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Integrating clouds and business requirements with Robbert Vogel

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31 August 2016

Global Services

Blogs by author: Global Services, We’re a leading global business communications provider

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In research with Cisco and IDC we found that cloud infrastructure and services are fast becoming an intrinsical part of IT transformation strategies, but there is still work to be done to fully leverage the benefits which the cloud has to offer.

We developed our Cloud of Clouds portfolio to enable organisations to focus on their business and to realise their digital possible with a seamless cloud experience. It makes us a cloud services integrator and offers a fast and easy way to access and manage all your cloud services, anytime and anywhere.

Robbert Vogel, responsible for BT Compute in the Benelux, explains the evolutions that the research reveals and how BT helps your IT organisation – and business- to not get left behind.

New cloud drivers and strategies drive transformations in IT

Robbert, can you tell us more about the Cloud of Clouds and the market demands it responds to?

Robbert Vogel: We find that companies don’t just think about making the move to the cloud but they’re actually doing it. 65 percent of our customers today already embrace some form of cloud strategy. This ranges from cloud solutions for specific applications to entire cloud deployments.

The growing adoption and the use of more and more clouds within one organisation have significant consequences. It means that the role of the CIO and of IT is changing, and needs to change. Infrastructure is now something that can be sourced from the cloud, whereby the cloud provider takes care of the infrastructure and enables IT and the CIO to focus more on the business, as they’re increasingly asked to.

From the service provider perspective, it’s our role to facilitate the IT departments to make this shift. The increasing importance of the business needs regarding technology and digitalisation shapes how we serve our customers. We bring it all together with a clear strategy across our portfolio: Cloud-of-Clouds.

The shifts in the drivers for cloud adoption: digital transformation

What are the various drivers of accelerating cloud adoption?

Robbert Vogel: The drivers to move more to the cloud have multiplied significantly. It’s about more than just saving costs and increasingly about a change of the IT environment to be faster and better able to support the business needs. Organisations look at flexibility and a shorter time to market; drivers that are business-oriented and about digital transformation. I see it as a positive development that customers are increasingly looking at how technology can be leveraged to achieve revenue growth, and not just as a means to cut costs.

We also recognise that Lines of Business are more involved in technology choices. We see for example marketing taking the lead – e.g. on how technologies can enhance customer insights and engagement, and IT engages with them and supports on cloud based environments and applications.

65 percent of our customers today already embrace some form of cloud strategy. This ranges from cloud solutions for specific applications to entire cloud deployments.

A multiple cloud patchwork – how to make it easy

How does this lead to the need for a Cloud of Clouds approach?

Robbert Vogel: Following upon this market analysis we see that the IT landscape of a company consists of a lot of platforms and clouds and expect that within 2 years 90 percent of our customers will have multiple clouds, including their in-house clouds.

As IT moves more to the business and looks at each workload and requirement from the business, they understand that there are specific platforms for specific workloads. The requirements of HR are different from that of marketing and for each one it’s about finding the right cloud.

This leads to a growing patchwork of clouds in the IT environment of an organisation and it’s this reality that has led us to develop the Cloud of Clouds portfolio and its infrastructure orchestration.

And how does the BT Compute perspective fit in?

Robbert Vogel: From a BT Compute perspective, we make it possible for an IT director to support and enable the business regardless of how many clouds they have today that support their applications and services. We make it possible to connect all these clouds and control and manage them in an easy, agile and fast way. This way they can seamlessly tap into the benefits of these different clouds, making it possible for them to respond faster to business demands.

The way we do this is with our BT Compute management platform that integration the various clouds. With integration I don’t mean just brokerage. We evolve from being a service provider delivering cloud, to a cloud brokerage function and now into a true cloud services integrator. This is a step further than brokerage because it’s not just about coupling two IaaS (Internet as a Service) providers but also about integrating, for instance, your Salesforce.com and your SaaS (Software as a Service) applications, which you may have built yourself. That’s how we look at these evolving realities and why we developed CMS, our Cloud Management System.

The heart of Cloud of Clouds: BT’s Cloud Management System

Can you elaborate on the role of that platform?

Robbert Vogel: If you look at the picture of our clouds of clouds strategy, CMS is really the wrapper around it. The Cloud Management System is what makes the cloud of clouds real.

It’s a system, its software, but it reflects the cloud-of-clouds strategy and roadmap that we develop with each customer creating their cloud-of-clouds.

Because we offer not only the platforms, we offer the consultancy and the integration, also for instance on domains such as active directory. Last but not least, we of course have our own cloud, on top of the integration of various third party clouds.

CMS is the single pane of glass towards the different cloud applications and a business support system.

clouds of clouds strategy

Integrating clouds on the business process level

What makes the BT Compute Management System differ from the possibilities that third party cloud providers offer?

Robbert Vogel: With CMS you are also sitting behind a portal whereby you can in real-time deploy, upgrade, downscale and upscale workloads as you wish. The revolutionary thing about BT’s Compute Management System is that it integrates into your business process instead of just looking at the technical side as is mostly the case. Obviously CMS, as a single point of control, talks through open interfaces (API’s) towards different cloud solutions, including our own. But at the top it integrates with the business processes of the customer as well, offering a uniform experience in, for instance, order management, billing and service management.

As the system has an entirely role-based access approach, each organisation can build a custom structure with ‘whom has which rights where’. Looking at these business processes again, it’s for example logical that Finance has rights in the billing module and that the system engineer or the IT architect has rights to do effective deployment in the BT cloud.

BT Compute Management System – watch the video

 

     BT Compute Management System – watch the video

As the system has an entirely role-based access approach, each organisation can build a custom structure with ‘whom has which rights where’. Looking at these business processes again, it’s for example logical that Finance has rights in the billing module and that the system engineer or the IT architect has rights to do effective deployment in the BT cloud.

Another important aspect of CMS is that, as the integration happens on the business side, we don’t compromise the technical aspect. Instead of adding another layer that makes the integration with, for example Microsoft Azure possible, we literally pass on what has already been built by those providers. We are not restricting choices for our customer; we are enabling them and in a controlled and secure way.

That, along with the business process integration and the integration with numerous types of clouds, makes the Cloud of Clouds with CMS the road to success for organisations as they move to more cloud adoption and accelerate on a multi-cloud approach.

Thank you Robbert.

To learn more, visit the website and download the white paper with Cisco and IDC.