Actifio is now part of Google Cloud. Read the full announcement.

Budget Surprises – Good ones

To state the obvious, IT budgets are under pressure. IT is integral to business value. And “Do more with less” is here to stay.

Meeting with established Actifio customers, we’re seeing some innovative ways being created to do more and spend less. Some are simple and operational. Some are fundamental idea shifts to business potential – what we think of as aha moments!

They typically start with how data virtualization impacts business resilience. Actifio gives them the simplicity and certainty they were looking for in backup, disaster recovery and business continuity. “It just works,” they say. And then it has the big de-clutter impact.

What they’re seeing is infrastructure simplified, a reduction in redundant systems. They’re taking hardware off the floor. They’re spending less time troubleshooting. We hear it across the spectrum. From small to medium to big international enterprises, it scales. Direct expense reductions exceed expectations – hundreds of thousands to millions. But it gets better. We’ve come to think of these impacts as “wave one”. Because, once settled into data virtualization for backup/DR/BC, customers have new insights and see new value options emerge.

Let’s go back to an earlier discussion around accelerated application development and look at a couple of customer examples. The first is a modest scale Healthcare provider. The second is a massive multi-national financial services enterprise.

Both have implemented Actifio to create a virtualized data strategy. Both started with a focus on backup and disaster recovery. Both quickly evolved something much more significant. Transformative really.

Start with the Healthcare provider supporting a network of nearly 40 community health center locations across a large metropolitan area. Their IT operates from a primary data center with a secondary site for backup and disaster recovery. Nearly a thousand employees require access to the electronic health records system and absolutely no downtime. Their backup system was “slow, cumbersome and unintuitive.” “Long backup times and uncertain recovery were a worry.” They knew the older environment wouldn’t meet the needs of 2014. It was time for a refresh.

They selected Actifio to replace the assorted backup/DR and data dedupe applications with a single, versatile, and less expensive application: “Everything we wanted was there – and more.” Wave one.

In addition to their production environment, they maintain multiple non-production systems for training, services, trouble shooting, application testing and proof of concept. With Actifio in place, these no longer required time-consuming copy procedures. No more complex, slow and costly refresh cycles. Their application development immediately accelerated. Wait time disappeared.

What started for them as a better backup & DR project quickly expanded to deliver wider cost efficiencies along with reductions in hardware, training and support requirements. They also created a simple, flexible data migration capability that works for major projects or common daily tasks. The simpler system gave more users direct access. Knowledge sharing improved across the organization.

They did have some positive budget surprises. But more importantly, in their own words, “we definitely get more done.” Wave two.

pencil_sharpener A much larger scale example is illustrated by a multi-national financial enterprise. In this instance, our field team, engineers and executives helped them evolve a strategic vision where Actifio would become a resource for multiple functions. It would help attain a sharper competitive edge – and save them more than $2,000,000 over five years.

Their starting point was updated backup capability. But the more exciting element was creation of a pervasive data virtualization platform. That’s because they quickly realized what benefits it would bring to their business application time-to-market. It was the aha moment of how a virtualized Dev/Test workflow could streamline their approach to application development and accelerate provisioning new environments and on-boarding new customers.

This was transformational and not without doubters in the house. However, objections were overcome, TCO and operational benefits confirmed. Execs knew it would save them a lot of money but they were now less concerned with how much it would cost and much more focused on what it was worth.

With the backup problem fixed and the data footprint shrinking the foundation was set for wave two. That’s where they begin bringing products and services to market better and faster than they ever thought possible and gaining a much sharper competitive edge.

Photo Credit: r4ncc
Photo Credit: Yvonne L Swedencc

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