Insight unveils cloud computing strategy for Canada

After having worked in the cloud computing space in the U.S. for the past five years and extending its offerings to Canada this year, Insight wants to become the go-to trusted advisor for customers wanting to venture into the cloud.

Orrin Wolf, a Chicago-based practice director for cloud computing at Insight, said although the company’s U.S. operations have been offering cloud-based solutions for five years, the practice really started accelerating over the past couple of years.

“At Insight, our definition of cloud computing is anything that’s served up over the Internet or over the network,” Wolf said. “Cloud computing solutions are flexible in their resource allocation on a monthly basis and it’s also a pay per-use consumption model so it moves things from a capital expense to an operational expense.”

The company’s catalogue of cloud-based products currently includes solutions from more than 20 vendors, Wolf said. As part of its cloud computing solutions offerings, the company offers both software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) deployment models.

While the idea of cloud computing is nothing new, a lot of customers are still confused about what it is and how it works. However, at Insight, Wolf said the industry is moving at such a progressive pace that the company now spends most of its time talking to customers about what cloud solutions are available to them instead of actually having to explain what the cloud is.

“We’re getting conversations going and we’re starting to see traction with our clients as well,” Wolf said.

At Insight, Wolf said the company sees four common areas for cloud computing opportunities. These include messaging and e-mail, collaboration, security and data and infrastructure solutions. One of the upcoming areas of opportunity is in the hosted voice-over-IP (VoIP) space, he added.

As a whole, the market opportunities in cloud computing are “rather large,” because customers want to move from a capital expense to an operational expense model, Wolf said. Customers are also looking to move different components of their IT environment into the cloud, which is where managed services opportunities also come in, he added.

In 2011, the company-wide goal is to get more in-depth with its customers and have the right level of conversations with them to establish and maintain long-term relationships.

“We’re at a point in time now where we’re seeing Canadian companies becoming more interested in the cloud,” Wolf said. “At Insight, we don’t think it’s a matter of if they convert, but instead, it’s a matter of when. Economically-speaking, cloud computing solutions make sense.”

While smaller organizations are typically the first to adopt cloud-based solutions, maybe because of financial savings and because they’re more nimble, large organizations are also showing interest in how cloud solutions can help them in the business, Wolf said.

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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