at3amIT: The cloud is like renting a serviced apartment

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This article appeared in the July 2017 issue of CRN magazine.

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at3amIT: The cloud is like renting a serviced apartment

With at3amIT managing director Aaron Clausen

What technology underpins your hybrid cloud or hosting strategy?

We are focused on the Microsoft enterprise stack, which includes Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and SharePoint Online. But we can still help customers with other platforms and applications.

When did your company first get involved in this area?

Cloud started to become really interesting for me personally in 2011. I began tinkering with Azure and AWS shortly after, spinning up some hobby projects and seeing what we could do with it and how solid it was.

What are your credentials in hybrid cloud and hosting?

Our team are certified right across the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We’re also working to get the team certified formally as an Azure partner. That’s one of our goals for 2017.

How has public cloud changed the game or influenced your model?

It's all about flexibility and a huge ability to move quickly. Those benefits keep paying dividends over time. There’s no looming three- to five-year hardware refresh cycle, and you’re constantly receiving more features for the same ongoing spend.

Heard about any cool developments in the hybrid cloud or hosting space recently?

There are lots, but one we’ve been working with lately is the ability to bring the other web applications that a customer uses for specific functions into their overarching Office 365 environment, using Azure Active Directory to set up single sign on access back to their other web apps.

Can you tell us about a recent hybrid cloud or hosting deployment you have done?

We’ve been working with a global not-for-profit to do a large-scale hybrid cloud migration. We’re migrating them to multiple Microsoft SaaS offerings (Dynamics 365, SharePoint Online, Office 365, etc). Over time, we’ll work with them to chip away at modernising their other systems onto better value ‘as a service’ platforms.

What is driving customers to hybrid cloud or hosting?

The cloud is like renting a nice serviced apartment that suits your exact needs at any point in your life. Their budgets and the way in which they raise and spend them are also changing structurally. It’s also easier for an IT director to seek reasonable and ongoing funding for the life of a service, rather than the old days of asking for ten times as much in one go to build the Titanic.

Hybrid cloud is…?

The flexibility to take advantage of highly attractive ‘as a service’ platform offerings while also recognising that it isn’t necessarily the best place for everything.

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