- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
First, the backstory of Dizzion and Pure
Pure and Dizzion have worked together since 2017 when the Managed Desktop as a Service leader upgraded its infrastructure to all-flash Pure storage arrays. The reason for the upgrade tells a lot about the Dizzion and Pure relationship. There were no outages, no performance issues and no customer complaints driving the change. The simple fact of the matter is that Dizzion has been positioned as the market leader in cloud desktop performance since opening in 2011. Dizzion is continuously evaluating ways to improve its end-user computing platform.
“When I first tested Pure all-flash arrays in 2017, I had yet to experience any storage option that could beat our proprietary build in terms of price per IOP, de-duplication ratio and other metrics” said Robert Green, president, co-founder and chief technology officer at Dizzion. “We were – and still are – all about redefining the way the world works, improving quality of life by providing an alternative to traditional office-based work environments. Cloud desktop performance is core to this mission. You can’t be as successful working from home if your desktop doesn’t work as well as it does in the office. The Pure testing yielded an impressive average de-duplication ratio of 14-to-1, spiking up to 19-to-1, and delivered a material increase in performance and efficiency across the board.”
This end result was good for Dizzion, good for Pure and most importantly, good for the end user. Since the initial deployment, Pure and Dizzion have met regularly to discuss product development and innovation to stay ahead of the DaaS performance curve as well as to talk business strategy, identifying ways to help each other achieve strategic objectives.
“While Dizzion is a customer, we feel as though the relationship goes far beyond the monthly invoice,” commented JP Petty, Director of Pure-As-A-Service Product and Solutions Marketing at Pure Storage. “Their relentless commitment to performance, reliability and customer protection meshes perfectly with our mission to continuously improve upon and deliver the industry’s highest-throughput storage offering. Dizzion customer use cases help us prove capabilities and lead to new innovations.”
TAKEAWAY 1 – Companies with a hybrid cloud strategy have the advantage
In the early stages of cloud computing, detractors called it a “fad” or a “marketing buzz word” with no real value. And while analysts touted the future possibilities, adoption lagged behind as most IT executives preferred to own and operate hardware in their own data centers. Cloud enthusiasts would dub it “server hugging”.
The thought of a pandemic-based frenzy causing hardware shortages and supply chains grinding to a halt was not even a bad dream. I mean, come on. Jack Bauer will step in and save everything right? And, work-from-home for most employees in 2011? Impossible. The average Internet connection speed was a less-than-stellar four megabytes per second (Mbps), with many households far beneath that capacity.
Fast-forward to March of 2020, the shutdown of office environments everywhere and the onset of hell on earth for IT departments around the world who were charged with solving a risky, complex remote end-user computing challenge with no new budget or human resources.
“Our inboxes were flooded with urgent requests from existing and new customers needing to move their end users to a secure, high-performing remote working environment as quickly as possible,” offered Manny Ladis, co-founder and global head of sales at Dizzion. “The trend was particularly intense for the outsourced contact center industry where agents traditionally operate out of large buildings packed with cubicles. These use cases were deemed a serious COVID-19 risk, and without sufficient warning, businesses were forced to shut the doors. They needed to transition agents to a work-from-home environment that was as close to the physical contact center workstation as possible without risking compliance violations.”
If only there was a technology solution that rapidly scaled up infrastructure resources to enable continuity of operations during emergency situations like this. Ah, yes. That is one of cloud computing’s core capabilities. But was cloud mature enough to handle the intensity of a global workforce transition? Based on the early results, the answer is yes, with a few hours of hyperscale cloud outages in March, April and June withstanding.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were a few initial hiccups but cloud ultimately delivered exactly what it was supposed to,” said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner®. “It responded to increased demand and catered to customers’ preference of elastic, pay-as-you-go consumption models.” In July, Gartner® predicted, “The worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 6.3% in 2020 to total $257.9 billion … [with] Desktop as a service (DaaS) expected to have the most significant growth in 2020, increasing 95.4% to $1.2 billion.”
Hyperscale cloud infrastructure (IaaS) providers reported significant Q2 2020 growth with Microsoft Azure® up 62%, Alibaba Cloud® up 59%, Google Cloud® up 43%, Amazon Web Services® up 40% and IBM Cloud® up 34%. Dizzion’s results were no different with ~300% spike in revenue in a matter of a few months.
