CLOUD APP MANAGEMENT

COVID-19 Shapes Enterprise Sourcing Strategies, Fueling Growth in Private/Hybrid Cloud Adoption

ISG (Information Services Group) | August 13, 2021

Private and hybrid cloud adoption has accelerated significantly over the past year, partly due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published today by Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Next-Gen Private/Hybrid Cloud – Data Center Services & Solutions Archetype Report finds many companies that had never used outsourcing before are embracing the strategy in 2021. Overall, ISG says the number of companies that plan to outsource their managed services has been rising since last year and is expected to keep growing.
At the outset of the pandemic, many enterprises halted IT outsourcing plans, but the global health crisis ultimately caused them to accelerate their sourcing strategies and technology investments. Organizations, in particular, needed to scale up development teams to implement systems for remote working and to enable better digital engagement with their customers.

“The pandemic helped companies recognize that outsourcing their IT infrastructure is a cost-effective way to align IT and business goals,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “Outsourcing can provide skills that are not available in-house, as well as shared resources such as facilities managers, better cost visibility and many other benefits.”

One effect of the pandemic was a sharp spike in calls to enterprise help desks for assistance with connectivity, security and other issues, the report says. Service providers prevented interruptions to their services, while reducing the need for in-person support, by quickly giving agents virtual desktops in the cloud and remote access to cloud-based service desk platforms

Most managed services are now delivered virtually and remotely, not only because it is faster and more cost-effective, but also because it can be a better way to provide services, according to the report. Managed services provided remotely include sales, due diligence and transition and migration of workloads.

The report finds the top three enterprise criteria for selecting a service provider are automation capabilities, a good track record with business continuity plans and a strong infrastructure management program. Automation is an important consideration, particularly for large enterprises with siloed infrastructure spread around the globe, ISG says.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens™ Next-Gen Private/Hybrid Cloud – Data Center Services & Solutions Archetype Report examines four types of customers, or archetypes, that are looking for next-generation private and hybrid cloud services and solutions.

Managed Services: These customers already have small outsourcing contracts focused on cost optimization and now are willing to transfer more operational responsibility to a service provider. While they are still focused on tactical service-level agreements (SLAs), they are willing to embrace transformational efforts, including investments in automation and cloud. These organizations aim to achieve moderate hybrid cloud adoption in the short or medium term. Their budgets are tight, and engagements are typically for an annual contract value of $5 million to $15 million. They are willing to engage in multi-sourcing.

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CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT

Volocopter Collaborates with Microsoft on VoloIQ Aerospace Cloud Project

Volocopter | May 17, 2022

Today, Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to develop an aerospace cloud system in Microsoft Azure that will address the nascent cloud computing requirements for eVTOLs, UAM, and autonomous aviation. Once primed for commercial use, Azure will support the digital platform VoloIQ, the operating system for Volocopter's UAM services, and its subsequent transition to autonomous operations. Volocopter plans to make the VoloIQ its standard UAM operating system for all electric passenger and drone flight operations. Its modular structure will be vast, covering aspects like booking and e-commerce, commercial scheduling, operational network planning, flight planning, flight monitoring, supplying airspace digital twins, and vehicle data logging and analysis. Volocopter has chosen Microsoft Cloud / Azure to securely interconnect all these UAM ecosystem elements into one integrated set of services. "Having Microsoft on board as a project partner and investor is proof that the solutions Volocopter creates – like the VoloIQ – are pioneering and hold remarkable market potential. We're proud that Microsoft Azure is the one to provide a secure cloud and thus to ensure safety remains at the forefront of our operations." Alexander Oelling, Volocopter's Chief Digital Officer. Volocopter and Microsoft will begin collaborating by ensuring Microsoft Azure meets the VoloIQ's needs for commercial operations. Azure will then enable the VoloIQ's flight and service support for Volocopter's electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft (VoloCity, VoloDrone, and VoloConnect), alongside ground infrastructure (VoloPort) support in real time. "From the newest technologies to regulation, creating solutions to seamlessly address the cloud computing requirements for supporting continued advancements in aviation is a complex endeavor. We certainly see the potential a secure, robust, and efficient cloud platform could offer aerospace and urban air mobility operators," said Uli Homann, CVP of Cloud and AI at Microsoft. "Working in collaboration with Volocopter, we will start to build the foundation for a commercial model for aerospace cloud." The collaboration between Volocopter and Microsoft was first publicized in 2020, when Volocopter and Lufthansa Industry Solutions announced plans to develop the VoloIQ for autonomous aircraft operations using Microsoft Azure. The VoloIQ's aim is a straightforward one: to provide complete digital transparency and greater ecosystem efficiency in real time. By utilizing this digital resource, Volocopter's services – and all the relevant process elements needed to realize this service – will be user-friendly and digitally accessible for customers, pilots, operators, and stakeholders alike. Furthermore, the VoloIQ's solid scope will streamline Volocopter's transition into an autonomous air taxi services provider when the time comes and bolster its efficient maintenance and infrastructure as soon as it becomes operational. About Volocopter Volocopter is building the world's first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services for goods and people to megacities worldwide. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to 'Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life'. Volocopter has over 500 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore. The company has raised $579 million in equity from investors including Geely, WP Investment, Mercedes-Benz Group, Intel Capital, and BlackRock..

