As one of the country’s largest MSPs, Bulletproof has made huge strides in the managed hosting space. From humble beginnings in 2000, the company has grown its customer base to over 700 organisations.
In 2006 Bulletproof co-founder and chief executive, Anthony Woodward, made the decision to switch the company’s focus to managed hosting. Bulletproof was the first Australian company to launch a public Cloud service in 2006 and was named the first AWS premier consulting partner in 2013.
Woodward spoke with ARN about his plans for 2016 and what it takes to run a successful MSP.
When asked if there were any particular verticals that Bulletproof would be targeting more than others, Woodward stressed that nothing was off the table. However, he went on to say that the company would continue to build on the success it has had with online retailers.
“Due to our heritage in Web and digital there is a large amount of activity in online retail and eCommerce,” he said.
Woodward explained that customers in these spaces were wanting to move more of the backend operations to automated online systems in order to reduce cost but, more importantly, to improve the customer experience.
“In taking a digital engagement approach, enterprise has realised that not only does moving processes to AWS make sense from a cost perspective, customers prefer this type of engagement to how they were doing business in the past,” he said.
“Retail and online has been our bread and butter for a long time because they have naturally focussed on customer engagement and how they can do it better.
“What is ironic in some way is that Amazon is perhaps the best digital engagement organisation on the planet so you would think that the platform they build to enable that, if made available to the rest of the online digital engagement sector, is probably going to be pretty complete.
The dialogue shift
Woodward went on to say that there had been a major change in the way larger organisations in particular were talking about Cloud and the impact on their business.
“The conversation has moved on from, give me an alternative hosting platform to an IT toolset and process to actually do business differently. That’s the specialisation area that we are falling into,” he explained.
“Because of our web and digital heritage as a hosting provider and customer facing component of customer workloads. We will just add a management layer across the entire infrastructure no matter what applications are on there.
“It is not about replacing one infrastructure with another and making sure it works. That is a given, customers expect that. What they want to know is how we are able to help them go through the transformation process, engage with customers more effectively and do business with Cloud.
“The customers we get tend to be the ones that are transforming or disrupting or both.
What customers are asking for
In light of this, Woodward said that customers were asking for a range of different things from their deployments.
“Data is a piece of the puzzle, what most are interested in is the ability to turn over innovative capabilities at a very high rate. The capabilities of a Cloud like AWS are that it enables, through processes like dev ops, to be able to connect the developers and the high rate of change on the application side with the infrastructure stack controlled by the application layer.
“What they are saying to us as a service provider is, enable me to leverage that stuff in my business so that my developers over here can turn over ten or fifteen versions of the digital engagement platform in a given timeframe.
“Some are turning out multiple versions per day. What they need to know is that the underlying infrastructure will support the application they are rolling out, but that they can also tear it down and stand it up repeatedly, not just the test environment but also production.
“Our customers want the enablement of that piece because their competitors are trying to run rings around them on that digital engagement side. They want to start gathering more information from customers, they don’t want to have a three month IT cycle before they can start gathering information, they want it tomorrow.”