Getting to the New Hybrid Reality with Ivan Abis at Total Computer Networks

For this Komprise Konnects Partner Spotlight, I was able to connect with Ivan Abis, Senior Account Manager at Total Computers, an IT service provider and Komprise reseller in the UK. Ivan and his colleague Connor Young have been instrumental in bringing Komprise into the Total Computer Networks portfolio and expanding our European business.

Tell me about your company and your role?

Total Computer Networks is a well-established provider of IT services and products. Recognized by CRN as Corporate Reseller of the Year in 2019, we’ve got strong relationships with the key vendors as well as technical expertise that’s backed up by top accreditations. We have a wide range of IT services and a proven methodology. What really sets us apart from others in our industry are our customer relationships. We try to keep things simple. What I hear most from my customers is they love the fact that we’re reliable and genuinely care about what we do for them.

As for me, I studied business and economics at university in Bristol. I have always been really interested in how technology can improve our day to day lives and how tech can transform businesses at such a rapid pace. I’m currently a senior account manager at Total and work with a variety of organizations, so I’m familiar with the types of challenges IT professionals face.

I work closely with customers to understand their business objectives and introduce only relevant technology and services that will help them achieve those goals.

What are the most common challenges you’re helping clients with today?

Of course, COVID has really changed how organizations view IT as well as their overall IT priorities. Everyone is looking to get more value from their current investments. Cost savings, particularly related to cloud and on-premise infrastructure, are critical. Finding better ways to run applications, workloads and services in faster timescales is always top of mind.

I talk to a lot of IT leaders, and it’s clear that enormous data growth isn’t being matched by growing IT budgets.

This has resulted in a search for ways to make better use of their data to help gain competitive advantage and continuously improve their company operations.

Tell me about the Komprise partnership?

The partnership really was driven by our belief that Komprise can bring significant value to enterprise IT organizations – now more than ever given all of the budget constraints.

I have found Komprise to be a great value-add conversation at the IT leadership level as it helps address many of the challenges they’re facing in the increasingly hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure world.

We are strategic partners with Dell-EMC and HPE and can work with just about any storage vendor. We also have strong partnerships in place with Microsoft and AWS.

How has the cloud changed the conversation for you?

A few years ago, it seemed to be cloud first by default. But, while that can be right for some organizations, it isn’t right for all organizations and a more measured approach is required.

Increasingly we’re talking to our clients about a hybrid strategy – how to use both on-prem and cloud and truly understand which applications and workloads to use where.

We’re seeing more and more organizations looking at their environments in this manner. The ones that are doing it right are gaining a competitive advantage and saving huge amounts on cloud and on-prem costs.

Has the past year only accelerated these trends?

We’ve been going through a digital revolution for some time now, but in March 2020 everything sped up. Most organizations were forced to react quickly. They had to move fast and didn’t really have time to scope the risk of these projects because they had to speedily get people remote access to key applications, so they could continue with their jobs. As the year went on, they started to see their cloud and egress costs go up.

In 2021 there’s a realization that’s it’s time to think about the longevity of our IT infrastructure and that looks like a hybrid strategy in most cases.

When I talk to IT leaders today it’s important to be able to review:

  • What do you have on-prem and in the cloud today?
  • What are the skillsets of your current team?
  • What is your organization trying to do strategically?
  • Will establishing a plan to implement a hybrid strategy align with and accelerate the meeting of these goals?
  • How will this have an impact on your current budget?

This approach ensures you’re not just pushing everything to the cloud and expecting great results.

How would you introduce Komprise to a CIO?

I always want to address an industry-specific pain point and not just come in with a generic solution. It’s important to share examples of challenges we’ve seen other organizations face and to see if they are dealing with the same issues. For Komprise, there would be a discussion about data growth, shrinking budgets and the impact that is having on the business. I would want to learn about cloud adoption and costs.

And, I would want to understand the impact of not knowing what data you have, who is using it, or where it resides, and how data can be analyzed and mobilized to free up budget to spend on other areas.

From there we would discuss the possibility of a workshop or demo to learn more about where Komprise could help address their storage, backup, and cloud challenges.

Great stuff. What’s your personal takeaway from 2020?

I live in an old cottage and the garden was the last area to get my attention. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into clearing it back, bringing light back into the garden and getting things growing again. It’s been a lot of hard work, but a great a pleasure to see this garden evolve through the seasons.

You can see where hard work now can pay off in the future. You really do reap what you sow! It’s similar to what our customers are going through and has a lot of parallels not just to work but to life in general.

 

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