Why this partner thinks Cisco can further improve engagements with service providers

Why this partner thinks Cisco can further improve engagements with service providers

Harbour IT exec says Cisco is on the right track, but more can be done

Harbour IT cloud services general manager, Adam Simpson, told ARN at the Cisco Live ’17 conference in Melbourne that he’d like to see Cisco roll out pay-per-month for service providers.

“There is still a large cost in tin. One thing that it hasn’t done that other providers have is pay per month. We have to build it and hope customers come. There is a large upfront cost to build that technology infrastructure.

“And it has also got to start to see us as a service provider, rather than a customer. So, it’s about improving engagement and Cisco’s starting to acknowledge the SMB service provider market,” he said.

Simpson also told ARN that Cisco moving into the as a service space can be viewed as a boon or as a bane, but Harbour IT has chosen to see the positive side of it.

“For us, it’s more about platform-as-a-service rather than software-as-a-service. We see it as a value add to our customers. We acknowledge that we can’t be everything to everyone and we play in the space that we do very well.

“We’ll partner with Cisco where it makes sense with our strategies. But more often than not, it’s more complementary than anything else. Cisco’s investments put us in the front field because we have a close relationship and support the Cisco stack,” Simpson added.

Harbour IT's Sean Bishop (L) and Adam Simpson (R)
Harbour IT's Sean Bishop (L) and Adam Simpson (R)

Having worked together with Cisco for about seven years, the Australian ICT solutions firm, recently won a contract to provide an Australian Tier 2 financial organisation with strategic cloud, managed services and IT infrastructure solutions.

For compliance reasons, the name of the bank could not be revealed.

“Time to market is the big thing. That’s what the customer wanted. They want to know that it is agile and can be expanded when it needs to but the most important thing that now comes out is that it’s secure and at the same time high performing,” Simpson said.

Security has been one of the key focuses for the company, according to Simpson.

“So, from Harbour IT, it positions us as not just a cloud provider. We’ve been in managed services for about 15 years, so it’s not only about hosting and being secure and performance.

“What our customers typically want from us is a full managed service – so, we provide all the level one support all the way through to level three. It’s not just a one-point solution, it’s about the whole end-to-end piece,” Simpson stated.

In this deployment, Harbour IT used Cisco’s advanced services, meaning the company worked together with Harbour IT’s architects with the design and did the deployment “hand-in-hand”.

“Cisco did a bit of skills transfer to us and we ran it after that. We also engage Cisco every 12 months to do an architectural review to ensure that we stay true to the stack and true to our partnership with Cisco.”

Simpson also told ARN that its plans are firm moving forward.

“Strategically, we run Flexpod, that’s our decision in our private hybrid cloud. It’s now all about the virtual space and automation, so the next phase in that, for us is UCS directive. What we’re now working on is ACI deployment.

“We want to start offering security services through the stack now. We’ve just finished our migration to the next-gen ASA virtual firewall platform and we now bundle that as part of our security offering as a hardware cloud customer,” he said.

“The next three to six months, for us, is getting ACI functioning so customers can get the whole stack now.”

The company is also working on a security operations centre, on the Cisco suite.

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Tags ciscoHarbour ITcisco live 2017

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