With its expanded overall range of high-quality enterprise hardware and virtual servers, Thomas-Krenn serves the desire for more flexibility and individuality in IT operations. With the “Thomas-Krenn Cloud”, a virtual data center is available which enables Thomas-Krenn clients to configure and setup their individual cloud services easily and almost in real-time..
The most important criteria in the search for a suitable technology partner were the ability to integrate the solution into the company’s own business model as well as a customer-oriented service and support offered by the technology provider. Especially in terms of hybrid scenarios including the intelligent cross-linking of locally available on-prem IT with highly dynamic cloud services, Thomas-Krenn AG sees itself in a pioneering role on the German market with gridscale.
The white label solution from gridscale, which convinced Thomas-Krenn above all by the simple usability of the interface and the accompanying managed services. Administration and further development of the platform are carried out centrally by the gridscale experts and enable Thomas-Krenn.AG to fully concentrate on the technical consulting of its customers and on marketing and selling of the new cloud offering.
We are perfectly supported by gridscale. Thomas-Krenn and gridscale have the same high standards of service and quality. Here, the cooperation is really fun.
Christoph Maier, CEO Thomas-Krenn.AG
Interview with Christoph Maier, CEO
Christoph, Thomas-Krenn AG has been established for almost twenty years as one of Europe’s leading providers of high-quality individual server and storage systems. The partnership with gridscale now also transforms you into a cloud provider. Why did you take this step?
The cloud had 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 corporate groups, 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 requirements from us. But if we are of the opinion that a cloud solution makes more sense in a specific case rather than on premises, we have not been able to offer our customers a corresponding solution of our own. 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?
First and foremost, that is certainly the backup. This is one of the first issues that many people have 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 you don’t need permanently, but only now and then. I would mention machine learning or AI, for example. As a rule, it doesn’t make sense for clients 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 there is still a certain lack of knowledge and need for consulting among SMEs.
You have to understand that SMEs are conservative in many areas when it comes to the 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 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 unsaleable for us back then. You either sold hardware or the cloud, but 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 on prem and there are applications that are better off in the cloud. There is no longer either or, but only both. With gridscale, we can now take both aspects into account. We can determine what is best for each customer in a completely neutral way.
For your sales department in particular, the integration of a cloud solution was certainly a big step. How did that work out?
The gridscale Cloud and the experts at gridscale made this step easy for us. The ease of 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 have exactly what we are looking for. And so it was. The chemistry between Thomas-Krenn and gridscale was open-minded 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.
In addition, we are perfectly supported by gridscale. I would like to pay a big compliment to gridscale. There was excellent training and the communication is extremely fast. Thomas-Krenn and gridscale share 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 experience of the first users is very good. We expect more big projects, but we are already pleasantly surprised by the very positive feedback from our customers.
The easiest way to your own public cloud
With the whitelabel option, companies use the gridscale cloud as an independent 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.
The gridscale Partner Panel is the only multi-client capable interface for resellers. It combines all functions on one simple interface. Customer projects can be set up and customized in just a few minutes without a long training period. With the Cloud Panel, end customers get perhaps the best cloud interface on the market, integrated into the reseller’s corporate design. Numerous IaaS and PaaS components are available to end customers, which can also be controlled via RESTful API and transparently billed on a pay-per-use basis.
gridscale is an independent German company and operates data centers with ISO 27001 certifications at German locations. gridscale guarantees 100% SLA availability, predictive maintenance and georedundancy.
Interview with Patrick Kühn
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 dialog 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 you particularly value in the process?
From the beginning, it was important for us that the employees of Thomas-Krenn could quickly get an idea themselves. This is a decisive step for most gridscale partners. With a test account, customers quickly realize how easy and clear it is to work with the platform.
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