2019 Technology Update – Hybrid Cloud: A Transformation Journey

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MONDAY, JULY 22nd

Technology has never moved at a faster pace.  The breakneck speed at which innovation continues to drive transformation highlights more than ever, that it is not cost-effective to continue to install the latest and greatest technology year after year.  With advancements in operating systems, hybrid cloud technology, and the onset of data being used as a resource, the path ahead is becoming difficult to navigate.

Organizations are left scrambling to stay in front of the trends while ensuring their teams are agile and find the most efficient means to ensure their systems are functioning at their best.

This year, our annual Technology Update will not only focus on which innovations are driving trends with our keynote speaker, Alex Salkever, who is a well-regarded futurist and author, but we will hear from a variety of industry experts who know what it takes to get through complex technology transformations successfully.

LOCATION:

Medina Golf and Country Club
400 Evergreen Rd
Medina, MN 55340
AGENDA:
Registration & Breakfast
Technology Update Seminar
Lunch & Demos
Networking and Golf
Awards, Beverages & Appetizers

We will be at a new location this year, the Medina Golf and Country Club, home of the MN Golden Gopher Classic!  So come and check out the superb educational sessions we have planned for the morning, and stay to network and golf the newly renovated course.

Nebraska IT Symposium

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The Nebraska IT Symposium is the region’s premier single-day event designed for the IT executive community. On Tuesday, May 21, several hundred technology leaders from the Omaha metro area will convene on the Creighton University campus for the Nebraska IT Symposium. During the event, attendees will hear from several thought leaders, including keynotes by Ben Taylor (Pleasant Green) and Julie Rieger (20th Century Fox Films).

As technology continues to redefine business, geographic regions, and create borderless digital environments, it has become essential for IT executives to stay aware of global trends in order to integrate strategies into their operations. This allows your team to stay agile while maintaining your company’s competitive edge. The Symposium provides the region’s IT executives an opportunity to gather for a day of networking, collaboration, and knowledge-transfer through peer-led keynotes, breakouts, panels, and networking sessions.

Evolving Solutions is proud to be a conference sponsor. Dan Wilkey, our senior account executive for Nebraska, will be spearheading the Evolving Solutions presence at the event. Dan and team will meet with clients and partners to discuss the Evolving Solutions strategy focused on modern operations in a hybrid cloud world.

We are looking forward to learning a lot during the day, and connecting with other technology leaders at the conference. For more information on the symposium, please visit: https://www.nebraskaitsymposium.com/.

Omaha Tech Summit 2019 Insights

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By Liz Young, Marketing Coordinator

We had a blast at the Omaha Tech Summit last week.  Dozens of tech leaders from around the Omaha, NE metro area were in attendance, and we met individuals from several technology organizations.  Our Chief Technology Officer, Michael Downs, and Vice President, Bo Gebbie, presented on the topic of Modern Operations in a Hybrid Cloud World.

Points of discussion included process shifts and platform transformations that drive organizations to make decisions on the future of their organization’s direction.  Digital transformation is forcing organizations to change in order to innovate and face competitive threats at breakneck pace.

One consequence of this shift has been that developers have had to become more productive, creating new deployment and operational models; the old models are being optimized and continue to drive real value, however.  Regardless, organizations are left at a crossroads, left trying to balance impacts and challenges and productivity.  The problem in a digital transformation becomes more an issue about people, than technology. As Michael Downs notes, “Technology is easy.  People are hard.”

At Evolving Solutions, we believe in a hybrid cloud approach to systematically address these new challenges.  Taking the time to evaluate your IT environment, think about your goals (short term and long), and understanding your needs, all go a long way to help you move along your technology journey, and ultimately get you to where you want to be tomorrow.

Our teams integrate our expertise in modern platforms with enterprise cloud strategies and are passionate about navigating the complexities that technological transformations bring, so please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can help you on your journey.  To learn more, visit www.evolvingsol.com or email info@evolvingsol.com.

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Liz Young - Evolving Solutions

Liz is the Marketing Coordinator and is responsible for the digital/social strategy, content creation and campaign execution for Evolving Solutions. She handles all online platforms including the Evolving Solutions’ website, blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Liz is also pursuing a degree in communications at the University of Minnesota.

Like what you read? Follow Liz on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizryoung/

 

 

 

Minnesota HashiCorp User Group

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THE CLOUD OPERATING MODEL, SERVICE MESH, & CONSUL

Join us for a special conversation around cloud enablement in conjunction with Optum on Thursday, April 25 at 4:30pm.

Organizations have a variety of options when it comes to choosing the infrastructure that runs their applications— cloud, private infrastructure, and third-party services. Embracing cloud and multi-cloud requires organizations to rethink their approach to provisioning, securing, and connecting their infrastructure. Static data relies on static fleet of standardized infrastructure, provisioned for long periods of time, and dedicated to users. Dynamic infrastructure now consists of heterogeneous infrastructure, frequently provisioned, short lived, and automated provisioning on-demand. Learn how Consul enables one workflow to connect any application across any infrastructure.

