NZ Govt Cloud: IBM is a good horse to bet on for AoG IaaS

downloadIf you are going to take your government organisation and leap into the all of government IaaS offering, then IBM has got to be looking good right about now as an option in comparison between Revera and Datacom. Not because the other two have a lesser product, more because of the sheer demand that is currently backing up at Revera and the, what has to be, near full house at Datacom.

It’s gotta be tough as a government CIO or CTO, you’re going to have significant pressure on you to take up the all of government (AoG) service, because it needs all 76 agencies to get in to make the business case stack and start seeing those significant cost drops. All over town agencies are writing into their planning IaaS as an end state.

So I was thinking, if I had an agency then where would I be looking for IaaS as far as the AoG offering goes. It’s a tough call, because a tonne of factors come into play, including what do you put into it. But for the sake of debate, let’s just take a standardardised, corporate, virtualised set of workloads like file sharing or email.

In my mind, Revera stand out in terms of maturity. From move and migrate through to some sophisticated tool sets they seem to be the local favourite with my sources telling me that the line to get in, particularly since the Gen-i ReadyCloud product was discontinued, is long. Those boys have enough work to sustain that business model for years, well, at least until someone else lands in the country.

Datacom on the other hand have the majority outsourced contract base captured in Government. At one stage, a year or two ago, they were migrating an agency a week over to their services. Their Cloud product is strong though their outsource product is stronger. Almost in consolidation mode (well that’s another rumour) Datacom are still collecting a share of agencies on IaaS, but dare I say it, it doesn’t feel like their core business. OK, so I might be wrong there. You can correct me.

That leaves IBM that has a minor share of the IaaS work, quite minor, and has been trying to land an outsource government contract for years without success. There are reasons for that, most of which I think are a culture clash between Kiwis and IBM. But that;s a different conversation.

Regardless the IBM Cloud product is good. Better, it’s using IBM’s Cloud back end technology and thinking which has advanced significantly in the past twelve months. Their datacentres are good. Their gear is good, Their portal is good. They just need some customers.

So if it was my call, I’d be placing IBM at $12.50 on the outside. I could almost guarantee that I’ll get a competitive price, very competitive I would have thought. WIth a Cloud built on world class uber-tech (these guys are currently Amazon’s largest threat), and no queue, it makes a good proposition. IBM don’t do desperate, but they do aggressive pricing to gain market, and there is another advantage. I’ve met the team as well, not that recently, and while one or two seem to be the typical IBM carrot in certain places breed, the vast majority are quite passionate and down to earth. They’ve also, for a long time, been working with local NZ ICT companies to build some capability around management.

If I was looking for a good deal, a lot of attention, no queues, and a long term partner just ready to be a partner, I think they’d be a good horse.

What would be better for everyone is that the IaaS construct as it stands at the moment, with only Datacom, Revera, and IBM, got deconstructed in the same way that consulting has just been. We are seeing real Cloud players come through in the SMB space that can fill gaps that these enterprise boys just can’t. We need to get them onto the list quickly in order to unlock a bunch of services that the DIA Three can’t provide services for.

We also need that 729 page contract of DIA to be thrown out. That ain’t Cloud. That’s old school. Time for an overhaul to start unlocking the ease in which the government CIO and CTO can get access to a wide range of varied Cloud services instead of this legal, commercial, contractual construct that was great when it was first built, but is looking distinctly tired now.

You see the value is in the Cloud, NZ based, not a central government AoG contract. Open it up. Don’t believe me? OK, so what about SaaS? The DIA construct doesn’t allow it, and in three years, that’s where the activity and benefit will be.

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