Buckle up as we go heavy into Containers and Advanced Cloud with Dan Beeler and Alex Hughes from Compunet. On today’s track titled Three ways to help your customers modernize with Kubernetes, we uncover that it isn’t always about the technology, it’s about the Application and the business problems we’re solving for. You’ll hear how Dan never quite made it into Alice in Chains, but he got closer than you might know and somehow ended up in Biz Dev and Engineering. There’s lots to unpack here and you won’t want to miss a minute of it!
Josh Lupresto (00:00):
Welcome to the podcast that is designed to fuel your success in selling technology solutions. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP of Sales engineering, at Telarus. And this is Next Level BizTech. Everybody. Welcome back. We are here to wrap up one of our fun cloud tracks. We’re talking about Kubernetes, we’re talking about helping customers. And to do that, we had to bring on some really smart partners. Today we got our good friends at Compunet joining us, like to welcome ’em on. Dan Beeler. Welcome on, sir. Hi.
Dan Beeler (02:08):
Thank you. And where are those smart partners? Are they gonna show up soon?
Josh Lupresto (02:11):
Hey, hey, I’m, I’m, I’m looking right at ’em, man. I won’t say, I won’t say which ones they are. Alex Hughes, welcome on as well, my friend.
Alex Hughes (02:18):
Thanks for having me,
Josh Lupresto (02:20):
Guys. I, I always like to kick this off with learning a little bit about people that I know, but maybe you got some cool stuff in your background that we don’t know. And I think it’s, it’s fun to see how people come into this space. Some people stumble in and this, this world sucks us in others you know, they, they’ve set out and went to school and this was their destiny. So, Dan, I’m gonna, I’m gonna ask you first, tell me your story. Is it a straight and narrow path into tech? Is it windy? What is it?
Dan Beeler (02:45):
Oh, yeah. It’s windy as I assume many people’s are. But you know, I grew up in the Seattle, Washington area. Really thought I wanted to be a rockstar, like so many people around the area Did, you know, it’s the, the kind of the, the you know, cradle of grunge, if you will. That did not happen. Come to find out I didn’t have any musical talent. But my big claim to fame there is that I did go to school with Lane Staley of Alison Chains. He was just younger than me in high school. So that’s, that’s how far I made it in that that led to short career in construction. I really enjoyed construction, framing houses and, and other buildings. But what I realized real quickly with that was, is that winners were horrible <laugh>.
Dan Beeler (03:25):
So that led me to try to find something that maybe a little bit more on the professional side. It led me into technology first in sales. Then from there finding that I kind of had a technical aptitude. So I started heading to kind of towards the pre-sales arena. And that ultimately led me into engineering kind of at the time when IP phone systems were starting to take off. And I really set my sights on Cisco, understanding Cisco IP telephony and, and the like, unified communications. When I came to Compunet, that was about 17 years ago when I came in as a route switch and voice engineer. And then from there moved into some some, some other things that we’ll talk about, I’m sure here in a minute.
Josh Lupresto (04:06):
Love it. From Alison Chains to Cisco. All right, Alex top that man. What’s your story?
Alex Hughes (04:11):
Oh, man, I don’t have any claims of fame with any name dropping here. Mine my story’s a little bit more direct into it. I, I kind of started in at a law firm actually thinking, Hey, maybe I’d be interested in going to law school. It was, you know, in school at the time, figured it was a good, good gig to kind of be at a help desk and kind of learn how a law firm works. And what I learned is that I didn’t want to be a lawyer after all. And so <laugh>, I, I stuck with the technology. Kind of got to a point where I felt like I, I knew that specific environment really well and, and had a hunger for, you know, learning how, what, what else can you do in the IT world? And so I went and worked for a managed service provider, and for better or worse, those are, that’s the type of environment where you’re, you’re always learning, you always are trying new things, and it’s a little bit, little bit crazy to, to stay, you know, afloat with so many customers thinking they’re the most important and, and trying to keep up with, you know, all of their demands.
Alex Hughes (05:07):
But I, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve, I’ve loved being in the kind of managed services and then kind of moved into more of the con consulting space where I have a new problem to handle every day, and I’m learning new technologies all the time and get to talk with people about things that most of the people in my family think are made up like Kubernetes. So
Josh Lupresto (05:26):
<Laugh>, isn’t that the truth? Oh my gosh. That’s its own podcast explaining to our families what we do. I love, for sure. And, and, and then your official title at Compunet, Alex.