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CLOUD APP DEVELOPMENT

OVHcloud Expands Its Portfolio of File Storage Solutions With Enterprise File Storage, a Service Developed in Collaboration With NetApp

OVHcloud | March 04, 2022

OVHcloud is combining its expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service with Platform-as-a-Service solutions to support the digital transformation of organizations by providing them with a ready-to-use toolkit. This accelerated integration of software technology is reflected in the launch of the Enterprise File Storage service, engineered in partnership with NetApp, which combines OVHcloud’s know-how with NetApp’s cloud storage management expertise. OVHcloud is expanding its portfolio of cloud file storage solutions with an offering developed in collaboration with NetApp, a world leader in this field. Enterprise File Storage is designed to help organizations transition to the cloud by meeting their requirements for sovereignty, high performance and resilience, while ensuring seamless integration with the OVHcloud universe at a predictable price. Enterprise File Storage is aimed at organizations with applications that have high operational requirements and need a highly available file storage service. The service is suitable for a variety of use cases, including organizations that are already cloud-based and want to facilitate sharing of enterprise data from different applications hosted on OVHcloud services, or organizations that are already running their own NetApp on-premise infrastructure and are looking to offload their workloads or begin their migration to the cloud. Based on NetApp’s ONTAP file system technology and fully managed by OVHcloud, this all-in-one platform offers great ease of implementation while optimizing cloud storage costs, increasing application performance, and ensuring data protection and compliance. With Enterprise File Storage, customers get easy access to stored data and benefit from a flexible, scalable, and high-performance platform — with storage capacity from 1 to 58TB per service. The Enterprise File Storage service is appropriate for a wide range of enterprise environments and applications due to the use of the industry proven NFS protocol. It provides high performance — both in terms of IOPS and throughput — thanks to the combination of SSD technologies with NVMe caches. “As Hybrid Cloud is a high priority for over 77% of NetApp customers, first party cloud services based on NetApp ONTAP are instrumental to make these projects become reality. We are glad to see OVHCloud making the choice of NetApp as a trusted technology partner for their Enterprise File Storage service”. Peter Wüst, VP CTO WW Enterprise & Commercial Business, NetApp “We are pleased to work with a recognized expert partner like NetApp to help our customers maximize and get the most out of their data by providing a unified experience across our various cloud storage solutions,” said Thierry Souche, Chief Technology Officer at OVHcloud. “Our customers can now access highly efficient and available storage resources, leveraging key features of ONTAP software and fully managed by OVHcloud.” With over two decades of expertise in digital infrastructure services, OVHcloud has developed an industrial model that preserves the technological and operational sovereignty of customers, while deploying environmentally friendly and resource-efficient technologies. Designed and engineered in the Group’s own data centers, all OVHcloud solutions guarantee total data reversibility and immunity to extraterritorial laws. The infrastructure operated by OVHcloud meets the highest security and data protection standards, in line with ISO27001 certification, as well as GDPR compliance. Like all of the European leading cloud provider’s solutions, Enterprise File Storage features an outstanding price/performance ratio in the industry and allows organizations to maintain control of their cloud strategy with predictable pricing and the choice of data location. In addition, because NetApp is an industry standard, Enterprise File Storage frees organizations from any technical lock-in and provides business continuity outside an OVHcloud environment. Enterprise File Storage is already available in data centers in Roubaix (France) and Frankfurt (Germany). The solution will be deployed in a very short term in Beauharnois (Canada), then will be rolled out in further geographies. About NetApp NetApp is a global, cloud-led, data-centric software company that empowers organizations to lead with data in the age of accelerated digital transformation. The company provides systems, software and cloud services that enable them to run their applications optimally from data center to cloud, whether they are developing in the cloud, moving to the cloud, or creating their own cloudlike experiences on premises. With solutions that perform across diverse environments, NetApp helps organizations build their own data fabric and securely deliver the right data, services and applications to the right people—anytime, anywhere. About OVHcloud OVHcloud is a global player and Europe’s leading cloud provider operating over 400,000 servers within 33 data centers across four continents. For 20 years, the Group has relied on an integrated model that provides complete control of its value chain – from the design of its servers, to the construction and management of its data centers, including the orchestration of its fiber-optic network. This unique approach allows it to independently cover all the uses of its 1.6 million customers in more than 140 countries. OVHcloud now offers its customers latest-generation solutions combining performance, price predictability and total sovereignty over their data to support their growth in complete freedom.

