Everyone is talking about moving to the cloud. It is safe to say that for most organizations it is no longer an option in this data driven world of ours. What we’ve found working with our clients here at Viewpointe is that the move to the cloud can make life a lot easier for IT professionals as they focus on more strategic initiatives, and in fact it can cost less than an equivalent on premises solution. In an effort to drive business, many cloud service providers (CSPs) have dedicated hours of development time creating cleaner user interfaces and have focused on the overall user experience to increase usability and drive the appeal of cloud. This issue however is that most organizations are not exactly starting from scratch, so although a transformation to the cloud sounds great, most IT departments are not given a clean slate to work with.
As organizations are working through modernization efforts, IT departments are also charged with how to leverage existing investments appropriately. There are many existing investments in existing technologies, both software and hardware, that will need to be salvaged, or in other cases written off when making the move to the cloud. This is especially true in the content management and information governance (IG) spaces where there may be multiple systems that are at play within an organization. This could include everything from production email systems and content management systems, workflow, high volume reporting, case management and databases to file systems, SharePoint to your legacy systems and aged databases. You have mounds of unstructured and structured data that your IT group must now figure out how to contend with as your organization’s cloud infrastructure and cloud integration take center stage.
The question now becomes whether there is a way to leverage any of the assets you have, and if so, how and in what way? This is where a managed services approach such as that offered by Viewpointe can actually make a huge difference. In a managed services environment, many of the software packages that an organization may already have purchased for use on-premises may be exactly what a CSP already utilizes for its solution. By leveraging existing licenses, you can make the move to a CSP’s solution at a reduced cost, putting existing licenses to work while freeing you from having to maintain the in-house expertise and enabling you to actually fully utilize previously underutilized functionality and licenses.
Bringing Your Own License?
Are we talking about a ‘bring your own license’ (BYOL) scenario here? Not exactly. Most traditional BYO* acronyms refer to the employee bringing their own device or application for use to work. In a BYOL scenario the organization is bringing their existing licenses in already vetted software to a CSP that uses the same software. It is less about an organization selecting their own software for a CSP to use and more about more effectively leveraging an existing software investment.
As we all know, many software licenses in the content management space are under-utilized. Licenses are bought with plans to expand to the organization, or thrown in as part of the suite, but often after the initial project the remaining licenses are either just thrown out to the employee base for use or neglected. This leads to the creation of ‘shelf-ware’. It is not uncommon for organizations to have as many user licenses sitting unused as they have deployed. It is also not uncommon to have un-deployed product on the shelf due to lack of skill set, whereas a service provider can help you leverage all products owned to leverage the full business benefit purchased.
By shifting your licenses to your service provider and partner, and utilizing their expertise, an existing and proven solution can be readily leveraged. While there are limits as to when this can occur, it is a scenario that is beneficial to both you and your service provider.
More Than Deployed Seats
When licensed software is moved to the service provider, a lot more happens than the simple shift of software. You as an organization gain access to an informed, experienced partner that can help with the long-term planning for use of the software as a true solution. When a software package is deployed on-premises, it is up to the organization to track upgrades, version sunsets and the broader market to determine when to upgrade or move to a different product. This type of management involves more than examining release notes but requires an ongoing evaluation of the broader industry and an understanding of the level of investment being applied to the product.
As an example, Viewpointe constantly monitors the evolution of the products that constitute our service offerings. We are active in the industry and watch for the latest trends to ensure that our platform and solutions meet the needs of our customers. As a CSP providing a managed service we must stay in front of the technology and upgrade curve to ensure that our customers can leverage our experience and to make sure that all customers receive seamless transitions as upgrades occur in the background
In addition, we must monitor all solutions – hardware and software – as technology advances to help ensure that customer needs are continually being met. If we determine that a technology is no longer meeting client requirements and the growing needs of our customers, we can evaluate and select a new technology to make part of our offering. If this occurs, it is Viewpointe’s responsibility – not that of the customers – to create a migration plan for all of our client’s data to help ensure data integrity and consistent usability for all customer staff.
In a case such as this, our customers do not need to worry about any of the underlying, best of breed technology. The maintenance, upgrade, research and migration of any new technology needs are handled by Viewpointe. As the CSPs we spend the time meeting these requirements for our clients while you are allowed to focus on how best to conduct your business and generate revenue.
Solving the Problem is Still the Key
Although the concept of BYOL is very appealing – not every license can be moved to a CSP.As an example for Viewpointe, we have a defined stack of technologies that we focus on to effectively meet the requirements of our clients today and tomorrow. We are constantly researching, and testing new technologies and where there are opportunities to leverage existing technologies investments – both sides benefit.
The Viewpointe information governance platform and associated solutions are delivered as managed services via our private cloud. These solutions leverage many software packages from leaders in the ECM and IG industry. Reach out and contact us to learn how Viewpointe can help meet your organization’s IG needs and take the work of staying on the leading edge of the industry off of your shoulders and onto ours.