Today’s workforces are more global and dispersed than ever. Few companies worldwide are as well-positioned to respond to this seismic shift as Presidio, a global VMware partner for the past 17 years. Presidio has a successful history of working with companies to modernize their IT infrastructures and workforces. Most recently, during the global migration to remote work, Presidio saw its VMware business grow even faster, surging by 130 percent in the past year.
“Providing anywhere, anytime access to systems is only one consideration when dealing with remote work,” says Vice President of Engineering Raphael Meyerowitz. “Security also has to be addressed. Our customers’ systems can’t be jeopardized, so we need to provide the most secure devices and the most secure deployment.”
In mid-2020, a large retail payment processor reached out to Presidio for help. The period from Thanksgiving to Christmas is naturally its busiest time of the year. And the shift to working from home early in 2020 ended up using many available IT services that should have lasted through the holiday season. As a result, there would be no room to grow on Black Friday, and hardware was difficult to acquire in 2020 because supply chains were stressed everywhere.
Presidio solved the problem, strategically as well as technically with a solution that the customer hadn’t even considered: “Because of our experience with VMware Cloud on AWS, we were able to show them that instead of growing their on-premises data center, the cloud would provide the extra capacity,” says Engineering Director Mark Vaughn. “We linked their on-premises services with a cloud environment, and the customer was able to seamlessly scale up and scale down as needed by leveraging the flexibility of the cloud.”
Everything was progressing well with the project, but in the middle of the implementation, a ransomware attack struck the company. It was a Zero Day Attack, one that the antivirus software had never seen and had no ability to defend against. Thankfully with Presidio’s wide range of expertise, the team was able to quickly identify the attack and help support the customer. “Our team working on the cloud implementation noticed that some of the desktops in the on-premises environment had unusual traffic,” explains Vaughn. “They immediately raised the flag, called the customer, and got their security team involved. They manually shut things down to protect the environment.”
The security team then created an isolated environment in the cloud, away from the network and away from the Internet, where the customer could recover, test, and certify workloads. Once certified, workloads were reconnected to the internet and moved back on-premises. “We had all this in place within a couple of hours,” Vaugh says.
The customer wouldn’t have even known they were in danger if Presidio’s teams weren’t as experienced as they are. “If we had only been certified for digital workspaces,” Vaughn says, “this would have been much harder to see and solve.”
“We tell our customers that their digital business outcomes are paramount,” Meyerowitz says. “Modernization is about transforming infrastructure in such a way that the whole environment can sustain anything our customers need in the future.” This is especially critical today when the future in business no longer implies years or even months: everything can change in a day.
In addition to digital workspaces, Presidio offers a number of joint VMware solutions to customers, including software-defined data centers, VMware Cloud on AWS, network virtualization and security, and automation acceleration.
Presidio is a global, $4 billon company serving 7,000 clients, but its technical expertise rather than its size sets it apart. With more than 2,000 engineers, the ratio of technicians to salespeople heavily favors technical skills. In addition to managed services, Presidio specializes in four key areas: modernizing data centers, security, the cloud, and digital workspaces. “We aren’t only focused on the ESX layer or the hypervisor,” Meyerowitz says. “We also focus on cloud native, VMware Cloud Foundation, data center virtualization, VMware on AWS, and automation.”
Presidio is one of a handful of companies that has earned all seven VMware Master Services Competencies (MSCs), which prove a genuine mastery of specific VMware solution areas. The process of earning MSCs is validated by customers as well as by VMware. “We focus on the technical aspects,” Meyerowitz says. “While customers can buy software from anyone, if they don’t have a partner that understands it and can implement it, they’re not going to use it. They won’t know how to integrate it with the applications they already use.”
Each MSC requires a sustained deep dive, and the fact that Presidio has earned all seven proves the depth and breadth of its VMware service offerings. “We go way beyond getting one or two people certified,” explains Vaughn. “Our entire sales teams as well as our engineering teams focused on earning the MSCs. And since we have all seven, we don’t have blinders on. We aren’t limited to one area. We help our customers build a strategy that spans multiple facets and toolsets because we understand how they all relate to each other.”
Presidio manages full-stack projects and in some ways acts as a “general” IT contractor. Its customers need to integrate VMware solutions into their backup environment, their cloud environment, their storage environment, and so on. In some cases, customers have already engaged various implementation partners to support these areas. “There are plenty of boutique shops out there that focus on the cloud but don’t understand anything else,” Vaughn says. “As soon as a conversation takes a turn, they’re lost. They need to bring additional partners on board to finish a project. Our teams are trained to handle all facets of a project.”
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