Guest Blog: Clarifying Cloud Value as the Key to Cloud Service Providers’ Success

Fresh on the heels of VMworld and our rejuvenated Service Provider network; the VMware Cloud Provider Program, we’re continuing our series of guest blogs from partners.
In our latest post, we spoke with Lukas Hrdy, Head of Enterprise Cloud & Platform Services, Tieto Corporation, the largest enterprise cloud service provider in the Nordics, about the changing cloud market in the region and why cloud service providers have to help customers understand the full value of cloud to the business if adoption levels are to continue.

Clarifying cloud can lead to consumption

In 2015, we conducted a study revealing only one in ten Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish organisations were regarded as cloud mature. In 2017, we’re seeing a far different picture across the region – and that became clear at this year’s VMworld.

So why the change in maturity? This is the result of two clear incremental changes; cloud services have become more mature, while customers are more aware of what cloud services can offer. The latter is being driven by businesses that are looking into how they can be ‘available’ anywhere, any time. They’re seeking a digital transformation to create this ‘always on’ environment.

It’s our duty as a cloud services provider to know exactly what our customers want and help them to understand what is possible to achieve. Those customers who are still reluctant to adopt the cloud have often been misinformed or have not been given the lowdown on the full value of the cloud proposition; including areas such as business continuity, modernising infrastructure and migrating applications.

Many cloud service providers believe that this reluctance is actually beyond their control – blaming security or technology fears from the customer. But the truth is, customers are looking for a reliable partner that can give them the digital-ready, agile cloud platform they’ve been striving for – or at least help them with the initial steps to set them on their way. Too many service providers underestimate the full value of business continuity and sustainability, instead trying to force customers down the route of quick fixes to security or technology issues, when instead they need to be suggesting ways to modernise their infrastructure or migrate their apps to the cloud.

An intelligent infrastructure

In the Nordics, as everywhere else, businesses are looking for a range of possibilities with cloud. They want an infrastructure that can manage all cloud environments from wherever they are, without worrying about where their applications reside. That means exploring the multiple cloud models on offer for their business – which has subsequently made them more cloud-mature.

Their expectations as to what a partner can and should provide are changing. They are becoming more reliant on us, working hand-in-hand with us to create the right cloud environment for their business needs.

For us, that means having an infrastructure in place ourselves, to support a ‘pick and choose’ approach – making sure we can create a cloud for them no matter what they require – rather than trying to pigeonhole them into a cloud solution that’s a one size fits all for all customers.

And that’s where our partnership with VMware is extremely important – VMware gives us the tools to offer a multi-cloud approach. Using VMware, our customers can choose from a number of various cloud set-ups to fulfil their specific needs, requirements and expectations. Our relationship has gone from strength to strength.

Relationship Goals

Tieto has been part of VMware’s service and now cloud provider programme for six years. Working together, we’ve created a strong foundation for our customers’ digital transformation strategies by building sustainable, end-to-end, future-ready cloud and workforce solutions. Part of this success has been down to our collaborative approach to working together – we sync up on joint go-to-market strategies, which has led to constant growth.

In fact, our strong partnership led to VMware selecting us as the Service Provider of the Year in the Nordics at VMworld Europe 2016. And in May this year, we received the VMware EMEA Cloud Provider of the Year Award. Our strong partnership has come from having a more collaborative approach to sales and having an open and honest relationship.

Versatility & innovation

While our relationship with VMware is strong – we don’t want to become static and rely on our past success. We currently have more than 3,000 VMs running within the organisation, and have adopted both VMware NSX and vSAN over the last two years but this is just the beginning – Tieto will continue to be a pioneer of VMware’s latest technologies.

Having a portfolio of options to help our customers select the right cloud environment enables them to have the bandwidth to innovate – which is key to their growth. For example, to offer even more choice to customers, VMware recently announced their strategic partnership with AWS – something which we’re excited about. This service will make it easier for our customers to run any application, using a set of familiar software and tools, in a consistent hybrid cloud environment. This will help to support and drive innovation with modern day applications.

In addition, it will provide access to the broad range of AWS services, with added functionality, elasticity, and security, safeguarding customer trust. With VMware, we’re able to offer a complete end-to-end solution, no matter what clients need.

What lies ahead

We look forward to growing our partnership even more with VMware, through potential future R&D programmes and continuing our sales momentum, so that we both remain leading pioneers in the industry. We’re looking forward to the Partner Exchange (PEX) event at VMworld as we’re striving to get from being a leading cloud services provider in the Nordics to a leading cloud services provider in Europe – and this partnership – and the support at events like PEX will help us to get there.

See our video with Lukas below – looking at the importance of helping customers as they embrace multi-cloud:

For more insights into our partner ecosystem and to read the latest guest blogs, take a look at the series here, or visit the VMware Cloud Provider Program website.