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You’ve seen a number of posts on the Channels blog recently about cloud and the growing opportunity. But don’t just take our word for it. Several of our Cisco Master Partners took time to tell their stories. Specifically, how embracing the world of many clouds is helping them expand their value to customers—and increase their bottom line.

Those generously sharing their insights today include:

But before you dive in and read their stories, the Channels blog wants to say, “Thank You!” We truly appreciate and value our partners’ insights. And for the rest of you, don’t forget to visit the new cloud content on Cisco.com and learn more about Cisco Collaborative Professional Services.

Meanwhile, let the cloud journey continue!

NIL Data Communications: Our Journey to the Cloud, Klemen Štular, CEO

When NIL Data Communications first launched in 1989, our company was a very typical systems integrator. From the beginning, we chose to focus our business on networking, which is why we partnered with Cisco. However, like Cisco, a technology giant that is constantly evolving, NIL recently decided to evolve its systems integrator practice and cast a new focus on managed services.

Three years ago, we started the development of two very specific cloud offerings: Flip IT, a public cloud, IT-as-a-Service solution targeted at small and medium-sized businesses; and NIL HyperCenter, a private cloud solution primarily used by government and financial services organizations. Our goal with these cloud solutions is to help customers enhance IT agility to meet the rapidly changing needs of business today.

Working with Cisco, we were able to validate and optimize the way we approach our cloud business. And the engagement is certainly paying off. South African service provider Vodacom, for example, launched its own managed office solution using NIL’s Flip IT service. This cloud partnership proved so successful, it earned our company (together with Vodacom) an award for Most Innovative Data Center, Cloud and Virtualization Project at Cisco Live London 2012.

We believe that cloud computing is the future, and we look forward to the changes that lie ahead. To learn more about NIL and our business evolution toward the cloud, I invite you to watch the video below.

Watch the NIL video here.

OnX Enterprise Solutions: Gaining Competitive Clout from the Cloud, Chris Sator, CTO, Cloud Services

Since its 1983 founding, OnX Enterprise Solutions has focused on data center infrastructure, providing the IT solutions and services that enterprise clients need to meet their evolving business requirements for running mission-critical applications. Today that focus has not shifted; it has, however, broadened. And that means offering cloud-based IT infrastructure and managed services to accelerate our clients’ business outcomes.

When we launched our services to the cloud, we knew we needed to act fast to take advantage of pent-up client demand. We also knew that everyone from technology giants to solution providers would be offering their own cloud solutions—meaning we had to find a way to make our cloud offering stand out. That’s why we engaged Cisco.

Working with Cisco, we were able to launch our cloud in just six months’ time by deploying the Vblock Infrastructure Platform. Now we’re helping our clients do the same. When Canadian company BTO needed to accelerate its time to market for a new managed service for desktop optimization, they turned to us to supply the cloud infrastructure. We were able to provide them with the best-of-breed solutions and fast time to market they required, as well as the assurance that their cloud would meet the stringent privacy and security standards of their customers.

Just as importantly, our Cisco Cloud Builder and Cisco Cloud Provider certifications have enabled us to improve our own processes and best practices, and apply them to our customers’ private and public clouds. As a result we’re able to deliver the ongoing validation, optimization, and support that organizations like BTO need to grow their clouds with their businesses.

Jumping head first into the cloud game can indeed sound like a daunting task. But as we’ve learned through our experience working with companies like Cisco, with the right partners on your side, there’s nothing but positive change ahead.

Read our Cisco case study here.

Where Technology Meets Strategy: The TekLinks Cloud Story: David Powell, VP of Managed Services

When you’re working in the IT services industry, there’s nothing more important than keeping a pulse on the latest trends and technologies. At TekLinks, we take this philosophy to heart, and it’s precisely why our company has built strong partnerships with industry leaders such as Cisco, Citrix, EMC, Microsoft, and VMware.

When we saw the trend of virtualization starting to pick up speed in 2005, we began to place a particularly strong focus on the data center. We saw the market moving toward consuming IT rather than purchasing and managing it; thus decided to integrate our own hosted and on-premise cloud solutions into our portfolio. With enterprise demands constantly changing, we recognized the value that managed services could bring to our customers, including more predictable costs and the ability to budget technology expenses more effectively.

TekLinks has been offering cloud solutions for a number of years now. And while we’ve always maintained a competitive edge in the market, recently in 2011, we feel we’ve taken a huge leap ahead of the competition. One reason for this success has been obtaining Cisco Cloud Builder and Cisco Cloud Provider certifications from Cisco, which we believe give us a credible market-leading, third-party stamp of approval.

But it’s not just that stamp of approval; it’s the commitment from Cisco that comes with it. Unlike other manufacturers, Cisco has inserted itself in the cloud market in ways that go beyond technology (though don’t get us wrong—the Cisco Unified Computing System is a key component of our cloud offering). What really stands out to us about Cisco is the fact that the company compensates its field sales force, no matter how the technology is sold. Not many other companies have done that, and we think it shows a huge commitment to the cloud.

Having this kind of support will be even more important as TekLinks hones its focus toward providing cloud-delivered solutions that empower the mobile worker. To learn more about TekLinks and our cloud business, read our Cisco case study here.

Thanks, partners! And readers don’t be shy. Provide your peers some feedback below.

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