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A New Era for SMBs and Cloud Computing

With an increasing demand for cloud computing in the market, are SMBs making the right decisions by choosing cloud solutions? We explore the same, over a candid conversation with Chris Kozup, Senior VP, Global Marketing at Nutanix.

Cloud computing allows companies to manage data storage and computing, without having to directly manage data centres. With the rise of various cloud technologies, the management of IT and data bases is being simplified. One of the most well-known companies in the cloud computing sphere, with unique solutions, Nutanix uses cloud and Hyperconverged Infrastructure to ensure that companies have more independence in terms of operations.  We discuss in detail about the future of cloud computing with a focus on SMBs in the U.A.E with Mr Chris Kozup, Senior Vice-President, Global Marketing at Nutanix.


 How are the services provided by Nutanix useful for SMB companies today?

Nutanix believes in engaging with customers in a journey and not just providing them with services or products. This involves a series of steps, in which a company can prioritise their needs and make changes according to their goals. The first step involves the modernisation of data stored on cloud platforms. In the second step, you think about how you can run or expand various existing and new applications. The third step simply involves the extension of these applications into the cloud. This results in a reduction of footprint, ease of operations and a significant amount of money saved. Furthermore, these solutions are not limited to a certain type of company. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an SMB or a large-scale company, Nutanix uses the same dynamic to ensure better results.

The company also believes that more SMBs will be looking towards public cloud solutions in the coming years. While this is a welcome change, Nutanix believes it is not always the right step for customers. While we love everything about the cloud, a look at the applications strategy as a leading point is required to determine the type of infrastructure which will be best for it. And a key component to finding that pivotal strategy is simplifying data and the data centre itself.

There is a lot of talk about the benefits of cloud computing for larger companies but not enough when it comes to SMBs. Tell us about cloud solutions for SMBs.

A great thing about SMBs and cloud computing, especially in the U.A.E, is the high adoption rate seen here. A lot of companies are quickly taking to public cloud and this is largely due to the type and size of the companies; which are mostly mid-sized. For a smaller company, the simplicity that public cloud offers makes much more sense. Cloud allows for an ease of abstracting IT and applications and also helps you run it in an environment where someone else takes care of it for you.

While this does seem like a good deal in the start, companies will soon realise the shortcomings attached with it as well. While public cloud will be more suitable for bigger organisations with apps which offer more stability, this might not be the case for SMBs, for whom IT is fundamental to their core strategy. Therefore, as an SMS, it would make more sense to own cloud real estate rather than renting it. This will allow SMBs to offer more options to the users, with their cloud systems present on their own premises.


What are some of the high-level results of Nutanix?

One of the key elements that we do globally is conduct surveys. The surveys help both us and our customers in various ways. We can gauge and understand the global market and also give insights about the market, using these surveys. This not only helps us positions ourselves in a better manner, it also helps the customer. With this knowledge, the customer can compare themselves to the market and figure out whether they are on track, as far as their goals are concerned. A huge finding, especially regarding the companies present in the U.A.E, is the presence of legacy infrastructure. This is the use of older, three-tier infrastructure which most companies paid a lot for. Due to this, they tend to use it for a longer period of time. This traditional method makes operations even more complex and also can result in overspending in many cases. But we believe that over the years, there will be a realisation to separate certain applications for on-premise use. This shift, will signal the rise of Hybrid IT.


How important is the SMB market to Nutanix and what specific solutions do you have for it?

The SMB market is an extremely important segment for us. As mentioned before, we use the strategy of simplicity. Simplifying databases, will result in the simplification of operations, which is what smaller companies need. Nutanix provides infrastructure with a type of one-click simplicity which you won’t find anywhere else. To give an example, many companies in the U.A.E might have multiple offices, including smaller branches in remote locations. Having a dedicated IT personnel for such a small setup might not make a lot of sense, and that is where our software comes into play. You can easily transport and setup our software in these remote locations, without the need for a dedicated IT expert. We offer a variety of our own hardware platforms and also the option of providing software which relies on third-party hardware such as that from Dell or Lenovo. This means we provide you with both flexibility and simplicity.

One of our offerings, specially made for SMBs, is called ‘Beam’. Beam allows you to measure and understand your usage in the public cloud. This will in turn, allow customers to have visibility about the kind of expenditure which is happening and whether it is in the right place, which is a huge advantage for smaller companies.


A few tips for SMBs venturing into the cloud arena.

As an SMB, you first need to identify the type of company you are and therefore, the type of strategy you need. Identify your needs and start by creating an application strategy which will be the basis for your choice of infrastructure required. This will ensure you are being driven by your targets, setting you in the right direction.