We look forward to seeing you.

Key Takeaways from IBM Think 2019

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By Bo Gebbie, Vice President, Sales, Services and Marketing

During the week of February 11, IBM hosted IBM Think 2019 in San Francisco, CA.  In addition to Think, the annual IBM PartnerWorld Conference was also held during the same time.  Hosting these events together saw almost 30,000 attendees descend on San Francisco for the week.

Evolving Solutions had several team members and clients attend the event.  It was an outstanding opportunity to learn about IBM’s 2019 strategic imperatives, new solution announcements and new channel program enhancements.  Additionally, the event afforded us the opportunity to network with hundreds of clients and IBMers from across the country.

As I reflect back on Think, there were several key take-aways for me.

  • Hybrid Cloud is where it’s at. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value, clients are already using between two to 15 clouds.  These environments might be on-premise or in the public cloud.  As the number of cloud silos continue to grow, clients need an easier way to connect the applications, no matter where the data resides.  During Think, the IBM Cloud Integration Platform was announced.  This platform is “designed to securely connect applications, software and services from any vendor regardless of whether those systems are on-premises, in a public cloud or a private cloud,” according to IBM.
  • Data.  Data. Data.  According to IBM CEO Ginny Rometty, “only 20% of the world’s data is searchable.”  Applications such as Office365, CRM, expense management, etc. were the “easy apps” to get into the cloud.  There is 80% of data out there that is critical to an organization’s overall success.  Those core systems will be the focus of the next era.  How do clients utilize that data to make gather meaningful business insights, and make-real time decisions?  IBM is placing big bets on “the next 80%” to help grow its solution portfolio.
  • Artificial Intelligence will transform how we all work. Many people still think of AI as something you would see in a Sci-Fi movie.  But, according to Rometty and several executives we spoke with, AI will be embedded in applications or layered on top of them in the future.  AI will enable new or improved business processes.  AI will enable every single person to do their job in a more efficient or data-led way.  AI will not replace jobs; rather it will augment how we do work.  I like the theory, and look forward to seeing how this plays out over time.
  • Red Hat is key to IBM’s future. The IBM executives could not say a ton about the Red Hat acquisition, since the deal has not closed yet. But, every single IBMer was excited for what Red Hat can bring to IBM in terms of new client opportunity, innovating the product stack and keeping IBM relevant to the next generation of buyers.
  • Holy moly, the Moscone Center is huge. One of my non-business learnings is that the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco is enormous.  It is no small feat to fit tens of thousands of people into one place!

Over the next few months, we will have Evolving Solutions team members at several of our other strategic partners’ premier conferences.  We will share our insights from those events on our blog.

I am looking forward to returning to San Fran next May for Think 2020.  Hope to see you there!

Bo Gebbie joined Evolving Solutions in January, 2017 as the Vice President of Sales, Services and Marketing. In this role, he is responsible for the sales, pre-sales services, post-sales consulting and marketing pillars within the organization. He is a member of the Executive and Management Teams, and represents the organization externally on vendor and partner Advisory Councils.

Before joining Evolving Solutions, Bo was an IBM executive, serving last as Vice President of Server Solution Sales, North America. In that role, he had sales and profit responsibility for a $3B portfoilio across Power Systems, z Systems and the Server Linux brands. Prior to that, Bo was the Business Unit Executive, Power Systems Sales, North America.

Like what you read? Follow Bo on LinkedIn.

Hybrid Cloud for Enterprise

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Navigating cloud migration can be a minefield, especially for large enterprises. The Evolving Solutions team discusses the key considerations when dealing with hybrid cloud.

Hybrid Cloud and Migration for Large Enterprise

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Navigating cloud migration can be a minefield, especially for large enterprises. The Evolving Solutions team discusses the key considerations when dealing with the cloud.

Bluemix Cloud Computing Solutions Drive Value for Businesses

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By Doug Polen, Evolving Solutions Software Sales Specialist

Can Walmart really influence its vendors to migrate away from AWS cloud computing solutions?  If I was a supplier to the retail behemoth, I’d certainly want to consider my options.  AWS is the Uber of the cloud marketplace, but there are other players in the marketplace that offer viable cloud solutions.   Consider IBM’s Bluemix…

You may ask – what is IBM Bluemix, I’ve never heard of it?  Is that Softlayer?  IBM has a cloud computing solution?  These are things I have heard multiple customers say to me over the past couple of months as I have been working to create brand awareness in the Upper Midwest.  Bluemix is IBM’s IaaS and PaaS cloud solution, the IaaS components were previously branded under IBM’s Softlayer acquisition.  Earlier this year, it was merged with the Bluemix PaaS catalog of offerings which was originally launched back in 2014.

Why should you care about Bluemix now that IBM has gotten serious about IaaS and PaaS cloud computing solutions?  There are many finite details, but the top reason for a medium to large enterprise would be Private Cloud.  Many organizations are just fine with sharing their cloud environments in the public space, but as organizations embrace Hybrid Cloud models going across multiple data centers and cloud providers, how do you know your “stuff” is secure?  IBM is able to offer Public, Private, Semi-Private and Local cloud computing solutions for customers to choose what makes sense in their world…while this is likely to change, it can be a very compelling reason for customers to opt with Big Blue.

