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CenturyLink’s Managed Services and Solutions Overview

By March 17, 2017 No Comments

The March 14th Telarus Tuesday call brought Jeremy Wood from CenturyLink to give us an overview of the new Circuit Monitoring Dashboard. The entire recording can be found here.

Positioned for Growth

Something everyone can understand is the tremendous growth within the cloud market. At one hundred forty-six billion dollars this year, the cloud market is growing at a rate we’ve never seen before. The growth will only continue; we expect the cloud market to grow to two hundred thirty-six billion dollars by 2020, that is a 22 percent compound annual growth rate. What this means is if we are not having a conversation with our customers about cloud, somebody else is. Thirty-two billion dollars is just infrastructure and platform cloud, and when we discuss that we typically have to also talk about public cloud, private cloud and all the different pieces of cloud. By 2020, we expect 85 percent of enterprises to commit a multi-cloud architecture model.

Cloud Application Manager

Cloud Application Manager is a platform that can help you manage any infrastructure, cloud, and application. The platform’s features which include Application Lifecycle Management, Managed Services Everywhere, and the deployment of Azure Cloud will help you manage any infrastructure from a single interface.

With Application Lifecycle Management you can manage applications from start to finish, scale, schedule deployments, update, terminate workloads, and automate migration across environments to any cloud to best suit business needs. You can also utilize continuous auto-discovery of available resources seamlessly and in any infrastructure on a single platform. Let’s discuss what application lifecycle management offers:

Self-Service Application Catalog
  • Cloud Application Manager’s intuitive portal allows users to self-serve reusable infrastructure, applications and charts.
  • Components can be deployed based on pre-set IT policies.
Authentication
  • Federated access control, user management and permission definition of an infrastructure provide visibility and auditing capabilities.

Orchestration
  • Customers define applications with infrastructure provisioned at the time of deployment.
  • A wide range of inherent automation protocols enables flexibility across heterogeneous environments.
Admin & Reporting
  • Extensive administration rules promote IT governance for the delivery of services as well as managing users, namespace, templates, and resources.
  • Real-time dashboard for viewing containers, applications, resources, user activity and clusters in use.
Auto Discovery
  • Discover cloud instances already running in other environments, such as other public cloud platforms.

As mentioned previously Managed Services Anywhere is another feature that is part of the Cloud Application Manager platform. Having CenturyLink manage mission-critical workloads and infrastructure enables customers to focus on their core business. Certified experts at CenturyLink can monitor and operate system patches and updates on any hybrid instance.

What does the Managed Services Anywhere feature have to offer?

Monitoring
  • OS and Application level monitoring including proactive and reactive support.
  • Reduce errors and enhance security
  • Leverage experts to monitor the environment, freeing you to focus on your core business needs
Configuration & Access Management
  • CenturyLink takes full responsibility for user policies, administration and password management enforcement.
  • CenturyLink confirms the initial install and basic functionality using an OS image built on vendor-recommended best-practices and years of industry experience.
  • Managed instances initiate automation processes to update the OS to meet standards and requirements defined by the customer.
Patching & Updates
  • Available support for all critical and vendor-recommended patches — only OS vendor-recommended patches are installed.
  • Customers have full control to define scheduled patching cycles.
  • Automated systems track change requests, perform patch management and provide detailed reports.
Vendor & Change Management
  • CenturyLink maintains ownership and management responsibility for the customer’s underlying VM and OS.
  • The customer is freed from managing daily OS-level functions, SPLAs and licenses for Linux and Windows OSs.
  • CenturyLink takes full responsibility of the license, regardless of where the instance lives.
  • Transparency and Compliance: CenturyLink performs changes for the customer on defined instances and tracks all the changes for auditing purposes.

The third main feature is Cloud Optimization, which reduces overhead cost via automation and gives customers a competitive advantage through single bill consolidation. Enables procurement and management of Azure cloud instances alongside CenturyLink Cloud services, all from a single platform.

Consolidated Billing and Account Management
  • Auto-discover pre-existing instance of Microsoft Azure subscriptions.
  • Report on CenturyLink Cloud services, Azure Classic, ARM and Azure Stack.
  • Cloud Application Manager will also show costs for non-VM resources.
  • With the Cloud Edition, pay for only what you need: per hour, per service.
Purchase Microsoft Azure Directly
  • Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine Scale Sets and Virtual Networking.
  • Storage: blog, file, and disk.
  • Alternatively, use Cloud Application Manager to manage pre-existing Azure instances.
Automated Deployment
  • Automate Azure deployments to reduce complexity and improve delivery time.
  • Natively deploy Azure virtual machine, web and work roles from Cloud Application Manager via API.

What are Managed Services?

You might be wondering what managed services are and how this works in the data center. Below is a checklist of what is in CenturyLink’s wheelhouse from a managed services perspective.

centurylink and telarus master agent

Through CenturyLink’s managed services teams, they can do any of these and more.

Why Would We Sell Managed Services?

CenturyLink Managed Services secure and optimize your network, applications, and infrastructure so you can compete at the speed of business.

Extensive Portfolio

  • Single source, turnkey managed services provider offering end-to-end solutions
  • Experienced and accountable teams who thrive in IT complexity
  • 24×7 follow-the-sun customer support simplifies IT management

Flexible & Agile Delivery Models

  • We build for scale, managing services across more than 60 global data centers
  • Certified experts improve agility by securing networks, infrastructure, and application environments
  • Better financial models and controls help track budgets and predict IT costs

Increased Business Performance

  • Keep pace with global competition with scalable IT initiatives
  • Collaborative partnership for bimodal IT and digital transformation initiatives
  • With simplified management and costs, businesses can focus on market expansion, improved customer experience, and new business opportunities

CCA Managed Services Engagement Model

Take a look above at CenturyLink’s new engagement model which is built around Managed Services. If you envision yourself as the partner or partner owner, when you find an opportunity you will bring that to your T-CAs, at that point if it is a transactional opportunity your T-CAs point of contact will help you with an engineering quote and close that deal as fast as possible. The goal is to keep that moving along, so they can recognize the revenue. If the opportunity through a discussion with your T-CAs turns out to be more complex, a managed services specialist will be brought in. The managed services specialist will then begin to engage the resources that are listed on the right-hand side of the chart above.

What is important for you to realize is you have a single point of contact in your T-CAs, and you also have resources that potentially were not there in the past. The resources include a hybrid IT specialists whose job is to help sell the private or public cloud offerings, colocation specialists who present benefits of CTL colocation offerings. Solutions architects are also available who handle complex workloads involving multiple solutions and products, and finally, CenturyLink also has client engagement managers who can uncover additional partner and customer needs.

The model below also shows customers that CenturyLink’s platform can accommodate all of the customer’s application needs. The key point being that CenturyLink’s portfolio is capable of handling applications, and ultimately that they are agnostic about where that application goes. CenturyLink wants to have a consultative approach, so the application is placed in the appropriate platform and works efficiently.

Call To Action

CenturyLink does not expect everyone to be a cloud or CenturyLink portfolio expert, but they do want you to start engaging in those conversations with your customers and their team. We will leave you with a few tips that will help you:

  1. Don’t get uptight about the hybrid IT message, learn it and understand it. It’s the future, and the future is now.
  2. Sellers who embrace hosting, cloud, and colocation have more success (and make more money).
  3. Engage the Overlay Support Teams to help you close more deals.
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