Alex Hughes (05:36):
So, I am a solutions architect. I am kind of in our, the technology domain of public cloud and then application architecture. So that kind of covers primarily Azure is, is kind of where we, we do a lot of our implementation work, but it covers all of the public, you know, hyperscaler clouds and then into the world of DevOps, which means whatever you’d like it to mean,
Josh Lupresto (05:57):
<Laugh>. Isn’t that the truth? Love it. All right. Beeler a little bit on your role, and then I would actually love for you to describe anybody maybe not familiar with Compunet who and what Compunet is.
Dan Beeler (06:08):
Sure, yeah. So let me start with that. And then I’ll move into my role. So Compunet got started way back in 1998. I’ve been here for 17 years. We kind of came into the world as a Cisco value added reseller, hence why I ended up in a the, with the spot I did when I started. But Comp Net has really morphed over the years. And so now we still are a value added reseller, but you’re seeing a lot more of our customers actually asking us for, you know, as a service X as a service. And we are certainly willing to help with that. And then our, our engineers we really have a whole layer now officially as architects and and, and senior level engineering principal engineers as well. So we really do consult, like Alex was just mentioning there quite a bit now with customers on the front end before they make decisions. So that’s been great. My role at Compunet today is really stemmed out of business development. I ran our data center practice for about nine years. But the role as it sits today, I’m called the Director of strategic partnerships. And it aligns exactly to what Alex said, which is, that’s, that’s in the tech domain of public cloud and application architecture.
Josh Lupresto (07:22):
Love it. Good stuff. I know you’ve seen a lot, especially in that 17 years, and yeah, you guys have evolved a ton. It’s been awesome to see. Alright, so, so Dan, talk to me about you know, over these past 5, 10, 15 years, just some changes that you’ve seen in the marketplace with regard to cloud infrastructure and just infrastructure in general and, and kind of where it’s going with regard as we kind of start to talk about modernization here.
Dan Beeler (07:45):
Yeah, sure. Yeah. You know, in fact to that point, we’ve, we’ve structured and formalized a team that Alex, a part of, Alex is a part of a virtual team called the application architecture team. That team consists of software architects, cloud architects, such as Alex, and then app security focused architects as well. And then that’s how we actually go to market to start helping customers you know, target what applications they’re actually looking to modernize and why. So, so if that tells you anything about, you know, where we’ve come over the years to now, that’s what we see as a, a differentiator for us and, and something that customers are actually really asking for. So if that’s where it is now, you know, if you, if I just look back even five years, one thing I’ve seen is a real willingness of customers now to look at cloud as a, as a solution, and maybe even as a first solution.
Dan Beeler (08:38):
I can tell you this though, that for the customers that, you know, come to us and say, Hey, we’re going all in on cloud we’ve been given a date and we’re gonna completely exit our data centers and we’re gonna be completely cloud by X date, we will actually tr with everything we can try to help that customer take their foot off the gas on that a little bit and start looking at specific applications and which ones might make sense to put in the public cloud and which ones might make sense to leave on-prem and kind of maybe really start and really kind of, you know, dig into that hybrid infrastructure that it certainly much more palatable for most of our customers.
Josh Lupresto (09:13):
Yeah, and I mean, you bring up a good point. I mean, even, even just looking back five years, right? Maybe even 10 years e early on it was just, Hey, I need an engineer to help me build this thing. And now you’re into this layer and these different divisions and segmentations. It’s crazy to think how advanced it is, but it is such a value add because remember, the customers would always just say, yeah, no, no, I got this. I I don’t need a lot of help, right? And now they’re just going, please help me. I don’t even have the people that I had two years ago here anymore.
