Translation of the Original Article by Siegfried Lautenbacher
It is a strange world we work in. On the one hand, we work with a lot of effort on very meticulously crafted requests for proposals for the operation and support of traditional on-premises IT infrastructures - on the other hand, we design Enterprise Cloud Integration Services for customers. The requirement specification for this is not more than five sheets long. It is an agile, pragmatic and collaborative approach with the customer and the results sometimes surprise all. The hard part for us is: they are parallel worlds without connections. The RfP documents lay down exactly how to “build” the infrastructure and demand clear SLA fulfillment, in order to ensure comparability of the offers. In the 36 to 48 months maturity, Innovation is only intended when it comes to price reductions. If we contribute different ideas, it is usually not presentable against the other vendors. So, it's not an easy time for our IT specialists at Beck et al. Services. They have to serve both worlds. This often also requires of us a "Re-Administering in the head" – in order to modify something in a currently current brand campaign for an automaker. A period of transition that demands a lot of our people - and I have the impression no less of our customers! We believe that the transition in our IT Services business has "no alternative". Our current business model increasingly erodes: the classic Outsourcing & Managed Services model is like a pond at the start of the dry season. It will be narrow, muddy and very uncomfortable. Time to test out new business models. Some time ago, we have therefore issued the motto for ourselves: "Cloud Only". Step by step, we shifted our internal systems (File, Messaging, Collaboration, Social, Realtime et al.) to IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) into the cloud and freed ourselves from our own hardware and our own data center. With process support like workload tracking or personnel development, we have consistently looked for SaaS, and found interesting solutions with Toggl and Small Improvements, which bill based on usage and require no technical implementation effort except a Directory Integration. The icing on the cake (of Service) was then for us the lightweight cloud integration with our SugarCRM, of course, from the cloud - we call it "Cloud Flow". We have selected AWS as Cloud Provider for us, and on very good experience. Therefore, we have expanded the relationship with AWS consistently and since recently are official AWS Partner. Together, we bring the orchestration of business-critical IT services forward with highly available cloud services. The AWS possibilities and our smart solutions result thereby in flexible, scalable solutions for a cloud-enabled IT organization. Beck et al. Services assists with the drafting of the architectural designs, advice on security policy as well as the gradual implementation of existing applications into the Amazon cloud. A small example of how this might look provides our Testdrive. There we show you how a virtual SharePoint 2013 environment can go “productive” quickly and uncomplicated. In other contributions, we will report on here what experiences we make and how we cope with the coexistence of the different worlds. Stay tuned!