The partnership between BPSOLUTIONS and IBM has been constantly strengthening, particularly in the field of Data & AI and hybrid cloud. But what are the main challenges in these areas of technology? And how can such partnerships as the one between BPSOLUTIONS and IBM better help clients address these challenges?

Ronald van Heek, Chief Commercial Officer of BPSOLUTIONS, takes a closer look at recent cloud and data developments. What do they mean for organizations and how does BPSOLUTIONS respond? IBM plays an important role as a technology partner, as well as as a sounding board and consultant. The seamless teaming up has led to great client innovations and is the reason behind winning the Beacon Award 2021. Van Heek also looks to the future: what can we expect next in the field of Data & AI and hybrid cloud?

Mission critical IT
IBM Platinum Business Partner BPSOLUTIONS offers “IT solutions crucial for clients to be able to execute their corebusiness processes. These include solutions and services for infrastructure, data analytics, cloud, and storage”, explains Van Heek. BPSOLUTIONS focuses on two aspects: keeping (cloud) systems up-and-running and innovating based on Data & AI. “This is how we have supported clients for twenty years keeping their business-critical IT running and make them future-proof. The ultimate goal? Make data work for clients and therefore making the world smarter, little by little.

Hybrid Cloud
Many organizations are currently going through digital transformations. Employees increasingly need to work and collaborate remotely, on different devices, with applications and data that are available anytime, anywhere – regardless of whether solutions run on-prem, in public or private clouds. According to Van Heek, this is why companies should turn their eye to hybrid cloud: “Hybrid cloud helps accelerate digital transformation, it allows you to move applications, data, and virtualized containers relatively easily from one infrastructure to another if the situation demands it. For example, from an on-premise environment to private cloud, and even edge devices.

Flexible IT, agile business
Why our commitment to hybrid cloud? Because it makes organizations more agile. “You can immediately respond to evolving business requirements, because you can move applications back and forth between cloud environments and data centers” explains Van Heek. “Organizations can quickly scale up capacity, for example.” This may be necessary when a new application needs to be developed or tested quickly, or when there are sudden spikes in demand. In addition, our Dutch clients can generate insight with hybrid cloud: they know where data is located and can move business-critical information to a more secure private cloud or Dutch data center if regulations require it.

RedHat OpenShift
BPSOLUTIONS often bases its hybrid cloud solutions on Red Hat OpenShift. “This open virtualization platform decouples data and applications from the physical infrastructure. This means you can shift workloads from one location to another even more easily.” reveals Van Heek. In addition, Red Hat OpenShift makes an organization less dependent on cloud vendors. The platform is an intermediate layer which integrates with all cloud environments, regardless of vendor. As a result, applications can be freely moved to and from any cloud, regardless of vendor. “This is also an important prerequisite in order to be able to demonstrate you are not constrained by a cloud vendor lock-in.

Developments Data & AI
The amount of data has been exponentially increasing for years. Traditionally, BPSOLUTIONS has specialized in data solutions. Van Heek sees that more and more organizations are asking themselves what are their options in terms of dealing with mountains of unstructured data. “Many large, international companies have a separate department, with specialized data scientists. But apart from these major players, not everyone has the necessary expertise in-house.” BPSOLUTIONS ensures that all organizations can benefit from their available data, without having to hire data specialists or their current IT team becoming overloaded by this mission. “Our solutions and services allow clients to filter useful insights from data.” BPSOLUTIONS makes extensive use of IBM solutions such as IBM Storage, IBM Spectrum and IBM Watson.

How can we let patients know exactly how long they have to wait?
BPSOLUTIONS helped the HagaZiekenhuis in Zuid-Holland answer this question. The IT partner built an AI application using IBM Watson technology which calculates exactly the current waiting time for an emergency room patient. It uses various data points, such as patient data from the EHR, information about the severity of the complaint, staffing levels,and how busy other departments are. As a result, patients know where they stand, there is less annoyance about waiting times, and healthcare staff are able to better concentrate on their work. BPSOLUTIONS also safeguards the privatesensitive data the application uses. This helps HagaZiekenhuis to be NEN 7510 compliant (Dutch information security management standard).

Beacon Award
Every year IBM presents the Beacon Award to partners who help their clients progress with smart solutions based on IBM technology, such as innovations that leverage hybrid cloud and AI. BPSOLUTIONS is the proud winner of the Beacon Award 2021 for the category ‘Outstanding Software Defined Storage Solution’. Industry specialists, IBM executives and analysts chose BPSOLUTIONS for its Storage-as-a-Service hybrid cloud offering built on IBM FlashSystem and IBM Spectrum Virtualize. With this, BPSOLUTIONS offers clients a solid foundation to get the most out of their mission-critical IT using an optimized hybrid cloud platform. “We are proud to have received the Beacon Award; this is the crowning glory of our partnership with IBM. A sign that all the knowledge investments we have made in IBM technology in recent times have been more than worth it.”,

Stronger together
BPSOLUTIONS shares IBM’s vision of hybrid cloud as the foundation for agility and innovation based on Data & AI. “An important aspect of this is security. “All IBM solutions are secure by design. This is essential to adequately safeguardIT according to a zero-trust approach. We strongly support this vision.”.

Match on more fronts
We consult regularly and work closely to spot opportunities. IBM acts as a trusted advisor on which solutions we can use to best support our clients. We also spot market trends and, based on this information, advise IBM to better adapt its solutions. We both take a proactive approach in this process.” In addition, IBM’s partner model fits in well with BPSOLUTIONS’ way of working. “IBM has tailored its PartnerWorld program to different types of partners, from resellers, to partners being able to create solutions based on IBM technology, as well as partners taking the role of service providers. “This makes collaboration easier. BPSOLUTIONS tackles all of these areas and our team knows exactly where to find the right information, are supported appropriately and have therefore more time for other tasks.

Hype or holy grail?
Is hybrid cloud definitive for the futre of technology or just a buzzword? “We view the cloud as an IT delivery model; a way to deliver IT as a service to our clients. Given the benefits of the hybrid cloud, I think this model will be used a lot more” surmises Van Heek. In addition, the hybrid cloud itself is further expanding. Not only towards public and private cloud environments, but also towards edge devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). “This is another reason why we think the hybrid cloud is the future. Research firm Gartner sees the same development and describes this as cloud everywhere.

Organizations operating in a  hybrid cloud environment are getting 2.5 times more business value from their digital transformation, according to a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value. It also shows that hybrid cloud has become the dominant model for cloud service delivery. “We guarantee our clients 100 percent availability and client success. We are confident we are on a path to creating many more wins for ou clients as we reveal the potential of Cloud and Data & AI technology in partnership with IBM”.

Read more about IBM’s hybrid cloud and Data & AI portfolio.

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