“Our technical team really came to play when the wave hit hard,” said Brady Ranum, vice president of product and strategy at Dizzion. “The goal was to ensure existing customer care was not sacrificed in any way as we onboarded a wide range of new customers at the same time. Obviously onboarding speed was a critical consideration of new customers with almost every new logo mandating expedited launch timelines. Existing customers were adding hundreds to thousands of new desktops in a matter of hours. It really pressure-tested our entire cloud platform and I am proud to say that everything held up well.”
Without cloud elasticity, IT departments were left to stand in line with other birds of a feather, waiting on a supply chain that had slowed down dramatically as requests for new hardware went through the roof.
TAKEAWAY 2 – Tough times reveal partners’ true colors
So, what about cloud provider inventory levels? Who resources those who are resourcing the IT departments who resource the end user? At Dizzion, the company lit up multiple new availability zones across the US, EMEA and APAC to address new customer requirements. This is where the Pure Storage / Dizzion relationship mentioned earlier comes into play.
Not only did Pure provide additional capacity in an expedited manner, but they innovated and delivered the new Pure as a Service (“PaaS”) offering to help Dizzion scale in a financially and operationally efficient manner. PaaS created a large pool of all-flash storage resources, available on-demand, in a Pay-as-You-Go (PAYG) purchasing model. Pure’s new product mapped perfectly to Dizzion’s cloud desktop offering, scaling according to customer needs, maximizing profitability while minimizing risk of post-COVID inventory bloat. By staying in close contact and working towards a mutual benefit, Dizzion and Pure were able to react quickly and deliver a solution that worked and worked well.
“The pandemic quickly identified which of our partners were truly committed to our success,” continued Robert Green. “It’s easy to offer verbal validation during everyday situations, but bonds are tested in times like these and Pure really stepped up as we knew they would. As a technologist, I was impressed that the Pure as a Service offering had no performance degradation or availability issues. Our managed cloud desktops performed just as well as they had on the traditional offering, addressing our top requirement when adopting the new delivery model.”
“Once again, Dizzion was at the front of the line to help Pure validate a new offering with real customer use cases,” stated Pure’s JP Petty. “Being able to innovate while helping a strategic partner through a challenging time is a real win-win.”
TAKEAWAY 3 – Remote work is a hedge against the unpredictable.
For years, human resources personnel and executive leadership from some of the largest, most well-known brands have been against employees’ ability to work from home, insisting that workers are not as productive and therefore companies are less effective. Not any more.
According to a June 2020 article by Small Business Trends, 67% of SMB’s expect work from home to be permanent or “long-lasting”. Numbers for mid-to-large sized organizations project anywhere from 20% to 35% of their employees working remote indefinitely once the pandemic response is stabilized. This is upwards of 5 times the number working remote prior to COVID-19.
The reality is, work from home / work from anywhere will not be solved with a stopgap. Remote working must be addressed as a mission critical, long-term end-user computing initiative that warrants executive-level attention and appropriate investment.
There are numerous risks associated with remote working including compliance violations, data privacy issues, intellectual property protection, end-user device-sourced malware and cyber attacks, and numerous others. Then layer on the risks associated with failing to deliver a remote working environment that performs in a “Business as Usual” manner – poor customer service/customer attrition, failed customer acquisition, drops in employee productivity, lack of professionalism with failed streaming voice and video, etc. Remote working is the new face of your company. Resource it accordingly.
An ancillary thread associated with remote working is business continuity planning and disaster recovery. For far too long, BCDR has been left on the cutting room floor after budget trims take place. By definition, BCDR spend is not tied to production systems, which in turn are associated with revenue. As such, it is not seen as “critical”.
However, every year we are reminded of how critical it is. Hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes, flooding, power surges, blackouts, brownouts, Nor’easters…and now pandemics and unrest. The news is filled with reasons why having BCDR on lockdown is a real competitive differentiator. While others scramble to keep the lights on, those with efficient disaster recovery infrastructure and plans transition faster, with better results.
At Dizzion, customers transitioned employees to work-from-home in a matter of hours. And, by way of the Dizzion Manage Desktop Compliance offering, they kept their companies protected and in full compliance – even when governed by HIPAA, PCI-DSS or GDPR regulations. This includes scenarios where employees access sensitive company networks and assets via their own devices (BYOD).
Implementing a Managed Desktop as a Service-based remote work environment now protects your organization, customers and end users from COVID-related volatility as well as from whatever unprecedented, unpredictable curve balls are thrown at us in coming years.
Nov 08, 2018
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