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Solving the cloud conundrum
CLOUD

Solving the cloud conundrum 

 But what happens when businesses are responsible for managing multiple cloud accounts? It might result in a cloud conundrum for some, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Avnet has taken this issue under consideration, and its new Avnet Cloud Toolset (ACT) provides users with all of the cloud management tools they need in one convenient platform. ACT also provides businesses with cost savings through its ability to accurately track aggregate cloud usage.

IT in Canada spoke with Tim FitzGerald, vice president of cloud solutions for Avnet Technology Solutions Americas to gain some insight into the functionality of this new product, and the benefits it provides for enterprises.

IT in Canada: Why are more enterprises integrating cloud technology into their daily activities?
FitzGerald: I think there are a couple of business reasons that are driving increased consumption of cloud. There is the need for being a more agile organization, and being able to respond to their end user requirements is driving the need for more flexible and timely deployment of workloads. Cloud provides a heightened capability around orchestration and automation, and therefore allows customers to be more agile for workload deployments.

ITIC: How will the Avnet Cloud Toolset help with the management of cloud platforms?
TF: What the Toolset provides is two sets of value-add (propositions). For a partner, it allows them to be able to better manage all of the information associated with the use of cloud services for their clients. More importantly, it allows them to more effectively manage that information such that they can create accurate and substantiated invoices for their customers.

For the end clients, it provides all that same value, but the other unique thing it provides is for an enterprise-level decision-maker within that end customer, it gives them a single view of what could be multiple department usage and accounts of that cloud provider.

One of the reasons why that is beneficial for an end customer is by having that single view, they can more effectively optimize their spend across those multiple accounts by getting more effective use of the resources that they’re paying for.

ITIC: How easy is it to implement the Avnet Cloud Toolset?
TF: One of the benefits of the Avnet Cloud Toolset is that it’s deployed in a software-as-a-service model, and is relatively easy to deploy for our partners and new customers. Because it is a tool that is both deep and rich with value, there are multiple facets to it. There is some investment of time in both our partners and our partners’ customers so that they can thoroughly appreciate all of the value that’s available in the Avnet Cloud Toolset.

ITIC: How can the product help enterprises keep their cloud spending under control?
One of the first benefits of the Toolset is providing the granular detail of what’s actually being consumed by that end customer. In many cases, new accounts are set up with cloud providers at the departmental level, so first understanding what they’re using at a departmental level gives the first step of value-add.

The second component is when you can look across multiple accounts and look at what you’re consuming form those cloud providers, you have an opportunity to leverage that spend and create a more efficient way for you to consume that spend, In some cases, reducing that overall spend.

ITIC: Why are cloud consolidation and governance important to cloud computing?
TF: Just like the deployments of workloads in an end customer’s data centre, the ability to effectively manage that workload is essential to ensuring that it is both secure and efficient. You’re not overspending for the value you’re getting.

Tools like the Avnet Cloud Toolset provide some great value in similar environments, but were deployed outside of a customer’s data centre. We’re announcing that the Avnet Cloud Toolset is available for Amazon Web Services and IBM’s SoftLayer.

ITIC: What are Avnet’s future plans for ACT and cloud computing?
TF: We very much embrace the role we think we provide both for our partners and their customers, ensuring that our value, but more specifically, out partners’ value remains relevant to their customers. One of Avnet’s five core values is innovation, and we believe that by innovating and bringing additional value to the Avnet Cloud Toolset, our partners will remain more relevant to their customers’ needs as their customers’ needs evolve.

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