Chris Patterson still remembers comparing the cost of existing colocation facilities with the cloud, an exercise that contributed to Navisite’s decision to launch its first multi-tenant cloud, Navisite Sphere, based on VMware vSphere, in 2011.
“The numbers were outrageous. It was very successful and very popular with customers, and from a service provider perspective it was great,” Patterson, Navisite’s senior director of product management, recalls. “We are able to provide self-service for some customers and fully managed environments for others without requiring us to limit each physical server to one workload.”
It wasn’t the company’s first collaboration with VMware. Years earlier, Navisite’s engineers worked with VMware to support complex applications in a private cloud environment. The work with VMware Sphere led to a connection with Time Warner Cable, and in 2012 it acquired Navisite.
“Time Warner ended up teaching us a lot about scaling at a much greater level,” Patterson says. “Navisite Sphere was and is still great for customers that want a private cloud environment they can just leave on 24/7. But our second cloud, based on VMware Cloud Director, introduced a wide range of new capabilities for those who want the flexibility of the cloud, dynamic pricing capabilities, and true cost optimization.”
Simultaneously, Navisite continued to offer a wide range of managed services and solutions. Its portfolio today includes application services, managed infrastructure, platform services, security, data analytics, custom development work, compliance (GDPR and HIPAA), and more.
Providing customized solutions to the mid-market
As the result of a series of acquisitions, Navisite, along with three other IT managed service providers—RDX, clckwrk and ClearDB—have combined under the Navisite name to create a modern managed cloud service provider. The new Navisite features the core cloud, application and hosting services of the legacy Navisite company, combined with the next-generation cloud services and expertise of RDX, clckwrk and ClearDB, to help businesses accelerate IT transformation.
The combination is already proving attractive to Navisite’s customers – mid-market companies in a wide range of industries that serve consumers around the globe.
“Navisite has never been about cookie-cutter solutions,” says Patterson. “The big systems integrators can create super-customized solutions for the Fortune 500, but at a price point most companies can’t bear. We have the experience to provide customized solutions to the mid-market – companies that are big technology users and need more than the SaaS offerings relied on by SMBs, but that are still grappling with the innumerable tasks that keep IT teams overworked. We help them put the cloud to work and free them to focus on making IT a strategic asset.”
He adds that the mid-market is where many of the greatest challenges and opportunities lie. Most companies in this segment have been investing in technology for 20 years and just keeping up with it all can be a crushing weight.
Patterson notes that being VMware Cloud Verified significantly contributes to the company’s success. While Navisite has a longstanding relationship with VMware, the designation lets “customers know that VMware has looked under the covers and confirmed that Navisite is doing it right,” he says.
“Everyone knows they want to go to the cloud, but question how to get there,” Patterson adds. “CIOs can pull their 10 best employees out of their day-to-day activities to focus on the cloud and its integration and implementation, but they still need those 10 experts putting out fires every day. That’s where we can really help. We combine our infrastructure and application expertise with deep industry knowledge to help IT leaders achieve their transformation goals. Soon those fires start going away and their experts can focus on being strategic.”
IDG’s “2020 State of the CIO” survey backs up Patterson’s contention. Nearly half of the respondents said that integration and implementation skills were the most highly sought after to support ongoing digital business initiatives.
Not surprisingly, given Navisite’s extensive customer base, Patterson has strong opinions on two of the most discussed cloud-related topics: multi-cloud deployments and the impact of software-defined data centers.
“Many of the organizations we work with have sites with applications and data in different clouds, so the question becomes: How do I tie it all together?” he says. “VMware’s approach is really powerful because our customers can still have that common management framework, still have that common stack, and run their normal VMware-based workloads on the VMware technology they trust in multiple clouds. And they can manage it all from a single pane of glass.”
And the impact of software-defined data centers? Patterson says it can be seen in terms of innovation.
“In the old days, the process of getting code from developers to production could take weeks, and if there was a problem it could be catastrophic,” he says. “With the cloud and snapshots, developers can work much faster without fear. Now we have apps that are developed, rolled out, and monetized rapidly. As a result, consumers receive and benefit from innovation so much faster.”
Learn more about Navisite and its partnership with VMware here.