Getting Sirius about .NEXT


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An Interview with Steve Dowling, Director of Converged Infrastructure at Sirius Computer Solutions

Nutanix .NEXT user conference is scheduled for June 8-10 in Miami, Florida. We recently talked with Steve Dowling, Director of Converged Infrastructure at Sirius, to find out what’s happening at his company and if he is planning to attend the Nutanix .NEXT conference this year. Here are some highlights from our call.

Q. Can you briefly tell me about Sirius and your role at the company?
A. We are a $1.5 billion solutions provider, running the gamut from software to infrastructure to services. We help companies of all sizes and in all industries become more competitive by taking advantage of technology solutions across the datacenter and throughout the enterprise. We focus on best-of-breed IT solutions that are built on today’s leading technologies, from the world’s top technology innovators, and delivered by certified technology experts. We really do deliver the future, today.

Q. What IT challenges are your customers facing?
A. All of our customers have somewhat similar data problems – some have difficulty handling new information requests, others have problems dealing with growing volumes of information, or processing their data in new and different ways. Their businesses have often grown faster than their IT technology base and they face a lot of business pressures related to economy, agility, efficiency, and better risk management. Unfortunately, many of them are organized in such a way that they are not equipped to meet these demands. These customers are still functionally organized – they have separate storage teams, networking teams, service teams, software development teams, and multiple other functional groups. The organizational silos make it difficult to be agile – forcing them to look at newer, better ways to deliver IT.

Q. Why did you choose Nutanix?
A. We partnered with Nutanix to provide our clients with converged datacenter infrastructure that delivers services more economically and efficiently, with fewer dedicated resources. I believe that hyperconvergence plus web-scale is the wave of the future, since it solves some of the organizational problems I just mentioned. We did a very thorough evaluation of the competitors in the market a few years ago. Nutanix was far ahead of the other vendors – both conceptually and in what they can actually execute and deliver. Our decision to go forward exclusively with Nutanix was an easy choice and a giant leap forward.

Q. Will you be attending the Nutanix .NEXT conference this year?
A. It’s a top priority for me. I went to Nutanix’s first partner event last year, and it was exceptional. I have 17 vendor partners that touch my line of business, so I’m required to go to a lot of these kind of events. The Nutanix event was the best partner event that I have ever attended. They had an unorthodox keynote speaker last year: they picked Robert Gates, the former US Secretary of Defense. Most technology vendors choose someone out of the industry or maybe a celebrity, but you rarely get to see someone in a high level position in government. He spoke about thinking strategically, he shared some interesting anecdotes, and wove Nutanix into that messaging. It was very different way to start a partner conference, and it energized everyone. I see that Condoleezza Rice is the keynote speaker this year and I am really interested in hearing what she has to say.

Q. What else are you hoping to hear at this year’s .NEXT conference?
A. It’s one thing to have someone to sit back and tell you how different and how much better they are, and it’s another to have them actually show you. That’s what Nutanix does. They have been able to communicate and deliver on their vision in ways that are unique. This year, I’m interested in seeing what the maturity looks like, how many customers show up, and to observe customers talking with one another about the platform. I want to find out where and how they have deployed Nutanix. Last year there was a lot of activity focused on specific use cases, including VDI. This year I am expecting to hear people describe Nutanix as a much more of a general-purpose platform – that you can do amazing things from an enterprise architecture standpoint or an infrastructure rationalization standpoint. It tells me that Nutanix has moved into the mainstream, yet they have retained their uniqueness and product performance.

Q. Any closing thoughts?
A. I am really interested in hearing the Nutanix product announcements. I have no doubt they will show that they are staying ahead of the pack. Nutanix thinks very strategically. I want to hear more about their technology vision and what they are going to do to increase market penetration. I am certain that it’s going to be worth my time to attend .NEXT again this year.

.NEXT is the only conference dedicated to the latest in enterprise datacenter technologies and architectures. Space is limited, so register today and find out what’s .NEXT for you.