As a customer, you’ve got options.  It all depends on the use case and what you are trying to accomplish.  Based on my interactions with the IBM teams and my customers, there are some key offerings within Bluemix that are Hot on the Truck at the moment:

  • VMWare Solutions (Hytrust, Veeam & Zerto alliances)
  • Virtual Servers
  • IBM Watson Services for Cognitive Computing Capabilities
  • Weather Company Integration
  • Websphere Application Server
  • Data & Analytics Services
  • Application Integration with API Connect and App Connect

I am excited to see IBM break down many of the silos that previously made it challenging to work with.  Given the robust catalog of offerings, there are multiple ways to procure these cloud tools and services (pay/go, gift card model or subscription).  If you are an existing IBM software customer, be sure to consider the Bridge to Cloud programs at renewal time, you could get a low cost test drive of the Bluemix platform for a couple years.  Nothing on your software renewal that is eligible to bridge…ask for a small sample of Bluemix, you’ll likely see some additional discounting on your annual maintenance bill.

We are Evolving Solutions, Let’s get to work and help you understand how Bluemix cloud computing solutions can bring value to your organization. Contact us today.

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Doug Polen is a Software Sales Specialist at Evolving Solutions.

 

 

 

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The Cloud Today: Hybrid

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“Cloud can be the centerpiece of an overall organizational transformation,” writes Meenagi Venkat for IBM’s Thoughts on Cloud blog.  That is today.   His team in a recent survey asked: how are organizations currently differentiating themselves using cloud.  78% of the executives they surveyed identified their cloud initiatives as “coordinated or fully integrated.” That is a big jump considering that Mr. Venkat’s team also found that in 2012, just 4 years ago, cloud was considered “special.”  A special project, a pilot project – no longer for enterprises, today, cloud is opening up new markets and revenue streams for businesses across many industries. And much of successful cloud use is a combination of public, private and internal systems – hybrid.

Why has the cloud allowed many companies to succeed in new ways? One reason Mr. Venkat’s team points out is its natural on-demand and scalable features.  These cloud features have created new testing environments that are quick and automated enabling what he calls “rapid experimentation.” Companies can more easily test new ideas and find out failure or success faster, and when they find success they can move quickly to roll out and expand. Often businesses are achieving this success through a blend of public cloud, private cloud and traditional IT services.  They are taking the approach that a hybrid model should be molded to best fit their company needs.

What if your company is just getting started or has had some success and wants to go further? Mr. Venkat’s study found that common considerations or questions that you should start to address are the following:

  • Hybrid. How will your company blend public, private and your own IT systems to take your strategy and operations to the next level?
  • Investment and monitoring. What level of investment can your company make? What will your company need to regularly monitor and how does that change over time?
  • External expertise. Firms achieving success in the survey are also taking advantage of outside resources to gain expertise and efficiency. How effective is your company with utilizing external expertise?

The cloud can open up new doors for your company but you need to have a solid strategy and the right tools and people in place.  Approach the different models not as all or nothing, but instead blend the models into a hybrid approach that works best for your company – that is cloud today.

The Road to Using Hybrid Cloud

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Integrating cloud into your organization is more of a journey than a one-time project. As your business needs evolve so can your cloud needs.  Is hybrid cloud adoption your next stop?   By adopting hybrid cloud companies can tap into the flexibility of public cloud services while also utilizing private cloud for more sensitive data and applications. Today let’s look at seven steps your organization can take to integrate hybrid cloud from John Meegan of IBM’s Thoughts on Cloud.

How to get started:

  • Determine the cloud deployment model
  • Integrate with existing enterprise systems
  • Address connectivity requirements
  • Develop governance policies and service agreements
  • Assess and resolve security and privacy challenges
  • Manage the cloud environment
  • Consider a backup, archive and data recovery plan

Mr. Meegan explains more on how to choose the right cloud deployment model, “The right deployment model aligns IT and business needs, and makes it easier to achieve those objectives.” He lists out the following decision criteria to guide your hybrid cloud adoption (or any cloud model):

  • flexibility
  • security
  • speed
  • automation
  • cost
  • locality
  • service levels
  • system interdependencies.

Your company’s unique operation and needs should drive what cloud model to choose.

On connectivity, he points out that IT should remember that aside from connecting components, you must also consider does the connection meet service levels, security and does it empower your overall IT management strategy.  Mr. Meegan also mentions your organization should consider using network virtualization if available and make sure connectivity also supports resilience and disaster recovery requirements.

Finally, think through how you will manage your hybrid cloud environment. What tools do you have in place? What tools does your cloud provider have? How can these be utilized in your operations? Working in multiple environments creates additional challenges but the right management strategies and tools can help your team manage your IT operations in and out of the cloud.

Hybrid Cloud
Source: thoughtsoncloud.com