When undertaking a cloud transformation, many companies get to a certain point on their journey and then hit a plateau. From there, it’s a struggle to realize the full value of the transformation because they’re weighed down by technical debt.
Cloud service provider Expedient has an answer for that situation: a “cloud different” approach to transformation. Instead of lifting and shifting legacy applications and workloads into a public cloud, Expedient’s approach is to first virtualize everything.
Bryan Smith, chief strategy officer for Expedient, explains, “Technical debt can be an anchor on any cloud transformation. So we came up with our cloud different approach, which moves all a client’s applications and workloads that can be virtualized into a VMware-based cloud. In this way, we can complete most of our client transformations in four to six months, which gives back their most precious resource to their internal stakeholders—time.”
A VMware partner since 2007, Expedient is a full-stack cloud service provider, running 14 data centers across the U.S., as well as its own VMware cloud platform. The company recognizes that many IT organizations spend the vast majority of their time simply keeping the lights on rather than on strategic business initiatives and innovation. Smith and his team are on a mission to change all that.
“Everything we do for clients, from our enterprise cloud platforms to the network to the desktop infrastructure is powered and secured by VMware,” Smith says. “By tying all those pieces together into one cohesive system, we’re able to generate a different client experience that they could not get on a typical cloud platform. That’s because, as a service provider, we keep the lights on for them. There are no more fire drills, and their employees can focus on delivering more strategic impact to the business.”
Being part of the VMware Cloud Smart ecosystem enables Expedient to bring its clients a true multi-cloud experience to meet the full range of their business requirements. Leveraging VMware as the common connective element across multiple cloud environments, Expedient streamlines and simplifies the transformation from end to end.
Smith notes, “When we talk to clients about a multi-cloud experience, it’s about having a unified approach to how they operate and secure their applications, so they don’t have to invest in training employees on five or six different technology platforms.”
Expedient’s clients typically come with legacy on-premises environments that are moved onto the Expedient Enterprise Cloud, which is powered by VMware, and expanding out to hyperscalers as they grow. Smith points out, “Using VMware, we’re able to help our clients be cloud smart by allowing them to put their applications on the right cloud that makes the most sense based on workload demands. From the standpoint of security, automation, user interaction, they get a consistent experience across multiple clouds. It comes down to simplification, which saves them a lot of time and money.”
A great example of Expedient’s “cloud different” approach in action is a solution delivered to a client in higher education. This large university had undertaken a major initiative to move its legacy environments to a hyperscale cloud, but the project stalled due to the complexity involved in modernizing legacy applications and workloads.
The university had decades of technical debt, layers of complex network infrastructure, divergent types of security, and it was spending 70% of IT resources just on operating the environment. Interestingly, the university’s environment was almost entirely based on VMware, but it ran in a physical data center on large platforms that were inefficient and underutilized.
Smith says, “When Expedient reevaluated how the university could get to the cloud, we gave them a different option. We moved them into a VMware-based cloud, our Enterprise Cloud environment, and we were able to migrate nearly 15,000 instances in under nine months. By having Expedient take over the operations of their cloud infrastructure, the university’s IT team was able to accelerate development of their cloud-native application projects, achieving a sixfold increase in the number of applications moved to the cloud-native model compared to their prior effort.”
Additionally, by moving the university into its VMware-powered Enterprise Cloud, Expedient enabled the university to lower costs by $50 million over three and a half years, as well as save more than 234,000 hours of labor. This now frees more money to deliver a better educational experience for the university’s 80,000-plus students each year.
By being cloud smart, Expedient is leading its clients to new, more efficient and value-driven experiences in a multi-cloud world. With VMware as the underpinning of its entire cloud platform, Expedient can deliver the results its clients are looking for, and continue to deliver as their needs evolve over time.
“One of the big benefits of partnering with VMware is we know their solutions are going to work,” Smith says. “VMware gives us a set of building blocks, and we apply our services to put those building blocks together and know with confidence exactly what the client will gain in the end. VMware multi-cloud solutions enable our clients to have one contiguous experience across multiple different clouds while also increasing security for the organization.”
Smith concludes, “By migrating and modernizing client workloads in the VMware cloud, we enable our clients to focus on their business and the outcomes that are going to drive their growth instead of worrying about just keeping the lights on.”