Dan Beeler (09:39):
Yeah. And, and, and that may be, you know, a little bit to the fact that technology moves very, very quickly. And, you know, I know that the, the core, you know, the crux of this conversation is around containers and Kubernetes, and that is one where, you know, customers know it’s there. They, they know it’s that most of ’em are even asking us, tell us why we should do this. You know, like, we’re hearing all about it, you know, why, why should we as like a standard enterprise business do this? So I mean, we’re, we’re consulting all of that on the front end as well. So,
Josh Lupresto (10:08):
Well, let’s talk about that. You know, there the, we, we like to talk about objections and overcoming objections and you know, back in the days of, of it was one of my favorite pieces of training. Cause we needed it so much when I was selling door to door vacuums because I was really surprised to find that nobody wants to buy a $3,000 vacuum, but through this lovely binder we know the OB objections they’re gonna have. So let’s talk about objections for a second. What is, when you’re, when you’re on that front end consulting, Dan, with, with these customers, what is their first avoidance or their first reason to wanna avoid this? And then how do you talk through that?
Dan Beeler (10:40):
Yeah I mean, I think the biggest one that comes to mind is just lack of full understanding on what the solution’s really supposed to do for them. And, and, and keep in mind, you know, we comp net’s a little unique in the fact that we have 30 sellers across we all, most all western states. And we have about 145 engineers. And so that leaves, you know, and those are customer facing engineers in specific IT domains. And so with that, we, we kind of take an engineering led approach and to bolster that we don’t actually have quotas for our AEs. And so what that does is it allows us to have more of a natural flowing conversation about what a customer’s actually trying to get done, because sometimes we’ll hear, yeah you know, so-and-so really wants to talk about containers and Kubernetes, and we go in and we find out, well, no, that actually wasn’t the case.
Dan Beeler (11:30):
What they had was an application that you know, IBM said their Xer was gonna go end of life, and now they’re trying to figure out where they’re gonna keep running that. You know, so sometimes it’s like that, but it as, when you take that consulting approach, you can kind of really get down to what the actual needs are. And then you’re not really working so much on the objection, because I don’t have an agenda. My agenda is to help them get where they’re going. And that’s a much better way to, I think, to, you know, to kind of approach any of these kind of conversations. So hopefully, I know that doesn’t quite answer your question, but that is, that’s where things,
Josh Lupresto (12:03):
It’s fair, right? I think the biggest thing that people want to hear is that, Hey, I’m not alone. And other people are struggling with this too. And I think that’s what you guys do, a really good job of helping them through that.
Dan Beeler (12:13):
Well, as we get into Alex here, you’re gonna, you’re gonna hear, we have plenty of customers, you know modernizing applications, taking applications into microservices, using containers, and all the reasons, you know, for that are legit. And, and he’s working on that stuff all the time. So you’ll get a different perspective here in just a second.
Josh Lupresto (12:28):
<Laugh>. All right. So with that, Alex, let’s, let’s jump to you here. Before we get into kind of the meat of this and what the title of this track is, from your perspective, I always love to hear everybody learns different, everybody keeps pace with innovation different. So with your role kind of as that lead architect, how are you out there keeping pace from an innovation perspective? What products, where’s Kubernetes fit? What works in Azure? What’s an aws? Things like that.
Alex Hughes (12:50):
That’s one of the things that I like most about my job is that, you know, a lot of the customers that I’m working with, you know, the CIS admins or the infrastructure directors, or now even more so into these teams that are developers, and they have a day job of keeping their applications up and running, and they have to make sure that their business objectives are being met and that they’re, you know, doing right by their organization. And so it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s changing in Azure. I mean, every week there’s, there’s a whole, you know, feed of changes that are happening in just Azure, and then you later on a W S and G C P, and then, you know, the whole world of, of DevOps. It’s a lot for somebody to, to try to keep up. And so that’s why I, I get to have the fun job of, of doing my best to keep up with all those innovations. And then coming to the customers with, you know, kind of a distilled list. You know, here’s, here’s the things that would apply to your organization, here’s where you know, Kubernetes can help your organization specifically and kind of tune out a little bit of the noise and explain, you know, here’s, here’s a new functionality that exists in public cloud and how it could, you know, benefit your business specifically.
Josh Lupresto (13:55):
So do you find it best to, to pay attention to the digests of features and products that are coming out? Or are you encouraging some of these kind of self-paced, you know, the Udemy, the the cloud gurus, those kind of things. Any, any recommendations there?
