The 3 biggest takeaways from VMworld 2016

technologiesThe cloud is here, but it’s complicating life for IT managers. VMware is attempting to cut the complexity out of the equation.

That was a theme of this year’s VMworld, as the company shared its vision of delivering any application, on any device, by leveraging any cloud. Many of the innovations debuted at VMworld can be categorized as stripping away the complexities and silos that arise through the use of different types of clouds.

Here are three major takeaways I learned from the 2016 VMworld. Continue Reading…

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Prove it or lose it: Why proof of concepts are a must do for many IT projects

Proof of conceptFew of us would buy a car without first taking it for a test drive. But this is exactly what organizations do when they purchase new technology without completing a Proof of Concept (POC).

In the IT realm, a POC tests how potentially disruptive technology interacts or integrates with an existing environment. These experiments can give an organization the confidence to adopt new and emerging technologies, or fair warning for what challenges must be solved first.

While you don’t need a POC to buy some new laptops, you should test any significant implementation you’re planning. Here’s why. Continue Reading…

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Don’t fall behind on implementing the Third Platform

mainframe computerThe Third Platform, the next phase of the IT revolution, has arrived. While the First platform was the mainframe computer and the Second was built on servers and PCs, the Third Platform is a puzzle of new technologies — social networking, cloud services, and big data analytics — run on mobile devices.

Industry analysts and researchers have noted the impact of these technologies on business. This “Nexus of Forces” is the new platform for digital business, and is transforming how businesses interact with their customers.

Business requires innovation to survive. Simply maintaining “business as usual” threatens even the largest, most established brands. The Third Platform offers the innovation organizations need in four main components – mobile, social media, the cloud, and big data — all of which are spurring growth, strengthening relationships, and improving competitiveness. IT departments, whose role typically involves overseeing the legacy IT resources, and executives planning for the future will need to fully embrace these ideas in order to stay relevant. Continue Reading…

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VMworld 2014: 6 more announcements that had the conference buzzing

VMworld 2014VMworld was jam packed this year, with more than 22,000 attendees from 85 countries traveling to San Francisco — the largest crowd to date. Every session my colleagues and I attended was standing room only, with customers and partners alike packing the rooms to capacity. It’s truly a testament to the esteem VMware has garnered in the IT industry.

Last week we shared with you some of the biggest announcements and new products VMware introduced. Now we’ll review some of the other highlights and news from the event, offer a glimpse of the future of IT we saw at VMworld, and explain how you can make the most of the announcements and future insights.

1. The VMware vCloud Air Network debuts.
The VMware vCloud Air Network builds upon the company’s VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) to offer more flexibility for organizations turning to hybrid cloud solutions. The result is the world’s largest network of validated cloud services based on VMware technologies.

What this means for you: Organizations can take advantage of incremental services from other providers using the vCloud Air Network while maintaining their existing internal VMware infrastructure. This also creates greater flexibility for organizations that must keep data in state or country due to compliance rules. Continue Reading…

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The top 5 announcements made at VMworld and what they mean for you

VMworld 2014VMware just made some major announcements at this week’s VMworld. We want to make sure you not only have the latest information, but also understand what the announcements mean for you, and how we can help you make the most of the new technology.

Here are the five biggest announcements from VMworld: Continue Reading…

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State of the hybrid cloud: Report from EMC World 2014

The message last week at EMC World 2014 was loud and clear: The mega trends of mobile, social, cloud, and big data have organizations of all sizes, in every industry, racing to develop next-generation applications and better leverage big data analytics to redefine their overall enterprise and IT strategies.

The culmination of these mega trends and the opportunities and threats they introduce across all industries is what’s being called the Third Platform of IT.

It starts with new mobile applications that emerge daily, changing the way organizations interact and transact. These applications support more users and generate more information than their predecessors, leading organizations to redefine themselves with software, and transform data centers into fully virtualized and automated private clouds. At the same time, they’re also running certain applications in a public cloud.

Tasked with providing more strategic value to their organizations’ bottom lines than ever before, IT is seeking ways to become more efficient, agile, and cost-effective, meaning this hybrid cloud is where almost all applications will eventually live.

Suggesting a significant move toward adoption of a hybrid cloud model, the Economist Intelligence Unit published a report that found 63 percent of business executives plan to increase reliance on corporate IT to deliver both internal and external IT resources.

The announcements coming out of EMC World further support the prevalence of these themes and the movement toward hybrid cloud solutions. Here’s a recap of some of the big ones. Continue Reading…

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SHI receives 2 Cisco Partner of the Year awards

Cisco presents SHI International with Partner of the Year award. From left to right: Brian Marlier, Cisco SVP, US Enterprise Sales; Hal Jagger, SHI Vice President/General Manager – Corporate Sales; Brandon Farrell SHI Director of Strategic Partners, Corporate Division; Key Byrnes, Cisco Director Operation Sales

At the Cisco Partner Summit 2014 in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, Cisco presented SHI with two Partner Summit Global awards: Meraki Partner of the Year, Americas and New Break Away Partner of the Year, Americas.

