Welcome!

Linux Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Victoria Livschitz, Ignacio M. Llorente

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, Security, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Partnering for Cloud Onboarding Success

The key to a successful, secure and compliant implementation is a high touch engagement process

Enterprise organizations are looking for service providers to be a trusted partner with them throughout the entire transition through steady state process. The key for cloud providers is to develop ongoing relationships with their customers using hands-on engagement processes from beginning to end. A high touch process ensures that customers engage with various members of the transition team throughout the three stages of the on-boarding process: Business and Technology Assessment, Transition Plan, and Business Reviews.

Business and Technology Assessment
Like most new technologies, cloud computing can require significant changes in business processes, application architectures, technology infrastructure, and operating models that must be properly understood before embarking on any new initiative. Having a well-thought-out strategy can mean the difference between success and failure. The first step to understanding these challenges is the assessment.

The purpose of the business and technology assessment is for customers to conduct a high-level evaluation of the environment, taking into consideration the complexities and nuances of the client's business environment and provide a clear road map of the scope of the project. Once the scope has been determined, the client is able to assess whether they want to take a "do it yourself" approach or select a partner to assist with the transition.

Prior to any cloud or hosting engagement, cloud service providers will have a group of highly trained personnel on the team to scope the project and assess the readiness of the organization. The technical team, which includes an engagement manager, representatives from sales, architecture, understands that each potential customer is unique in their needs and will approach the cloud from a variety of perspectives. The extended business team includes an executive sponsor, representatives from product management, and operations. Product management and operations help with ensuring the cloud service is supportable and sustainable over the long term but the entire team helps to work through any special requirements or compliance issues during the sales process.

As part of a this approach, each of these team members remains involved throughout the entire client lifecycle to ensure the transition is set up correctly, that it is secure and compliant, and the client gets what they need, when they need it.

The complete assessment includes a technical analysis, an economic analysis and a business and application analysis.

  • Technical Analysis: Existing infrastructure and applications are reviewed to identify the services best suited for the cloud. The assessment covers key scalability and architectural issues, including server and application processes, and database transactions and scalability. Critical application interfaces also need to be assessed to determine the optimal cloud migration path.
  • Business Analysis: Business and economic considerations play a major role in the decision to migrate to the cloud. Customers need to build comprehensive ROI and TCO models that provide economic justification for cloud migration.
  • Business and Application Analysis: This analysis determines whether customers need to re-engineer business processes to leverage the cloud and whether their application needs to comply with specific regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, and SOX.

The Transition Plan
Once a potential cloud customer's level of business and technology readiness is understood, a plan is developed that includes the details of on-boarding and steady state management. The plan is essentially a roadmap that defines what the client can expect and when it will be delivered. It includes a detailed custom network design, any type of phased in implementation, escalation procedures, security and compliance considerations, SLA options, training, reporting, a timeline as well as when and how the team will get the environment in a steady state once the transition is complete.

The transition plan focuses on the impact of the customer, which includes the processes, policies and adjustments needed to move them from their current state to a new state. Some examples included in the plan are Service Transition, Change Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, Release and Deployment Management, Service Validation and Testing, Evaluation, and Knowledge Management.

This is where choosing the right partner can really make a difference. The best partners will have the following capabilities:

  • Tried and true migration methodology
  • Experience in migrating infrastructure and applications to a cloud delivery mode
  • Can specifically address a range of requirements including physical to virtual migrations project management and on-boarding
  • The ability to implement a hybrid cloud model if customers want to migrate some, but not all, of their IT infrastructure and services to the cloud
  • The ability to customize services to meet the need of the enterprise

This plan will also include the change of technologies, processes and policies to transform the organization. It utilizes technology to spearhead the vision, resolve, business case governance, accountability, workable approach and execution model, capacity planning and the ability to implement and operate.

The engagement manager and the implementation manager play critical roles during this phase. The dedicated engagement manager works directly with the client and harnesses the service provider's internal resources as issues arise while the implementation manager manages the day-to-day operational implementation. The client has multiple points of contact beyond the engagement manager including any of the team members such as the account manager, solution architects, sales, executive sponsor, or operations from the business and technology assessment.

Daily, weekly and monthly updates are provided on the progress of the migration.

At the conclusion of this phase, approximately 98% of the project is complete. It is over the next several months where operations fine-tune the remaining 2% of the project.

Business Reviews
With a cloud platform, monthly charges are based on actual compute resources used; therefore it's critical that cloud-enabled applications run efficiently. Periodic performance tuning and load testing are necessary to optimize applications in the cloud.

Reporting to the engagement manager, the delivery manager and his or her team prepare a weekly report that identifies operating trends and specific incidents. The team will review these issues on a weekly call with the customer and develop additional operating procedures in response to the trends and incidents.

For example, a customer's service on a server goes down on Wednesday at 4:00am. The immediate problem is handled by the incident management process. Through the post-mortem process trend analysis, the service delivery team notices that it has happened every Wednesday at 4:00am for the past several weeks. This is when the team may develop additional standard operating procedures that mitigate the risk of the service going down regularly.

On a monthly basis, the delivery team will take a more holistic approach. They will be able to look at the usage patterns and determine how best to utilize the current resources using a number of parameters including consolidating under-utilized resources, and optimize based on time of day usage, on seasonal demand, and on business process usage variations.

Quarterly, the teams meet and look at the initiatives for the upcoming next quarter as well as revisit the business plan. At this time the teams determine the ongoing readiness to scale and support the upcoming initiatives.

Enterprises need to select a vendor that will partner with them through the entire on-boarding process. The key to a successful, secure and compliant implementation is a high touch engagement process from beginning to end.

More Stories By Gina Murphy

As Executive Vice President, Gina Murphy is responsible for all of TriCore’s Solutions, Service Strategy and Sales Enablement. This includes Product Management, Account Management and supporting Sales and Operations with strategic guidance from the customer’s perspective to take TriCore’s products and services to the next level. Sitting between the technical resources and the sales team, her goal is to empower these teams to demonstrate TriCore’s value proposition to its customers as it relates to their unique circumstances.

Prior to joining TriCore, as the Vice President of Solution Architects at NaviSite, Gina managed a global team responsible for providing technical sales engineering solutions to ensure enterprise customers obtain the highest quality of complex and supportable solutions, on time and within budget. She also held management positions in information technology, business management systems, technical training, and operations with Surebridge, TVGuide and Lightbridge.

She holds a Bachelor of Art in Communication from Stonehill College.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.