An Interview with Jim Steinlage, President and CEO of Choice Solutions
Background: Choice Solutions specializes in virtualizing the accessibility of applications/data and business processes and securing organizations’ environments. Choice Solutions is ahead of the curve when it comes to promising new technologies. In 1993, Choice Solutions added Citrix to its portfolio of offers and has been a Platinum Solution Advisor since 1997. Choice Solutions started offering VMware’s ESX 1.0 in 2001 and became the first VMware VIP enterprise solutions provider worldwide. Choice Solutions has been serving customers forward-looking virtualization solutions from offices in Kansas City, Dallas, Omaha, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and South Florida.
Q. Can you tell me a little about Choice Solutions?
A. Choice Solutions is IT Virtualization consulting without solutions basis. Virtualization challenges can rob organizations of efficiency and profitability. That’s why we start with understanding an organizations business goals and objectives and then customize Virtualization solutions for their worklife, workplace and workstyle. We select the best virtualization solution for each customer’s needs including these three leading hypervisors: VMware vSphere, Microsoft Azure, and KVM. I see too many competitors married to a particular virtualization stack or manufacturers. When you do that you lose the flexibility to scrutinize or employ new technologies. When we first evaluated Nutanix, we immediately saw the potential it had to be great and cost-effective solution for our customers.
Q. Why Nutanix?
A. I really like the modular ‘Lego concept’ of scalability where you just stack and build on your existing platform as you need to, but you never have to take out of your entire data center to expand. Nutanix’s scalability is very linear, very predictable, and very simple. Plus, both the capital and operating costs are significantly lower on Nutanix — from the initial purchase price and the support contracts, to the reduced datacenter footprint and electricity costs. It is a solution that delivers an excellent ROI for our customers.
We deploy a lot of virtual desktops. Before Nutanix, we were spending too much time troubleshooting hardware – trying to diagnose IO and performance issues that were unrelated to the virtual desktops. It is always difficult knowing how much capacity to buy upfront when customer requirements are always in flux. One of the biggest values of Nutanix is its predictability and preciseness when sizing and scaling virtual desktop deployments. We can buy just what we need today, and easily scale as demand increases. And we can segment the environment so we don’t have to deal with other issues within the data center. All of the issues we have with our other storage platforms simply go away with Nutanix.
Q. Will you be attending .NEXT this year?
A. Yes, I wouldn’t miss it. I am on the Nutanix Partner Advisory Council, so I know a bit about some of their upcoming announcements. I think the attendees will be very impressed with Nutanix’s new technologies, solutions, and vision. I know I am! A great group of end users will be presenting sessions at the conference this year. I like to hear how they are using Nutanix and their value proposition. These are hyperconverged and web-scale success stories we intend to use when speaking to our other prospects with similar challenges.
Q. Are any of your customers attending .NEXT?
A. Several of our biggest customers are coming this year, including Bob Orkis from Fairway Mortgage. He will be co-presenting a session with Steve Kaplan, VP of Channel and Strategic Sales at Nutanix. I understand they will be talking about calculating ROI on Nutanix. I come from a financial background, so that’s a session I am really looking forward to. Another one of our new customers that will be attending this year is BKD LLP, a national CPA and advisory firm. Both of these customers had existing Cisco UCS and EMC systems and were looking for new storage platforms. Both of them have now chosen Nutanix and are very happy with their decisions!
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