HPE hybrid cloud solution opens new revenue channels for Swiss cloud provider
HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack and SyselCloud securely transition customers to the cloud
SyselCloud launched in 2010 as the private cloud solutions arm of the Swiss IT infrastructure company, Syselcom Mutuelle Informatique SA. A staff of 24, operates out of its headquarters in Mont-sur-Lausanne, Switzerland, and its solutions—cloud-based backup and continuity, hosted applications, file sharing, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and more—are hosted in two data centers inside the country.
Harnessing Microsoft Azure with security and cost controls SyselCloud began developing a hybrid cloud strategy in late 2018 after noticing that its private cloud offering was becoming too restrictive. Its medium and large customers—in particular, those in the healthcare and government segments— needed an environment that would allow them to develop and host applications on the Microsoft Azure public cloud platform. It also had to meet Switzerland’s and the EU’s data privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), requiring them to store personal data within the country’s borders.
Many customers were also investigating the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, which would allow them to easily test and provision leading applications and services within an Azure environment. At the same time, businesses that were already using Microsoft Azure needed help understanding and managing IT costs.
“Customers are searching for a secure, fast, and flexible hybrid cloud environment, and now, with HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, we can deliver that.” – Jean-Michel Mélinand, Sales Director, SyselCloud
“Our large customers, who all needed access to public cloud infrastructures, were talking about Azure,” says SyselCloud Sales Director, Jean-Michel Mélinand. “We wanted to help them take advantage of the public cloud and also address their data privacy concerns, and their need for more flexibility and cost controls. An Azure-consistent hybrid cloud was the answer.”
Customizable, highly supported hybrid cloud solution from HPE SyselCloud initially considered other hybrid cloud options, including the open‑source OpenStack, but selected the HPE solution for its ability to meet customer demands and open new revenue streams.
The HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud solution enables providers like SyselCloud to run Azure‑consistent services and applications from their data centers. It harnesses the power and flexibility of public cloud services while allowing customers to store sensitive data in a private cloud—resolving data privacy and sovereignty issues. Specifically for SyselCloud, the solution enables compliance with the ISO 27001 and 27017 data privacy standards required in Switzerland.
SyselCloud tested the HPE solution for several months using the free Azure Stack Development Kit (ASDK) on the infrastructure available at the HPE and Microsoft Azure Stack Innovation Center (ASIC) in Geneva, Switzerland. At any of the ASIC locations around the globe, organizations receive hands-on assistance to identify how Azure Stack can address their business’ demands, as well as explore and refine their specific use cases for the hybrid cloud. Customers leave with an actionable plan for designing and building applications using Azure Stack.
“Thanks to the HPE and Microsoft Azure Stack Innovation Center, we were able to really understand the solution’s capabilities and its relationship with Azure,” recalls Jean-Michel Mélinand. “We met with both HPE and Microsoft experts, tested the software, and got hands-on experience with the hardware. HPE also helped us determine our strategy for configuring the solution so that it benefited both the customer and our organization.”
SyselCloud opted to purchase a 6-node configuration for one of its data centers in May 2019. The HPE solution is customizable, allowing providers to choose any number of nodes between 4 and 16 based on needs and expected growth. An integrated system, it’s delivered preconfigured and is installed on-site by the HPE Pointnext Services team. The HPE expertise enabled SyselCloud’s system to be fully up and running within two weeks.
Fast deployments, more customers With the HPE hybrid cloud solution installed in one data center, SyselCloud is already beginning to realize benefits—including fast deployment, growth of its customer base, and new revenue streams from managed services and consulting.
“We’re seeing that we can deploy new environments incredibly quickly,” says Jean-Michel Mélinand. “Fast deployment is a main driver in the customer’s decision when selecting a partner, so this is definitely an asset to SyselCloud in terms of growth.”
“Fast deployment is a main driver in the customer’s decision when selecting a partner, and the HPE solution is allowing us to deploy, in most instances, in hours instead of days.” – Jean-Michel Mélinand, Sales Director, SyselCloud
Jean-Michel Mélinand points to automation and access to pre-configured solutions within the Azure Marketplace as the key factors behind faster deployments. For instance, SyselCloud can now prepare terminal server or Microsoft Exchange environments on its private cloud platform in a fraction of the time that it used to take—in hours instead of days.
SyselCloud expects intensive revenue growth from new customers—as well as existing private cloud customers who are seeking the benefits of the HPE hybrid cloud solution. The benefits include data security, a consumption-based pricing model, and ease of deploying between public and on-premises Azure clouds. SyselCloud predicts the HPE solution will also attract larger, enterprise-level organizations with over 1,000 users—a significant jump from its current business customers comprising 10–250 users.
As more and larger customers migrate to SyselCloud’s offering, called Azure Stack by SyselCloud, Jean-Michel Mélinand sees an opportunity to provide expanded consulting, training, and managed services. “As we open up this vast world of Azure and the Marketplace, we can be even more flexible and offer more to our customers in terms of helping them develop their cloud strategies,” says Jean-Michel Mélinand. “We see ourselves in an architect role, which, of course, opens new revenue streams for services.” IaaS and reseller revenue Up to 50% of SyselCloud’s business is generated by delivering IaaS to customers. HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack provides an added value by enhancing the delivery speed that customers are looking for; specifically, explains Jean-Michel Mélinand, customers can now deploy their workloads much more quickly.
The HPE solution is also allowing SyselCloud to expand into reselling Microsoft Azure Stack to its customers. “This is changing our whole business model, allowing us to sell infrastructure and managed services customized to customer needs,” notes Jean‑Michel Mélinand.
By 2020, Syselcom expects to add a second 6-node HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack installation, this time in its second data center.
“We see opportunity to take on a role as expert integrators of this solution in Switzerland and the EU, and we’ll be able to show proof of concept,” says Jean-Michel Mélinand. “The objective is not only to sell the solution but to transform our knowledge into providing services for the customer.”