Developing a Flexible, Customer-Centered Solution: How SafeDX Helps Clients Move to the Cloud
One of the most important elements of running a successful business is using the right tools for the job, whether that job is improving internal processes or providing the best products and services for your customers. Over time, however, customers and tools both evolve, and even the most perfect tool becomes obsolete. The challenge is how best to grow with the times.
For the past decade or so, the fields of data and cloud services have evolved greatly. But many businesses don’t know how to maximize the potential of cloud services without worrying that they’ll fall behind the competition. At SafeDX, we shoulder that burden for our customers.
A Local Provider Who Our Customers Can Trust
SafeDX provides cloud managed IT and cloud services mainly for software and technology-based companies, manufacturers and various service organizations within the Czech Republic. While there are larger global providers out there, we are one of the few choices that local residents can trust. Dealing with a local service provider helps them avoid potential headaches from delayed or impersonal assistance. They also don't have to worry about getting tech support that can speak Czech. Best of all, our customers always have the satisfaction of knowing that they can literally drive to our SafeDX facilities for a face-to-face connection or to ease their concerns. In fact, we are accessible within a half-hour drive from any business district in Prague.
I was appointed as SafeDX CEO in summer 2020. From the beginning, I planned to reinvigorate our outreach activities. We focus on presenting our services to the Czech market in a way that can help those unfamiliar with cloud technology understand how we can improve their business.
The Rise of Cloud-Based Services
Over the years, SafeDX has offered several cloud services to our customers. We started with basic services in the public cloud, offering virtual servers and software-defined storage (SDSaaS) and enriched the portfolio with more sophisticated solutions such as Cloud Cam, which stored video footage from local cameras in the cloud. Some of the services were ahead of market, as customers were still in the early stage of cloud services adoption.
But as cloud technology has grown and changed, we noticed that the market for these services has followed suit. Because of COVID-19, employees all over the world needed a way to work from home and access company resources from various locations. Companies required mechanisms to continue operations, and in most industries, it was almost impossible to accomplish work outside the digital world. The cloud has become everything.
At SafeDX, we decided that the future was in creating a solution that connects public clouds with private infrastructure. This went far beyond simply selling hardware as a bare-metal service. This solution would add value for clients by simplifying their entire infrastructure and managing it from a single interface. We eventually named the solution [SCP] SafeDX Cloud Platform.
[SCP] SafeDX Cloud Platform operates as a plug-and-play experience. It is incredibly user-friendly and getting set up only takes a few clicks. We can have our infrastructure ready to use within a couple of minutes and provision resources as needed. Because of this, it’s ideal for responding to customers’ unpredictable growth, saving time and money. We don't have to worry about paying people overtime or otherwise reallocating human resources to cover costs related to operating issues within the platform. Clients never have to worry about going over budget, and being able to manage and deploy multiple applications from different sources within a single interface is a powerful feature.
A Partnership That Mirrors the Way Our Customers Work
When it came time to select a partner for the [SCP] SafeDX Cloud Platform launch, we considered several of the usual suspects recruited from current vendors. Their lease model, however, required us to make tremendous investments before anyone signed up to use our platform. We would have to pay for the storage, servers, backup solution, and so on before we could launch the service.
This is where HPE came into play. Between their compute capabilities, self-serve options, consumption model, and ability to scale up or down as needed, they offered us a holistic solution that would support our operations and mission-critical applications like SAP and VMware, as well as enable us to reduce our capital expenditures.
HPE ProLiant DL380 servers would provide us with a trusted, high-performing computing platform, and HPE Primera would give us intelligent storage for mission-critical applications delivered as a service through the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform.
HPE GreenLake is a great fit for the Service Provider business model. We already had the buildings, generators, and network ready to go, and HPE GreenLake gave us the flexibility to provide the rest. The platform offers customers a managed cloud experience—including self-serve, pay per use, and scalability—to apps and data where they reside. This allows them to free up capital and resources and boost financial flexibility.
HPE GreenLake’s pay-per-use model helps to align costs to business. Finance teams know that unpredictable expenses can be the worst possible thing for a budget. If you expect the monthly bill to be $1,000, and it comes in at $1,500, that money must come from somewhere. For small- and medium-sized organizations, that level of uncertainty can hamper efforts in marketing or be the difference between staying in the black and going in the red. It is hard to proactively plan for expenditures when you don’t know the cost of the infrastructure upfront.
Instead of signing a lease for a year of service at a certain level, the HPE GreenLake model allows our customers to pay for what they need each month and make adjustments as they go. That makes it much easier for us to budget our growth and an easier sell for customers.
But HPE GreenLake offered more than just a flexible billing model. HPE GreenLake is also a vital component of our personal backup solution, and the backup solution we offer to our customers. We use maybe 5% of our resources to back up our own configurations and settings. The rest was purchased and passed on to our clients. That gives everyone involved the security of knowing we are protected in case something goes wrong, whether it be some kind of environmental catastrophe or ransomware. We sleep better knowing we can help our clients get back to work.
These solutions enable us to easily respond to any workload and compute requirements for our customers. We can also develop new applications several times faster, and accelerate software solution deployment across both public and private cloud environments.
Lifelong Learning Resources
In addition to HPE GreenLake, we’ve leveraged HPE Pointnext Services. As part of this service, HPE IT experts help us design and build solutions with the latest software-defined technology and optimize environments across hybrid cloud and traditional IT so it can be consumed as a service. In this ever-changing data environment, it’s easy to miss the latest innovations in AI or software-defined technologies. Having a close partnership with HPE advisors helps us follow the latest trends and anticipate the road ahead.
There is a big learning curve for customers attempting to unlearn the traditional approach to on-premises architecture. Like the first astronaut to walk on the moon, the move to the cloud represents a truly novel experiment for people that have gotten comfortable with the old way of working. However, the pandemic accelerated the move toward distributed resources, and our customers need a way to move in the right direction without getting bogged down by inflexible models or hard-to-manage platforms.
With HPE, we help our clients move past their fears and realize the potential of the cloud. By flattening the learning curve, they can grow their business faster and add value to their lives.