Thomas-Krenn AG was founded in 2002 and is today one of the leading manufacturers of individual server and storage systems with around 20,000 customers from all industries. Each IT system can be configured by the customers themselves according to their requirements. Thomas-Krenn guarantees fast delivery times and highest service quality. In cooperation with gridscale GmbH from Cologne, Thomas-Krenn will offer its customers its own public cloud services in addition to the hardware portfolio, such as backup, storage or even GPU and managed Kubernetes from 2021. For its own company cloud, Thomas-Krenn uses the gridscale cloud platform based on the innovative gridscale Easy Panel with intuitive drag-drop-click interface.
The chemistry between Thomas-Krenn and gridscale was right from the start. I was impressed by how quickly the whole process went. Technology and sales were enthusiastic about the simplicity of the interface and the possibilities of the platform. That was an eye-opener for many in terms of the cloud.Christoph Maier, CEO dof theThomas-Krenn AG
With the whitelabel option, companies use the gridscale cloud as a standalone cloud provider. System houses and IT service providers face the challenge of operating a cloud offering for their customers economically and securely. The idea of gridscale Cloud is to make it easier than ever for companies to resell cloud solutions. Thanks to gridscale’s optimized infrastructure, our reseller partners do not have to make high investments, neither in their own hardware nor in their own cloud specialists.
strong>The gridscale partner panel is the only multi-client capable interface for resellers. It combines all functions on a simple interface. Customer projects can be set up and customized in a few minutes without long training. With the Easy Panel, final customers get the perhaps best cloud interface on the market, integrated into the reseller’s corporate design. Numerous IaaS and PaaS components are available to final customers, which can also be controlled via RESTful API and transparently billed on a pay-per-use basis.
Christoph, Thomas-Krenn AG has been established for almost twenty years as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of high-quality individual server and storage systems.The partnership with gridscale now also makes you a cloud provider. Why did you take this step? The cloud has been a topic we had been thinking about intensively for some time. We currently have around 20,000 customers. The vast majority of them are SMEs or profit centers of corporations, across all industries. All of them are asking us the same questions about the cloud today: Is this an issue for us? Does it make sense? Should we use it? We have always taken on a consulting role here because our customers know and trust us. They know that they will always get the best solution for their requirement from us. But if we have the opinion that not on premises, but in a specific case a cloud solution makes more sense, we would have not been able to offer our customers a corresponding solution of our own until now. This is now different with the gridscale partnership and our new Thomas-Krenn Cloud.
For which requests and solutions does the cloud make sense for your midmarket customers? In the first place, this is certainly the backup. This is one of the first issues that many people have had to deal with as a result of our new cloud. We can now offer a useful cloud solution to complement the hardware. Then it’s mainly about services that are not needed permanently, but only now and then. I would mention machine learning or AI, for example. As a rule, it doesn’t make sense for me to build large structures for this on prem. That costs a lot of money and requires trained IT specialists. It is usually better to outsource these services. Other topics that are also mentioned again and again by our customers are storage, availability and home office. Managed Kubernetes is actually of interest to everyone, but here there is still a somewhat greater knowledge gap and need for consulting among SMEs. You have to understand that the midmarket is conservative in many areas when it comes to cloud. For the companies, it’s about their business model, and many are still cautious about the cloud.
Has the attitude towards the cloud changed in the recent years? What is your experience in the dialog with the companies? A few years ago, we offered hosting ourselves. We had even built up our own team for it, because the topic was very complex and special. From today’s perspective, I have to say that hosting was unsellable for us back then. Back then, you either sold hardware or the cloud, there was nothing in between. Today it’s different because of the hybrid way of working. Things have changed here, and companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of combined solutions. Hybrid IT structures are the future. There will always be things that make more sense to operate on prem, and there are applications that are better off in the cloud. There is no longer an “either or”, but only a “this and more”. With gridscale, we can now take both aspects into account. We can determine what is best for each customer in a completely neutral way.
Integration of a cloud solution was certainly a big step especially for your sales department. How did that work out? The gridscale Cloud and the experts at gridscale made this step easy for us. The easy use of the interface was certainly a decisive point. We were even made aware of gridscale by our sales department. gridscale is a hardware customer of ours and the key account managers said, take a look at them, they could offer exactly what we are looking for. And that is how it was. The chemistry between Thomas-Krenn and gridscale was right from the start. I was impressed by how quickly the whole process went. Technology and sales were enthusiastic about the simplicity of the interface and the possibilities of the platform. It was an eye opener for many in terms of cloud. In addition, we are perfectly supported by gridscale. I would like to pay a big compliment to gridscale on that. There has been excellent training and the communication is extremely fast. Thomas-Krenn and gridscale have the same service philosophy. We have a very high standard of service and quality for all our products. Our customers also expect this level of service with the Thomas-Krenn Cloud. Here, the cooperation with gridscale is really fun.
And how are your customers reacting to the new cloud offering? The first customers are already using the Thomas-Krenn Cloud and they are just as enthusiastic as we are. Of course, we are still in the process of increasing the market visibility of our cloud. After all, it is still a new offering. But the user experiences of the first users were very good. We expect more big projects, but we are already pleasantly surprised by the very positive feedback from our customers.
h3>Pre-Sales Product Engineer at gridscale
Thomas-Krenn is a hardware specialist. Did that make the project start different for you than usual? Thomas-Krenn was already looking for a cloud service. Through dialogue with their customers, it was clear to them that they definitely did not want to resell for one of the hyperscalers like AWS or Azure. The label “Made in Germany” and topics like DSGVO and support at eye level were very important to them. But of course it was also about how we can support Thomas-Krenn’s sales for the dialog with the customers.
What did this support look like? We have conducted a series of training sessions that have covered both the sales and technology side. How exactly does our platform work? What does a hybrid setup look like? What use cases can you do? Where are the advantages? With gridscale, it’s not like you just start a VM somewhere. You get managed services and databases, Kubernetes, and a full B2B infrastructure with the ability to create your own clients.
Is there anything that you place particular emphasis on? It was important for us from the beginning that the employees of Thomas-Krenn can quickly make themselves a picture. This is a decisive step for most gridscale partners. With a test access, customers immediately see how easy and clear it is to work with the platform.