In 2017 public cloud adoption seems to have reached a tipping point and now sees broad adoption beyond small and medium-sized companies. Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure have, each in their own way, taken important steps in enriching the functionality of the cloud and making it accessible to businesses of all sizes. We're partners with each of these companies and yet we will always be impartial to ensure that our customers get the perfect solution – one that meets their specific needs. So, we sat down with André Hoekzema from Google, Arjen Vriens from AWS, and Fred Richter from Microsoft to find out what's happening in their worlds and to see what we can learn from them.
André Hoekzema, Country Manager Google Cloud Benelux
"Openness has been important to Google from the very start. If you follow Google from a developer angle, we've open sourced everything – all our big innovations. So, when it comes to public cloud and multi-cloud, we have a different view to other players in this space. We were born in the cloud, we have new architectures that are cloud native."
"For example, Spotify chose us to help them gain speed. They wanted to check our infrastructure. I remember vividly one of their VPs calling me, saying 'André, your infrastructure, it’s weapons grade! We’ve been testing the Google Cloud compute services against other providers and what you deliver is so far above the standard in our SLAs.' Other providers wobble; they go low, then high. Google doesn’t do that; we go straight down the line in our performance. And they asked us: “How do you do that? – It’s impossible.” So, we made a big choice and decided to also open source the technology behind our infrastructure called Kubernetes.Internally we call it Borg, a machine that’s orchestrating literally billions of micro-services. Now Kubernetes is one of the hottest open-source projects in the world and the speed of innovation is incredible."
"We really believe in open cloud and we use open source to speed up innovation. When you look at the technology you find in the data center on missioncritical applications, you'll see it's built on technologies that originate with Google. Apache Spark, Casandra, NoSQL, TensorFlow, Machine Learning right down to your deepest infrastructure, very often these approaches originated in open source from Google."
"I would love to work with a customer that we transform together, one that we help stay relevant, while speeding up their development. It would be beautiful if you were the customer-facing partner and Google was the engine for innovation for the customer. Google under the bonnet so to speak!"
Arjen Vriens, Head of Partner and Alliances Benelux & Nordics Region
"Every cloud journey starts with a compelling event like the need to reduce the costs of, testing and developing or implementing new software which needs new hardware to run on. We see a significant increase in the number of customers who define a cloudfirst strategy and as part of this, new applications or IT architectures are being built cloud-native. The rich portfolio of services at AWS have been designed to support this trend."
We are observing that cloud is the ‘new normal’ in IT, for startups from small companies to large enterprises with mission-critical workloads and publicsector agencies. "While the cloud has become a key business enabler, companies of all sizes are now deploying new applications to the cloud by default and looking to migrate as many of their existing applications as possible."
"IT departments are harmonizing their use of cloud services and are building a governance and cloud management structure. The objective is to maintain the agility that the cloud has brought to the business, while respecting the governance structures of the IT organization, which are needed to execute a long-term secure and sustainable IT strategy."
Cloud migration is not only about technology – most of the changes are related to the organization. This is why AWS has developed the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) which helps organizations to develop efficient and effective plans for their cloud adoption journey based on a comprehensive approach to cloud across the organization.
“We are pleased to count Schuberg Philis as an Advanced Partner in the AWS Partner Network. Schuberg Philis has a proven track record of successful client deployments to AWS and has a growing number of AWScertified engineers, which is an important indicator for quality and commitment. Schuberg Philis has also demonstrated success in helping customers such as PostNL and Enexis Groep, to optimize their use of the AWS platform and create managed services on top of it.”
Fred Richter, Senior Partner Development Manager Microsoft Benelux
"The public cloud is growing exponentially every year and we think that every customer will migrate to the public cloud sooner or later. And of course, the public cloud is much cheaper than your own data centers or hosting solutions. So, for me, it's not really a question of if, but when. If you look at what's happening today in the market, data and analytics will become increasingly important. Companies have to stay Agile to survive."
"I think trust is still the biggest barrier, but of course there are many others – the landscape of the applications being one of them. Many applications aren't ready for the cloud, so 'lift and shift' migration often simply isn't an option."
"At Microsoft there is a national security officer, we have a lot of skilled people giving presentations about how we've built our cloud, what you can expect there, and we're very open about how we manage and run our data centers. The best way to instil trust is to show it."
"Of course, we have a lot of the best Cloud Solution Providers making it really easy to subscribe and spin up environments. We have strategy architects who advise companies on how to migrate, as well as data architects and security professionals, so we can provide support in a great many ways. We also have a big data center in the Netherlands, which makes it easier for Dutch companies to make the move to the public cloud."
"Partners like Schuberg Philis are very important for Microsoft to help customers in their transition to the cloud. We value the large investments they made in the Azure Platform in the past year."
"If a business has a cloud strategy that doesn't support their innovation, then that isn't the right cloud strategy. You need to know what the cloud can bring you: especially data, analytics, and IoT which will be very important for many companies. If you look, many of them don't have a clear strategy and, without that, you don't know what you want. It's very difficult to innovate if you don't have a clear plan."