“CBS assessed the market, selecting a visionary new product that it could see was right for its customers before Pure was even in Australia.”
Pure Storage Channel Director, Adam Rosham
The best business partnerships drive innovation. Smart collaborations help each partner pivot and adapt to today’s rapidly changing business environment, driving greater productivity gains and creating game-changing technologies for customers and companies alike.
In a good partnership, both businesses gain, emerging from the relationship better than they were before. And that’s exactly what’s happened with the partnership between Canon Business Services ANZ (CBS) and Pure Storage.
In 2013, CBS (formerly Harbour IT) was preparing a robust Private Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform for market, going through a stepped iteration and transformation process of its Private Cloud - CloudMetro product — the first of its kind in the Australian market.
“We were looking to the future, deciding where we would take the platform and how we’d innovate to take it to market with a strong position and competitive advantage,” explains Ricki Gavazis, CBS Head of Cloud.
Pure Storage was relatively new to the Australian market as a next-generation storage vendor and yet to launch in Australia. But CBS liked that Pure did things differently, rethinking the business impact of legacy storage, and decided to seed Pure Storage as a new and disruptive supporting storage vendor into its Private Cloud - CloudMetro platform transformation strategy.
“From the outset, CBS was a forward-looking partner in how it wanted CloudMetro to evolve and support future client needs,” adds Adam Rosham, Channel Director, Pure Storage Australia and New Zealand.
Pure Storage Channel Director, Adam Rosham
CBS became one of its first Australian customers, and one of its first Australian resellers.
“We were looking to deliver a significant uplift in performance across the entire platform to offer our end customers a much higher performing Private Cloud platform,” Ricki says. “Pure Storage brought a level of performance and resilience into our platform very rapidly.”
Ten years on, the two companies continue to innovate, grow and thrive together.
The yardstick of a highly collaborative partnership is an ability to evolve together in symbiosis, creating solutions that are of great value for all parties, especially end-users.
CBS and Pure Storage’s product offerings have undergone multiple iterations over the past decade, resulting in better scale capacity increases and much higher resilience for both organisations.
“We quickly adopted Pure Storage’s Active Cluster technology to deliver a true Active/Active Private Cloud platform across dual Australian data centres,” Ricki explains. “That was a pretty significant step for us because, at that point, there was no other Private Cloud provider in the country offering this type of resilience.”
With Pure Storage evolving with CBS to deliver its overarching transformation strategy, end customers gain access to advanced new features and the latest functionalities, contributing to CloudMetro’s success in the Australian marketplace.
For example, leveraging Pure Storage’s Active Cluster technology gave CBS customers higher availability, allowing platform uptime commitments of 99.999%.
Australian developer of award-winning business management and analytics solutions, Pronto knows that performance counts for customers – down to the millisecond. It provides its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software – Pronto Xi – to over 1,800 customers in Australia and abroad.
“For Pronto, availability is number one. You don’t get forgiven for two minutes’ worth of downtime. No one wants to say, ‘Sorry, I can’t sell you that right now because our system is down’,” says Chris Dickinson, Pronto Cloud General Manager. “That could mean a huge revenue loss for our customers.”
Despite using very reputable storage solutions, Pronto reached a point where system availability was lagging. Inline and firmware upgrades were falling over, and major outages were too common. With this in mind, Pronto undertook a transformation to improve the storage layer performance of its infrastructure in partnership with CBS and Pure Storage.
“Pronto needed partners who truly understood the risks of not having fully reliable uptime,” Chris explains. “We were ready to commit after a proof of concept that narrowed the solution down to a particular stack.”
Pronto Cloud General Manager, Chris Dickinson
Since implementing Pure Storage, system performance has increased even as Pronto also began offering customers an increased level of encryption. The system used to respond in around 60 milliseconds without encryption switched off, or 80 - 90 seconds if it was. Today, this number has dropped to around 0.23 milliseconds with encryption switched on in the storage layer.
“Having the encryption switched on for all of our storage is very important as it ties in with our key strategic pillar around trust. Previously we couldn’t switch that on in the storage layer because it had a performance impact,” says Chris.
The result is a significant reduction in data centre costs. While the previous storage solution involved close to 30 units and took up around 3 - 4 storage racks, the new solution occupies 6 units and around three-quarters of a rack. This reduction in footprint also came with a significant reduction of around two-thirds in the business’s energy costs and carbon footprint relating to its storage.
“By compressing our overall footprint, we’ve achieved massive savings — around $3,000 a month. We’ve got fewer units to power and cool, and the units themselves are far more energy-efficient. That’s great for cost and the environment,” Chris explains.
Beyond the reliability of its application performance, Pronto finds that the implementation of Pure Storage has made an enormous difference by allowing his team to focus their attention on solving other problems.
“Now we know that when we have a problem, we don’t even need to look at the storage so that we can focus our attention quickly. That means that we can turn around issues for our customers more rapidly,” he adds.
“A good, trusted vendor and partner like CBS and Pure Storage also help me in my decision-making and buying process by taking away the pain of investigating and evaluating new technology. We trusted CBS very quickly because we could tell they’re smart about what they sell, which has really strengthened our partnership. Our relationship with them is invaluable.”
As in all great partnerships, CBS and Pure Storage both benefit from the arrangement.
It creates a feedback loop that helps Pure Storage keep innovative — CBS sits on Pure Storage’s global Executive Council, which drives how it develops its next generation of products.
And it helps minimise CBS’ overheads, reducing the number of people required to keep the technology maintained, up to date and in good health.
“We’ve now gone through several iterations of leveraging Pure Storage, decreasing costs while boosting data centre and management efficiencies,” Ricki explains.
While CBS has significantly increased its storage capacity within the platform upon first launch (2013)—a capacity increase of over 50 times—the technology has allowed CBS to grow its capacity significantly while reducing its datacentre footprint and operational costs.
And that means its data centre hosting and operational costs have gone down, too, over the last ten years.
“Pure’s products are simple but very feature-rich. The technology allows for a stable product that can be trusted and relied on, allowing us to pass on additional value and confidence to our customers,” says Ricki.
“The partnership has grown over the last ten years to the extent that as an Elite Partner in Australia, CBS has become a key member of the Pure Storage global advisory council. CBS has achieved the highest levels of Pure accreditation and consequently capability across the entire business lifecycle,” Adam adds. “From design and architecture to implementation and ultimately delivery & support, CBS & Pure are providing solutions to customers in the region.”
Partnerships are one of the most effective ways organisations can drive innovation and adapt to today’s changing tech landscape. It’s always about trust, respect, and reciprocity, and, when done well, the results speak for themselves — as CBS and Pure Storage can attest.
For more information on how CBS and Pure Storage can assist your business, contact us today.