JO: How has the conversation changed for resellers in talking to customers about virtualisation?
Andrew Thomas, Thomas Duryea (AT): We're continuing to talk to customers around virtualisation and maturing their approach, trying to bring them as close as we can to 100 per cent virtualised. Then we start to try to educate them on how to consume IT as a service. And in doing that, we try to guide the conversation towards areas of their internal infrastructure that they can start to migrate from what was once a CAPEX spend to an OPEX, and where they can use or leverage their virtualisation layer to connect into very specific services that would be Cloud services, or areas such as Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) or disaster recovery (DR) as a service or a specific need around DEV test for large scale rollout or a project that they're doing internally.
David Lavan, Amcom (DL): Where we're looking in the market is absolutely everywhere, as well. But it's important not to overlook your own customer base. We're going back through and talking to all of our existing customers about what we're doing in the Cloud and IT-as-a-Service space. And it's still an education process for a lot of them. And it does involve educating through the different levels of a business. We find ourselves having discussions, quite often, with the finance teams and the CFO because it clearly changes the way they're spending money.
JO: Are there still issues with security when talking about virtualisation?
DL:There's still, certainly, a lot of hesitation around security when you're talking about Cloud services. We can cover it, often, in a number of different ways by offering other services with Cloud. We've got a security consulting practice that we can send in, and speak to customers for reassurance. Then, on the flipside, if it's an issue, we can look at offering dedicated infrastructure as a service for a customer where it moves a lot of those security concerns.
JO: Industry research shows that Australia is one of the most virtualised countries in the world. Why is that the case and where are the opportunities out there?
John Donovan, VMware (JD): You see Australia often held up as the poster child to virtualisation globally. What drives the industry locally is agility. Everyone wants to be able to do more with their infrastructure, and it's about cost control. We don't have huge budgets in IT spend to be able to do what we want to do, so we've got to be smarter about doing it. New Zealand and Australia, in particular, have been very good at that.
The challenge we have now is the migration through to a services-led relationship with IT, rather than the historical IT control, dictating terms and conditions and usage and devices. It becomes much more of a business transformation discussion. And that's, in many cases, a new area for a lot of us in the industry -- lifting those conversations beyond the IT level, through to the boardroom, and getting into those boardroom discussions. With that, we're also positing that there is going be a change in the consumption models, which is challenging.
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