Everything in an IT infrastructure deployment – from internet and voice connectivity, routers and firewalls, the switches that connect everything and the wireless network to the systems, servers and storage – is interdependent. However, the components typically are designed in individual silos, which emerge because many IT professionals are highly specialized and often design to solve a particular problem. It is imperative to eliminate these silos to ease the path to digital transformation.
One way to do that is to use IT as a service to design a system that optimizes performance and functioning. The system should also have management and troubleshooting capabilities while it creates the ability to efficiently achieve governance and compliance mandates. According to Bobby Mueller, founder and CEO of Qube®, by using IT as a “system,” the disconnections that can emerge from silos can be circumvented.
“Our approach is ‘IT as a system,’ which recognizes that if we look at all of these parts as components of a larger system, we can create a more optimal design,” Mueller explained. “We’ve created a configuration tool that maps all these different dependencies and creates optimal designs tailored to customer requirements, industry, number of users, number of locations and what the customer is trying to achieve.”
In addition, Mueller says that value-added resellers (VARs) must look beyond what a client needs to power and run an IT environment and consider additional systems, such as voice/video collaboration solutions, enhanced mobile security, video surveillance, IoT devices, and more.
“Instead of designing from the outside in, VARs should design from the inside out,” he said. “We are working with Comstor to make our configuration tool – which is both a literal and a figurative ‘cube’ system – available to VARs. Using it, they can help clients to build out the systems they need very easily.
“It also alleviates resource requirements for the VAR, because a salesperson can take a customer through this journey without a sales engineer,” Mueller explained. “If they choose to have a sales engineer along, our system allows that engineer to speak intelligently across all of the architectures without having to become an expert in each one of them.”
As a result, salespeople can have broader conversations, and sales engineers can expand their reach of capabilities. Once the customer’s needs are understood, then a Qube is created that has all of the pre-configurations needed to allow them to “plug and play” in a way that has never been done, according to Mueller.
“Once we receive specifications, we work at the Comstor Integration Center to input all the pre-configurations and physical connectivity needed and then send out a system – in a cabinet – that is set and ready to go,” Mueller explained. “When it arrives at the customer location, they can plug in power, internet and devices and be off and running.”
Depending on the size of the business, there may be one physical Qube in one location that provides everything needed to run their IT systems to support the business. For larger businesses, they may have a Qube in different buildings within a campus or on different floors within a building. Mueller says the system is easily scalable and incorporates Cisco-Validated Design (CVD).
“We’ve taken the CVD and their design guides and turned them into orderable configurations that can be shipped inside a Qube solution,” he explained. “We also allow for a VAR to use the Qube builder tool to easily build these designs, which could ship as individual components. Either way, we’ve created a map that allows customers to easily understand and order what they need – with all the contract agreements, etc., built in. Now, they don’t have to read through tomes of design guides and still have to literally build everything from scratch.”
Mueller says that in addition to saving the VAR, MSP or end user a tremendous amount of time, the Qube solution also keeps them from missing something that is needed or forgetting a critical component. This allows VARs to help customers get to that “optimal design” and move toward digital transformation without silos.