Cisco is a large growth area for SHI, especially as we reinforce our focus on data centers, networking, and collaboration. In 2013, we grew our Cisco business 119 percent among corporate and small and medium-sized businesses, and 244 percent in Meraki.

In addition, growth spanned all of Cisco’s architectures:

  • Collaboration revenue increased 55 percent in 2013.
  • Data center revenue increased 137 percent in 2013.
  • Enterprise networking revenue increased 33 percent in 2013.
  • Security revenue increased 55 percent in 2013.

SHI has stepped up to meet the growing demand for Cisco products. In the past year, we doubled our investment in dedicated Cisco pre-sales resources by adding Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)-level solution architects, pre-sales engineers, and SMARTnet management specialists and training each of them to provide the world-class customer experience that SHI has become known for during the past 25 years.

We’re proud of our relationship and growth with Cisco, and are proud to accept these awards in recognition. As always, thanks to our customers and employees for working with us to make this possible.

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SHI named VMware Solution Provider Partner of the Year

VMware Solution Provider Partner of the Year Award I’m proud to share that this week at VMware Partner Exchange 2014, SHI received the Solution Provider Partner of the Year Award. This is the sixth VMware Partner of the Year Award we have won during the last several years — an indication of the strength and maturity of our VMware partnership.

2013 was a strong year for our relationship with VMware. We became one of the first partners to offer VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) and, in fact, booked the first ever vCHS order! The addition of this service to our portfolio of VMware virtualization and cloud solutions no doubt contributed to SHI’s 44 percent increase in VMware revenue in 2013.

Equally impressive is the commitment we made to developing and training VMware support personnel. SHI currently has on staff:

  • 25+ VMware Certified Professional (VCP) — certified engineers and architects
  • 50+ VMware Technical Solutions Professional (VTSP) — certified sales resources
  • 500+ VMware Sales Professional (VSP) — inside and outside sales

Congratulations to everyone at SHI who contributes to the success of this partnership! And to our customers, you can be sure we will continue our commitment to providing unparalleled VMware solutions and support.

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3 tech megatrends that will redefine business in 2014

Gartner identified 10 strategic technology trends for 2014 at a symposium last fall, including mobile, the Internet of Everything, and cloud technology. As we enter 2014, several megatrends stand out from the rest, shaping the way we do business and accelerating the transformation of IT. It’s important to understand these trends beyond the buzzwords and marketing lingo. The key to preparing for tech’s imminent shift is recognizing the business drivers behind these changes and acknowledging their impact on the future of business.

Here are the megatrends that should be top of mind for IT departments and business owners alike:

Software-defined anything (SDx)

The traditional datacenter landscape has changed forever, leaving infrastructure abstracted and virtualized, delivered as a service. We’re seeing virtualization extend well beyond just computing, with storage and network virtualization quickly becoming the norm for most organizations.

This model holds true regardless of whether the infrastructure resides internally or in the cloud. Dependency on physical hardware is being eliminated as software manages everything, increasing flexibility and agility. As infrastructure becomes highly virtualized and moves toward the private cloud, traditional IT resources need to evolve or risk becoming irrelevant.

As businesses begin to consume infrastructure as a service, the skills required to architect and support these environments must evolve as well. Once infrastructure is fully abstracted and optimized, organizations can shift their focus to developing applications to support business outcomes. Continue Reading…

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4 major announcements made at VMworld and what they mean for SHI customers

I’m fresh off the 10th annual VMworld, and amid the sea of often conflicting visions for the future IT landscape, one constant remains: Organizations are making IT architecture decisions today that will provide the foundation for future success or failure.

SHI has made significant investments in building resources and processes to help our customers make sense of these different visions. To help wade through the sea of change, here is a summary of the major themes and announcements from last week’s VMworld, along with how SHI can provide additional customer insight and support:

1. vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) becomes generally available to U.S. customers in September.

Back in May, VMware announced vCHS, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering built on VMware vSphere that enables customers to extend the same skills, tools, networking, and security models across both on-premises and off-premises environments. The Early Access Program’s momentum signals the potential demand for vCHS when it becomes generally available this month.

What this means for SHI customers: As one of VMware’s top partners, SHI has substantial experience helping customers transform their business based on VMware’s virtualization platform, of which vCHS is a natural extension. SHI was also one of VMware’s initial vCHS launch partners, so we’ve had a few months’ head start on other technology resellers. In that time, we’ve built resources and processes to support our customers’ adoption of vCHS and help them maximize their IT investment. Continue Reading…

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