Relus Cloud Talent Insights: Marc von Mandel, Cloud Marketing Manager

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Marc von Mandel, Cloud Marketing Manager at Relus Technologies, brings the organization more than 7 years of B2B technology marketing management and sales support experience. Marc is responsible for overseeing and managing Marketing strategy and tactics for the Cloud Practice at Relus.

In your opinion, what value does Relus Cloud bring to our customers?

Relus employs the brightest public cloud architects in the industry. Our people are on the leading edge of the technology and they’ve worked on big public cloud deployments. For example, Kevin Davis, our DevOps Practice Director, was a member of the Scripps Networks Cloud Team and brought his working DevOps and pubic cloud knowledge to our team. Jimmy Stetzel, Migrations Practice Director, brings Relus expertise in public cloud migration strategies. Our Big Data Practice Director is a former CIO who brings a wealth of knowledge around analytics, segmentation, and data visualization. Bottom line, our team sets Relus apart.

Value is found in Relus Cloud's core practice areas and subject matter expertise. With advances in cloud computing unfolding every day, adopting new technology can be daunting. The Relus Cloud team has the knowledge and experience to empower clients with strategies that quickly and efficiently leverage the full potential of cloud technologies.

If you were a customer, what would you want out of a partner like Relus Cloud?

I would want a partner to not only teach me how to adopt AWS, but also describe the cultural changes at play when you’re shifting from traditional infrastructure to AWS. Public cloud is a fairly new offering, and there are still plenty of questions surrounding it. For example, what will a successful team dynamic look like with public cloud versus a legacy IT environment? I would want a partner to be a confident expert in their field, not a spontaneous and uncertain guide.

Relus maintains a very methodical approach with customers, which formed through tremendous experience. One specific customer was not sure if they wanted to transition to cloud, so they requested an assessment of their existing environment to determine if public cloud would be a fit for their organization. Relus Cloud performed a discovery of their entire environment (applications, dependencies, virtualized machines) to gauge the company’s cloud readiness. Relus also provided cost-analysis, because many CIOs worry that moving to the cloud will be more expensive down the road. Cost-analysis is helpful because it informs IT decision makers so they know what to expect down the road.

What do customers need help with today?

Customers need help forming a maturity model; including cloud readiness assessments, optimizing the AWS environment with a health check, actually building the architecture, and executing deployment (web applications, database applications, and other major IT use-cases). Relus cloud architects and engineers meet this need by managing the migration and driving current workloads into AWS. After the migration, the team trains clients how to optimize the new environment with the DevOps, Big Data, and Managed Services Practice. Relus Cloud's Talent Division trains or provides the necessary talent for the new cloud environment. Relus Cloud helps clients become the experts so they can be autonomous.

What are customer’s biggest problems when it comes to cloud adoption?

There are internal skill gaps; not enough expertise around the public cloud. Our Talent Delivery practice is perfect for public cloud because so many customers don’t have the talent necessary to move forward. Relus can provide consulting, training, and/or an entire team suited for public cloud needs. Security can also be a challenge because public cloud is viewed as permeable. If architected correctly, it can actually be more secure than a legacy IT environment. Downtime and accessibility in the cloud can be a concern. Also, access to data can be an issue for some. CIOs often express concern with losing access and control over data after moving to the cloud. This issue goes back to architecture, as the CIO should select where the data is stored and how it’s accessed to make sure it fits their needs. Finally, a transition is a big problem for companies of every size. It’s crucial to work with an experienced partner in the industry to ensure you use the right strategy.

What is cool about public cloud adoption?

It’s disruptive in nature. Companies such as Amazon, Netflix, and Airbnb are disrupting the industries they serve. An entire television series is immediately available for on-demand streaming to millions of viewers because of cloud technologies. A company like Airbnb uses the cloud to start their business and host a network of millions of users without large investments in infrastructure to manage their business. It’s truly game-changing.

What is hard about public cloud adoption?

The transition is difficult; cultural changes and organizational changes are required to make the move. It’s necessary to change your frame of mind from traditional IT processes in order to move forward. Things are completely different in the cloud. For example, in traditional IT, developers write code, then shift it to operations for testing and deploying the code. It’s possible to utilize automation and integration for continuous deployment with cloud computing. The code is tested and pushed, and then pushed out and tested. It’s a continuous cycle. Public cloud is viewed as a service; traditional IT is more of a cost center. With public cloud, businesses can start offering services and charging for services used.

What excites you when it comes to technology and what Relus does?

At Relus, it’s the vision for technology and the company’s competitive advantage in the marketplace. The people, the new aspect of public cloud and big data technologies, and disruptive technologies in traditional infrastructure. It’s a trillion-dollar industry to be involved with AWS and it’s crucial to be in the know about it. It’s also exciting as a marketer to be at the front of technology marketing because it’s constantly evolving.

How would you define the cloud?

Relus Cloud serves the public cloud space, a set of services and applications procured through a platform such as AWS, which can then be used to host common business and IT solutions. As we move into the end of 2016, we understand many businesses are moving out of their data centers and into this on-demand, service-oriented IT model. It’s a true platform marketplace to procure IT. It’s accessible because it’s on-demand and a pay-as-you-go model. Businesses can see significant cost savings by moving to AWS. If they wish to launch a new IT application, they can purchase what’s needed in AWS and don’t have to over provision IT resources. If you need more, you can purchase more. It’s a winning solution for everyone involved.

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