Digital Planet – Thought Leadership
Digital Planet was one of the first enterprise cloud computing solution providers out of the blocks, but has now rebranded and plans to compete on the international stage. There are many advantages to being ahead of the pack, but there is often one major drawback: sometimes you have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up with you. When Evros Technology Group launched Digital Planet, its enterprise cloud computing solution over two years ago, it did so at a time when many people had not even heard of the cloud. It is only now that the cloud has become very much a part of the everyday business conversation that decision makers in Irish industry are beginning to understand exactly what it is that Digital Planet can offer them. ‘‘When we launched Digital Planet over two years ago now, we did so with a good knowledge of the potential of cloud computing,’’ said Brian Larkin of Digital Planet.‘‘Prior to launching Digital Planet, we had been offering similar services, but at that time we had branded the solution ‘Cloud Computing on Demand’. The advent of cloud terminology prompted us to launch a dedicated company dedicated to the delivery of re-mote computing services, Cloud solutions.’’ In order to maintain its already strong market position, Digital Planet has just undergone a major rebranding process. ‘‘We are a technology company, and all our focus has been on the technology,’’ said Larkin.‘‘ But when it came to our branding, we went through the process very quickly, maybe too quickly. What we found that our competitors were doing a great job on their marketing without putting as much effort into their technologies. We are the opposite. We’re good technologists, but not as adept at branding. In an ideal world, this would not matter, but the reality is that brand awareness is hugely important in today’s economy and, in particular, the cloud. “There is so much written about the cloud,’’ said Larkin,‘‘ that it is easy to become confused when it comes to understanding the cloud and who you need to be speaking to.’’ Keeping it simple Digital Planet recently launched a new website offering heightened levels of usability for visitors from both a business and from a technical background.
‘‘The idea behind the new site is that we very much wanted to avoid confusion,’’ explained Larkin. ‘‘Like we say about the cloud itself ^ it’s time to stop complicating things. Thus, the new site addresses the fundamental paradox of cloud computing. It is both simple and complex, technologically advanced and yet basic common sense. But the simplicity of the message should not obscure the fact that Digital Planet has invested heavily to create a broad cloud offering for enterprise level clients.‘‘The technology can be complex,’’ explained Larkin,‘‘but the business model couldn’t be simpler. It’s about renting your computing requirements instead of buying them. It’s outsourcing your IT services as against delivering them in-house. ‘‘The model has been around for years in areas such as tax planning, marketing and HR, and while most cloud providers only present the technical advantages of cloud computing, we believe it is equally important to present the business benefits.’’
To this end, Digital Planet has broadened its service since it first launched, and in addition to managed, private and hybrid cloud solutions, it now offers full disaster recovery, online backup and a host of SaaS solutions that are increasing all the time.‘‘This means that we can cover pretty much every aspect of a company’s technology requirements,’’ explained Larkin.
Indeed, the reason behind Digital Planet’s success can be traced to its technologies and its people. The team spent almost a year in pre-planning before Digital Planet was launched and, from the outset, it built its platform on the most reliable and effective enterprise-level technologies, as well as offering the most professional consultative approach to ensure that its clients got exactly what they needed. ‘‘We have been able to stand over our solution from day one,’’ said Larkin. ‘‘We knew that when we decided to build a cloud solution, we had to get it right first time. The team, led by chief technology officer Joe Brady, has done an incredible job in designing and implementing our solutions. These guys take a personal pride in the standards they deliver. We are very fortunate with the team of young professionals we have working in Digital Planet.’’
Digital Planet’s cloud technology has been built primarily on the HP Cloud Matrix Stack, which is HP’s dedicated cloud platform, and such has been the success of its roll-out that Hewlett Packard made Digital Planet a key business reference site for media around the world. ‘‘We were the first in Ire – land to launch this cloud platform and the performance has been exceptional,’’ said Larkin.‘‘The HP Blade Server technology is second to none and the intuitive nature of the HP 3PAR production storage solution has allowed us to deliver superior application performance to our clients.’’
In addition, Digital Planet was the first to launch VMware’s platform on its vCloud Director management suite. VCloud Director is an advanced self-service portal for cloud, allowing customer deployment and management of cloud environments through an intuitive web-based console.
Digital Planet was also the first to implement this solution in Ireland more than two years ago, and is still the largest and fastest-growing provider in the country, achieving the vCloud Powered status earlier this year. “A lot of cloud providers offer a cheap cloud on white boxes,’’ claimed Larkin.‘‘ But enterprise needs proven technologies, which is why we have only built on enterprise platforms, using tried and tested technologies.’’
Digital Planet is currently working closely with Microsoft and is targeting Q4 of this year for the launch of the complete suite of Microsoft Solutions.‘‘
Delivering services from our cloud environment is a key growth area for us,’’ Larkin explained. Microsoft is a key partner of ours, and we will be launching applications such as Sharepoint and Lync from Digital Planet before the year end. The future for Digital Planet Ambitions run high in Digital Plane. Digital Planet will support the launch of Irish Software start-ups to a new level on the global market. ‘‘We plan to compete on the international stage,’’ said Larkin.‘‘The cloud promotes global delivery of software and services. It’s important we don’t stand back and allow the competition to come to us. We, and all Irish technology companies, need to go after this global market aggressively. There are many advantages to being ahead of the pack, but there is often one major drawback: sometimes you have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up with you. .‘‘Prior to launching Digital Planet, we had been offering similar services, but at that time we had branded the solution ‘Computing on Demand’. The advent of cloud terminology prompted us to launch a dedicated company dedicated to the delivery of re-mote computing services, Cloud solutions.’’ In order to maintain its already strong market position.
If you’re interested in Brian Larkin’s talk on Demystifying the cloud visit our blog.