Discover How Modern IT Directors Simplify Infrastructure with Managed Power Hosting

Today’s technology leaders are shifting management of their IBM iSeries, Linux, AIX servers and Virtual Power LPARs to support rapidly changing infrastructures. Because of this shift, power hosting is allowing teams to focus on innovation, reduce infrastructure costs and meet the growing customer demand for ever higher performance.

We asked Carlo MacDonald, our power hosting team lead, what he sees as the strongest motivators for IT Directors leveraging managed power hosting. From Carlo’s “boots on the ground” perspective, IT departments leverage power hosting in ways that make an impact for their environment – not a one size fits all approach.

Here are a few areas where power hosting can make a noticeable difference.

Older doesn’t mean obsolete

Many of today’s most successful businesses embraced IBM Power Systems technology early on, spending a lot of time and effort in creating custom applications and software to run their daily operations. With the rate of change today, many legacy applications are nearing end of life and support, making platform migrations or upgrades expensive and labor-intensive.

Hosting workloads on managed dedicated servers or virtual LPARs can extend the life of mission-critical applications. This creates a bridge letting IT take advantage of additional support resources while future system and application decisions can be thoughtfully made. In the case of an upcoming migration, hosting your environment can help satisfy best practices for testing new equipment independent from production, which gives IT get a better idea of business needs moving forward.

Filling compliance gaps

Employees and customers expect businesses to protect their sensitive information – end of story. Regulatory oversight and industry standards can make compliance an expensive, never-ending task for IT. Hosting partners in our N+1 data centers follow best practices for data protection and integrity and are, by their very nature, compliant across the board.

Shifting production or DR hosting to a larger, managed data center helps infrastructure and security leaders meet SOX, OIXA, HIPAA and other regulatory standards without the burden of monitoring and managing the hardware, software, patches and network.

Save time and deliver peace of mind to your customers, stakeholders and IT team by taking advantage of our data center’s rigorous due diligence processes.

Variable costs make for uncertain budgeting

Technology directors and managers have always been creative when it comes to making the most out of their budgets. With budgets consistently shrinking, leaders are tasked with being innovative in a climate of reduced capital expenditures. This is no small hurdle when you consider the reputation infrastructure hardware and software costs have for being IT budget monsters.

By leveraging hosting technology for production or DR, IT can shift large server and storage costs to their OpEx budgets. As an added benefit, this model removes the financial burden tied to infrastructure technology maintenance and refresh from your shoulders.

The worst time to test your plan is when you need it

Although difficult in its own right, disaster recovery planning may be one of the easier parts of business continuity preparedness. Ensuring that the recovery objectives are achievable and that the DR environment is performing as it should require a solid plan, testing and support.

Shifting your DR environment to a hosting environment can bring opportunities to collaborate with experts, rely on an expanded skill set and ensure business goals are met through high performing Power workloads and system availability.

The right power hosting partner is the one that takes the time to learn your specific business goals, technology needs and becomes an extension of your internal IT team. How do your contenders measure up?

VSS Recognized for Excellence in Managed IT Services

We are excited to announce that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named VSS to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. We were recognized for our offerings aimed at helping companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies and maximize their return on IT investments.

“We are honored to have CRN recognize our managed service practice as one of the top in the country. Thank you to everyone on our Managed Services team for your non-stop hard work supporting our customers,”  Wendi Shearer, VP of VSS Marketing.

In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.

“Managed service providers play an increasingly important role in the day-to-day operations of businesses across North America,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “MSPs help organizations streamline their spending, effectively allocate limited resources, and benefit from advanced expertise in the latest technologies. We congratulate the service providers on CRN’s 2017 MSP500 list, who have continually succeeded in meeting their customers’ changing needs and help them get the most out of their IT investments.”

The MSP Elite 150 category recognizes enterprise-focused resellers that have a significant managed service offering and data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premise and off-premise services.

Our managed services span the IT environment from advisory and implementation services to managed infrastructure hosting and maintenance: portfolio management and services. The foundation of our service methodology starts through building peer-to-peer relationships with internal IT members, maximizing the support of IT environments and aligning to meet a business’ needs. With each customer, we aim to help them take advantage of new market opportunities, create faster access for users and provide uninterrupted support 365 days a year.

“The number one thing we tell companies considering managed services is that you don’t have to rely on rigid strategies that only accommodate your needs at one specific time,” shared Carlo MacDonald, Senior Business Development Executive. “Leveraging managed services helps you choose a path that will support you now and in the future.”

The MSP500 list will be featured in the February 2017 issue of CRN.

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Three Reasons to Rethink Your IT Maintenance Support

Three Reasons to Rethink Your IT Maintenance Support

When hardware goes down, nothing is more infuriating than leading multiple vendors through a round of the blame game!

Now, let’s have a moment of silence for all the valuable minutes lost chasing manufacturer contacts down.

Maintenance Q1 - Blog Image

The new year lets us shine a light on how we approach support IT asset maintenance. From simple break-fix support to concise managed service capabilities, having the right technical team in place can not only reduce overall costs, but facilitate a positive return on investment and performance results on your networking, software, storage and systems.

Other IT professionals are thinking big picture when it comes to technical support. Have you considered how these stats might affect your organization?

  1. Bigger Business Stakes. As tech’s reach grows, so does the scale of its impact.
    • The average annual cost of downtime to organizations can be up to 16 million USD[1].
    • Gartner forecasts that connected things worldwide will reach 20.8B by 2020, creating a vast network of vulnerabilities[2].

More people and devices are connected than ever before, meaning IT is more involved throughout your business. This increased interconnectedness means that even a small incident can lead to significant downtime and costs. Conversely, preventing these incidents can give your organization a competitive edge.

  1. More Diverse Change to Manage. Get a handle on it now.
    • Over the next three years, 86 percent of IT and business executives expect the pace of technology change to increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate[3].
    • By 2017, more than 50 percent of organizations’ IT spending will be for third-platform technologies, solutions and services[4].

Whether you’re updating aging infrastructure, adopting mobile and cognitive solutions, or expanding your business into new marketplace segments because of mergers or acquisitions, change isn’t easy—especially with limited capital budgets. You need quality support to help navigate change without disruption in a heterogeneous IT environment.

  1. Broader Support Options. Remember to KISS, things don’t have to get more complex.
    • Nine out of ten IT professionals have current or planned technical support contracts for three or more devices[5], resulting in support across their infrastructure.
    • Over half of IT professionals are using six or more vendors to support multiple devices[6], adding new complexity to their support.

Wrangling multiple warranty and maintenance service providers is hard work and can increase risk. These challenges become even more difficult to manage while trying to address new technology needs, manage costs and bridge the talent gap in your organization. Add it all together, and, suddenly, your time and support seem alarmingly slim.

Portfolio management and maintenance can be a bear for IT leaders. What are your biggest technical support hurdles? Share with us in the comments.

[1] 1 Veeam, 2016 Veeam Availability Report: How to Close a Widening Availability Gap, February 2016.

[2] Gartner, “Gartner Says 6.4 Billion Connected ‘Things’ Will Be in Use in 2016, Up 30 Percent from 2015,” press release, November, 2015.

[3] Accenture, Accenture Technology Vision 2016—People First: The Primacy of People in a Digital Age, August 2016.

[4] IDC, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2016 Predictions—Leading Digital Transformation to Scale, Document No. 259850, November 2015.

[5] IBM, Technical Support Services Thought Leadership Study, August 2016.

[6] Ibid