Alex Hughes (14:10):
Definitely. I, I think it’s similar to, like you just said at the top, everyone kind of learns differently. And so I, I actually really like digging into the documentation of, of specific, you know technologies. And that kind of helps me by looking through a, you know, a quick start guide and looking through here’s all the different components and features. It kind of helps me to place it in my mind as far as what is this, you know, hoping to accomplish for a customer. Others are, you know, more driven by, you know, watching a video of somebody kind of explaining with examples, you know, here’s, here’s a, you know, hello world example, and then here’s an example for a, a fake customer, you know, for example, the example organization. And so, you know, I, I try to keep up with things like YouTube videos that kind of explain, here’s, here’s the latest and greatest coming out of the public clouds podcasts are another excellent avenue can you kind of have on the background and kind of be listening for, you know, the new, you know, updates and improvements that might apply to, you know, my own workloads or to my customers workloads.
Alex Hughes (15:11):
And so yeah, podcasts YouTube videos and, and then documentation are, are my turn turning points. And then trying to get my hands dirty. I think that’s really where you really get the, the real experience is, is actually going and trying to build out something. And then you really quickly find out where you don’t have, you didn’t have a full understanding. When, when something just stops working and you don’t know where to even look to, to start troubleshooting you realize, okay, I need to go back to the basics and really understand the fundamentals.
Josh Lupresto (15:40):
Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, that,
Alex Hughes (15:42):
That gives us a lot of credibility with customers too, at that point right there
Josh Lupresto (15:45):
To say, I’ve done this, I’ve gone through that. I, I know this is gonna break right here. I know the instructions say that this should work. It’s not gonna work. It’s not gonna write here. This database isn’t gonna connect to this. Yeah, you, you can’t, I mean, you can’t, you can’t make that up, right, <laugh>, it’s just, that’s gold.
Alex Hughes (15:59):
Absolutely. And that’s, to Dan’s point, that’s exactly what, what our role is, is to help organizations kind of avoid making the same pitfalls that everybody else has made. You know, let’s learn from those mistakes and let’s help you kind of skip past those and have a little bit more confidence as you’re deploying into the cloud, for example.
Josh Lupresto (16:18):
All right. So, so this is an advanced topic, right? Th there’s a, let’s say there’s a little bit of a prerequisite for what we’re gonna talk about for anybody that’s out there listening to this, right? I think people understand, Hey, I put my application on a piece of hardware, that piece of hardware, it’s dedicated to that you know, that’s, that’s that applications and then virtualization comes in, right? And it allows us to do some creative things, whether that’s on prem, cloud, wherever. So, so before we get into these, the, you know, the three ways that Kubernetes helps you know, helps customers modernize Alex breakdown, in your opinion, what do you think the, these, you know, first how do we get to Kubernetes? Why is it here? And then let’s get into what are some of those reasons of how it helps?
Alex Hughes (17:01):
Sure. I’m actually gonna take maybe a, maybe a different approach than maybe, you know, most infrastructure minded people would take cuz, or maybe I’ll just abbreviate it and say, you know, we, we, we know that there’s hardware and then there’s virtualization. That’s kind of the, the VM side of things. And then, you know, we could talk about how containers live kind of above that, or abstract it even further. But kind of to take a different approach to it, you know, why containers from a business or a developer standpoint and I think that that’s maybe even more interesting is not, you know, how exactly does it work with, you know, being able to use, you know, the same hardware for more things. But, you know, developers, they, they have this application, they have this code that they wanna run and it seems to work great on their computer, but then they go and deploy it somewhere else or to a production environment and, and you know, versions are different or the frameworks haven’t been updated yet, or, you know, it put in a new policy somewhere, and now it’s you know, breaking something.
Alex Hughes (17:59):
And so that, that’s a core problem that a lot of developers and IT teams build some friction on is, you know, kind of that shrug, Hey, it works on my computer, I don’t know what your problem is. And so containers is a way that, that can kind of help solve that by creating a standardized, you know, container, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, the image that people have in their mind is of like a shipping container on a giant, you know, ship across, across the ocean. They all look the same, they have very different things inside, but because of that standardized, you know, size and format we can plug a whole bunch of them in on the same, you know barge or whatever. And so the, the benefits that come from containers are being able to package all of those dependencies and, you know, all of the, you know, variability and kind of put all of those pieces in one piece that, you know, it’s gonna run the same on my Dove machine, it’s gonna run the same in my testing environment, it’s gonna run the same in a server on-prem, and it’s gonna run the same in Azure or AWS or something of that nature.