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ThycoticCentrify Expands Centralized Service Account Lifecycle Governance to Multi-Cloud Environments

ThycoticCentrify | December 22, 2021

ThycoticCentrify, a leading provider of cloud identity security solutions formed by the merger of privileged access management leaders Thycotic and Centrify, today announced enhancements to its industry-leading solution for service account governance, Account Lifecycle Manager. This release allows organizations to gain control over their growing number of privileged service accounts, offering full lifecycle management in multi-cloud environments. As companies accelerate digital transformation efforts and accommodate the increase in remote workers, multi-cloud environments have become the norm, with most companies using a combination of platforms to manage a variety of applications and processes. With many cloud platforms in the mix, account management and governance are extremely challenging, complex, and time-consuming. Access controls that organizations rely on for on-premises service accounts aren't nearly as granular in the cloud if they exist at all. Each cloud platform has its own interface and security controls, so IT teams must learn their unique differences and remember to manage each one. As a result, cloud-based service accounts can easily become a security risk if not managed correctly and with the right tools. Account Lifecycle Manager now makes it possible to discover, provision, and manage service accounts for all major cloud providers – Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform – from a central, policy-based solution. "Increasingly, automation and rapid development have given rise to a wide variety of service accounts used by cloud and hybrid applications and we're going to see their use expand in numbers and complexity. Account Lifecycle Manager gives teams the ability to ensure consistent security policies, account governance, and multi-platform reporting." Jon Kuhn, Senior Vice President of Product Management at ThycoticCentrify With ALM, organizations can now: Discover unmanaged accounts and bring them into central management Stay on top of account changes through alerts and audit reports Provision new accounts according to standardized access control and governance policies Define account approval workflows, and set timing requirements for when accounts are reviewed, expired, disabled, or deleted Update policy and workflow templates and easily associate accounts to new versions, while maintaining an audit history of changes Integrate with ThycoticCentrify Secret Server and third-party ticketing systems like Service Now out of box More information about Account Lifecycle Manager, including a free 30-day trial, is available at https://thycotic.com/products/account-lifecycle-manager/ About ThycoticCentrify ThycoticCentrify is a leading cloud identity security vendor, enabling digital transformation at scale. ThycoticCentrify's industry-leading privileged access management solutions reduce risk, complexity, and cost while securing organizations' data, devices, and code across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid environments. ThycoticCentrify is trusted by over 14,000 leading organizations around the globe including over half of the Fortune 100, and customers include the world's largest financial institutions, intelligence agencies, and critical infrastructure companies.

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CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT

BT Selects Google Cloud as Strategic Partner for Group-Wide Data and AI Transformation

BT | March 11, 2022

Today, Google Cloud and BT announced a strategic, five-year partnership to accelerate BT's company-wide digital transformation. The collaboration will involve BT using a suite of Google Cloud products and services—including cloud infrastructure, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, security, and API management—to deliver superior customer experiences, reduce costs and risk, and build new revenue streams. BT is undertaking a massive digital transformation through its BT Digital unit, and this initiative includes creating a group-wide data and AI fabric as part of its cloud-first and AI-first strategy. Under the partnership, the two companies will help BT unlock hundreds of new business use-cases to strengthen its ambitions around digital offerings and creating hyper-personalised customer engagement. BT's data transformation is centred around driving business outcomes and using AI and deep ML across the organisation to allow businesses and customers to make more data-led decisions, as well as creating deeper personalisation for customer offerings and new go-to-market propositions. This will also enable BT to have real-time network analytics to allow for a more enhanced customer service through predictive fault management and assurance. In addition, Google's SRE team will partner with BT to foster a continuous delivery and "zero ops" autonomous operations culture to accelerate product development and continuous innovation as part of the new culture of working that BT calls "The Digital Way." Our partnership with Google is one of a series of strategic moves that BT Digital is taking to help accelerate BT's growth and digital transformation. This is a partnership that is deeper than just at the technology level. It will help Digital as a whole supercharge BT and drive its return to growth," Harmeen Mehta, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, BT. "We're proud to collaborate with one of the world's leading providers of communications services and play an integral part in its digital transformation journey," said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud. "By deploying our full cloud capabilities, and support from our SRE organisation, our goal in this partnership is to set up BT with the tools it needs for future growth and innovation." Google and BT have already started working together on adopting Google technology, and plan to complete the core migration of data by 2023. About Google Cloud Google Cloud accelerates every organisation's ability to digitally transform its business. We deliver enterprise-grade solutions that leverage Google's cutting-edge technology – all on the cleanest cloud in the industry. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to enable growth and solve their most critical business problems. About BT BT Group is the UK's leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

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