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Interview: Hybrid cloud's A-team on the power of a good partnership

By Julia Gabel
Tue 5 Sep 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

SureBridge IT is a Brisbane-based cloud and managed services company for which quality-assurance and reliability are main priorities.

Specialising in providing custom IT solutions and support for its expansive customer base, which includes government entities and businesses of all sizes, SureBridge has come to be known as a trusted IT consultant and solutions provider.

With over 20 years in the industry and with a strong focus on offering its clients high-performing and reliable products that are best suited to them, rather than having to make the solution fit, it’s no surprise that SureBridge is now one of Australia’s leading cloud companies.

And SureBridge holds its partners to the same high-standards of quality assurance, resiliency, security and reliability, and Hitachi Data Systems is no exception.

With these qualities echoed throughout everything Hitachi Data Systems does, the two companies joining forces makes perfect sense.

But that was a long time ago. Hitachi Data Systems and SureBridge have a strategic and open relationship that goes back ten years.

SureBridge’s cloud solutions manager, Matthew Hazlett, discusses this long-standing partnership, the role it has played in SureBridge’s competitive edge, and the state of the Australian cloud market today.

Could you tell us a bit about SureBridge’s relationship with Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)? 

Our relationship with HDS has been going on for more than 10 years now.

We engaged HDS when we were looking for a storage partner in early 2000, and we found that HDS had a good reputation in the storage space and very high-performing and reliable platforms, as well as a good, local support program.

As we work with a lot of local governments, one of their issues is that a lot of their clients are regional and they are quite reliant on that on-premises infrastructure, and when it goes down they are severely impacted by that.

HDS proactively monitor those platforms 24/7, and they’ve been doing that a lot longer than most other vendors. In our ten-year partnership, we haven’t had any one client go down due to a failure of the equipment.

A lot of people in the cloud sector that I’ve spoken to recently about global cloud adoption rates and trends have commonly said A/NZ, particularly Australia, is leading the way. Do you agree?

We’ve definitely seen a serious uptake in it over the last four years. We were a little surprised about how rapid the uptake was, particularly in the sector that we work in - the government and mid-market commercial sector.

A large driver of this has been because customers don’t want to own their own infrastructure anymore. It’s difficult for customers to front up significant cash every three or four years when the infrastructure needs a refresh.

That’s largely why we built our own private cloud three years ago, so we can provide services to those customers that want to move away from a CAPEX model and to an OPEX model.

In terms of public cloud, mostly what we’re seeing with regional customers in Australia is that they are looking at consuming public cloud for specific use cases. Development has also been a big reason to use public cloud. But more and more from an infrastructure perspective, we’re seeing customers use public cloud for things like disaster recovery, or offsite backup, or archival services for their data.

However, we’re still seeing some hesitancy around the adoption of public cloud, and that was mostly around data sovereignty and security, but more and more it's turning into a question of connectivity: how they can access their data when it’s in the public cloud, and also how they can keep control over the costs of operating in the public cloud?

We’ve seen a few customers really shocked by their bills every month as they consume public cloud. This is mostly due to the fact that they haven’t really understood the total cost of ownership in the public cloud, or that they don't understand how much growth they were going to see when they moved into public cloud.

In this shift away from owning infrastructure, to these cloud services, how much of the question is security for organisations?

We’ve been working in the industry for 20 years, and initially started selling products, and moved to services about 12-15 years ago. In that time, we’ve always had a focus on security within all our services and solutions.

We have a dedicated security team within our own managed services team and it’s an element of every solution we put together. Security is very important to us.

What is it about your relationship with Hitachi Data Systems that makes it crucial to your competitive edge?

As a vendor, they continue to produce high-performing and reliable platforms. It’s the reliability and history that we have with them and that point of knowing that what we get from them is going to work and it’s going to work where we put it.  

We don’t want to be partnering with organisations that can’t meet the promises of their infrastructure, or their services and delivery. This is especially important when it comes to our private cloud – it’s really important that we have a partner that we know and trust. 

Click here to learn more about how Hitachi Data Systems can help your business. 

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