today I expand this invitation to some of our service providers . Of course, it felt very natural to start with one of our best partner in this field.
David Shacochis is Vice President of Cloud Platforms at Savvis. In this role he is responsible for revenue growth, strategic alignment and customer adoptionwithin this emerging product portfolio. As a senior member of the Enterprise Cloud business unit, he helps guide decision-making with regards to technology issues and service strategy for the entire Savvis cloud hosting business worldwide.
“Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres …”
(“Tell me who you are friends with and I´ll tell you who you are …”)
I overheard this old Spanish saying while drinking sangria at a tapas bar on Las Ramblas, after our first day at VMworld Europe in Barcelona. I gazed into my wine glass as the Mediterranean wind gently blew juniperus leaves through the breezeway – and I was struck by the similarities between industrial alignment and human friendship.
(OK, maybe it didn’t exactly start that way. Maybe I just happened to recall that there was a Spanish adage about who your friends are, and I Googled it from the VMworld Partner Lounge. Yeah, maybe that’s how it happened. But for now, let’s just stick with the cold-open that makes me sound like Jonathan Goldsmith.)
Inspiration back-story aside, suffice it to say our external go-to-market relationships are always top of mind at Savvis. We think about this quite a bit! We see three types of technology “friendships” in the cloud service provider sector:
- Acquaintances – these are companies that generally know each other’s technology and differentiators, but aren’t working closely together.
- Associations – where integration techniques are known, and compatibility factors are generally understood. Associations are increasingly emergent around cloud APIs and orchestration stacks.
- Alliances – where deep technology integration has occurred between technology providers and service providers to create standardization and enable automation.
Working with our enterprise IT customer base, it’s clear that larger companies desire relationships with evolved vendor “friendships.” It’s not enough for an OEM/ISV to be acquainted with complementary technology, leaving the hard work of integration to the customer. It’s also not good enough for a service provider to merely be associated with the right technology stacks – leaving integrated design up each customer and their specific use case.
Enterprise customers are looking for alliance partners to bring them an integrated set of capabilities to their IT portfolio, enabling agility, predictability, and quality of service. One of the companies where we have this type of relationship is Cisco, and our interactions this week at VMworld Europe have highlighted many of these integrated capabilities to the marketplace.
Our alliance with Cisco is deeply integrated at the technology layer, for example:
- The Savvis enterprise cloud, known as Savvis Symphony, has a converged network and I/O fabric based upon Cisco Nexus technology. This platform enables greater uptime and stability for our end customers, and provides our offering with the ability to engineer guaranteed tiers of service across our offering.
- Savvis Symphony is also one of the largest public-cloud deployments of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in the world, with PODs in four different countries across Europe, North America and Asia. Our customers benefit from the modularity and flexibility of the UCS platform, as we are able to rapidly expand capacity to meet their aggregate demand.
- Savvis’ parent company, CenturyLink, runs a global IP network based on Cisco’s next-generation backbone technology, enabling flexible, Cisco-powered, extranet connections to both public and private versions of the Savvis Symphony cloud.
Being at tech-focused events like VMworld Europe certainly exposes you to a range of “friendships” in the cloud ecosystem. These events certainly allow a number of different companies to become acquainted and associated through their shared interest in VMware technologies. However, it’s only through the challenging work of cloud product engineering and software integration that we truly achieve a value-generating alliance.
When strategic technology partners like Cisco help us generate customer benefit, we all get to make the best type of “friend” – a satisfied customer. “