solvito GmbH

Managed Services Titel

Cloud platform for
managed services

Why solvito relies on a provider from the SME sector

solvito is one of the very few specialists in Europe to offer managed services for HCL Domino, HCL Connections, and Blackberry security solutions. The cloud is a central building block in the business model of the Hamburg-based company. However, the large platforms are too complex for the needs of a medium-sized consultancy. About the search for a cloud with a focus on the essentials.

A Partner Story

Overview
Founded in 2002 by a logistics service provider in Hamburg, solvito has developed into a specialist for enterprise mobility management, collaboration, and communication software and offers consulting and managed services.

Industry
IT services

Employees
12

Customers
~ 60

gridscale products in use
Public Cloud
Infrastructure-as-a-Service
Partner Panel

The goal
The team of twelve specialists is to focus on its expertise: Application management of customer systems. On the other hand, solvito wants to keep server administration costs as low as possible. The company was looking for a cloud with uncompromisingly simple operation and full-price transparency.

Challenges
With hyper-scalers, the range of functions comes at the expense of usability. The pricing models of the large platforms are just as complex. This is a problem because solvito has to charge its customers for external cloud services in the case of managed services.

The solution
Finally, solvito found what it was looking for in a medium-sized company: gridscale. The Cologne-based company’s public cloud offers an intuitive dashboard that solvito uses to efficiently manage its customer projects and transparently bill all resources used. German data centers and data protection standards also convince security-sensitive customers.

Key Results

Strategic platform for managed services

Full cost transparency

Partner

Personal service at eye level

gridscale offers exactly what we need. Large public clouds, on the other hand, include 95 percent of other functions, which makes operation correspondingly complex.

Jörg Baumann, Managing Director at solvito

Starting point and key objectives

solvito’s decision in favor of a cloud platform from the midmarket comes at the end of a long journey. It began in 2009: When the “data cloud” was not yet an issue for three-quarters of German companies, solvito customers were already using CRM solutions from the cloud as Software as a Service (SaaS). “More and more customers were asking for business applications as a managed service. But our small team of specialists couldn’t have handled that with conventional approaches,” recalls Jörg Baumann, Managing Director at solvito.

At that time, outsourcing was still the predominant strategy in the IT service market: To cut costs, companies outsourced their IT and rented it back at a fixed price. Service providers took over not only software and data, but also their customers’ entire IT departments, including employees, servers, and data centers. System house groups and IT giants dominated this personnel- and capital-intensive business.

“We, on the other hand, came from consulting and the middleware world. We were familiar with application integration and optimization, but not with data centers and server administration,” says Baumann. solvito wanted to market its expertise without having to invest in its own hardware infrastructure. That’s why the company looked for a clear strategic division of tasks: Buy infrastructure “as a service” (IaaS) and sell software services “as a service” (SaaS).

First experience in the public cloud

The obvious approach was to use the cloud data centers of a long-standing technology partner. In the long term, however, the platform proved to be oversized for a medium-sized consulting firm.

“Hyperscalers kept expanding their platforms with new add-on services. But we only needed simple virtual machines, i.e. classic IaaS. In the end, you have to push 200 buttons for one function,” explains Baumann. Another factor was the cloud locations: “Our customers come from security-sensitive industries. Some would rather store their data in Germany,” says Baumann. Even the cloud location in Amsterdam, which solvito had been using until then, was already too far outside for some.

When the hyper-scaler wanted to close its data center there and another move of the customer systems was foreseeable, a chance contact brought solvito to the German public cloud provider gridscale. A test system was quickly set up and convinced the twelve-strong team of consultants right away.

“gridscale offers exactly what we need. Large public clouds, on the other hand, include 95 percent other functions, which makes operation correspondingly complex,” says Baumann. The test system at gridscale ran reliably for months when the move from the Amsterdam cloud data center finally became acute and a customer order also required flexible performance from the cloud.

The large hyper-scalers are not geared to the size of our company. With gridscale, on the other hand, we have a single-handed sailor for the public cloud, where we have everything essential under our own control.

Jörg Baumann, Managing Director at solvito

Realization

With the help of a large IT service provider, the customer planned an organization-wide switch to Microsoft Office. However, the Domino infrastructure used until then made the project difficult. As a specialist, solvito was to continue operating the customer’s legacy systems until they were completely replaced. Flexibility was therefore crucial: solvito would have to temporarily provide a lot of computing power and storage space for the business-critical legacy. “This was the perfect use case for our new public cloud. Right from the start, we benefited from the clarity and user-friendliness of the platform,” says Baumann.

As a result, the technical rollout went quickly and smoothly. All the team had to do was duplicate the architecture of the test system. “That was done in a few simple steps. If the resource requirements of the virtual machines change, we can immediately cushion this via the automation of the gridscale cloud,” says Baumann.

For support questions, gridscale provides its customers with a personal contact person. “The eye-to-eye level of service is a big plus for us. We only find this in medium-sized companies,” Baumann emphasizes. This allows the solvito team to manage its numerous projects completely independently. The consulting firm manages all customer systems as clients on the gridscale cloud via the so-called Partner Panel. “For the first time, cloud costs can also be precisely allocated to individual customers,” says Baumann. The transparent pricing system additionally simplifies the calculation for the managed services business: “The gridscale price list is one A4 page short. That is very convenient. With various hyper-scalers, we were sitting in front of 200 pages, most of which were incomprehensible,” says Baumann.

Summary

Meanwhile, solvito relies on gridscale as a strategic platform for its managed services business. After the successful pilot project, the company also moved other customer systems to the midmarket cloud. For the team of the Hamburg-based consultancy, the decision means more freedom in the core business.

“The large hyper-scalers are not geared to the size of our company. With gridscale, on the other hand, we have a single-handed sailor for the public cloud, where we have everything essential under our own control,” says CEO Baumann.

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