Alex Hughes (19:00):
And so it, it allows developers to kind of build that, that confidence that it’s going to run the same in, in all those scenarios.
Josh Lupresto (19:08):
So do you think then, I, I love your approach, cuz Yeah, we don’t, I I don’t usually get that approach. I love hearing a different one. Do you think then, is it, is it more about developers love to develop on the local machine and then move it out and, and, and maybe it’s less about isolation and production or minimizing risk for breakage? What are your thoughts there?
Alex Hughes (19:28):
I think that comes into it for sure. I, I mean that’s it is, it is a little bit of kind of enabling more of a, of a DevOps or agile approach of being able to you know, decompose your applications a little bit. And rather than having one monolith that sits on a server, and the only way to, you know, handle more load is to scale it up and make a bigger and bigger server we can kind of start taking the different pieces of an application and, you know, assign different amounts of capacity to them. And so, you know, if I have an application, and this is a really heavy piece of it, I can have 15 copies of replicas of that piece. And then for, you know, the, the piece over here that does something much more lightweight I can kind of optimize and spread that load out a little bit better and be able to, you know, really you know, make the most of my investment in the infrastructure and in the hardware. And then also be able to have, you know, the ability to fine tune and, and use, use the capacity where it’s most needed.
Josh Lupresto (20:28):
Okay. So I mean, the, the topic here we’re talking about is the ways that Kubernetes helps your customers, but I, I, I wanna put a bow on what you just mentioned. If, if I go back and I say, all right, I’ve, I’ve moved my applications, I’ve got some on-prem still, I’ve got some here in in cloud, I’m all proud of myself because I’ve, I’ve created an auto scaling group in Azure, in aws, and it scales up, it scales down, it’s cost efficient. I think that’s enough. But then Kubernetes comes along and, and shows all these benefits. So if we just kind of boil back down maybe some of the things that we already mentioned, put a bow on this topic, what are you thinking then, and, and the customers that you talk to, the three benefits, top three benefits they still get out of modernizing even further to containers?
Alex Hughes (21:13):
Sure. Yeah. I think we’ll take it. You know, we, so there’s containers, right? We have this now portable code. It’s, it’s much more flexible. I can put it wherever I want and run it. But now we’ve actually added a little bit, a bit of complexity as well, versus having everything, you know, self-contained in a, in a monolithic application. Now we have all of these containers and we have to make sure not only that they’re all running, but that they are able to communicate with each other and that we are, you know, scaling them appropriately. And so that’s where, you know, an orchestration layer like Kubernetes really comes in and provides some benefits as far as you know, doing the auto scaling for us, doing the scheduling, and then doing some, you know, amount of self-healing. And those, those probably all sound really great to, you know, to the, the SREs and the IT admins and, and the people that are charged with making sure the application is up is having a tool available to them to help make sure that it’s running all the time and that it’s running consistently.
Alex Hughes (22:10):
And that’s, that’s really the magic of Kubernetes is that it takes these, these containers and then it adds this additional layer. And really the, the, the magic of Kubernetes is that it’s this API driven approach. And so not only is it automation as far as, you know, have, have this many pods or, or containers running here and make sure that they can talk to each other, but it also can, you know, have a unified a p i to be able to manage things like load balancers or be able to manage logging and, and monitoring and performance metrics and have kind of a, a unified approach. And so that they can use it for all of their infrastructure and be able to get those benefits of, you know, being able to say, this is my desired state. I need to have this many containers running, and they need to be talking to these other services. And if something breaks, then it will just fix it. It’ll make sure that it’s always kind of matching your desired state.
Josh Lupresto (23:03):
Love it automatically. That’s how it should be. Yeah. All right. Now we gotta talk about deals here. So walk me through Alex and don’t worry, be there. We’re gonna come back to you in just a second. Yep. No problem. Wa walk me through Alex. I, I think an interesting thing to see that, that we see from an engineering perspective in deals is they don’t finish the same way that they started. And, and I love that because that’s our job, is to uncover what the customer really needs, right? So, so walk me through maybe a, a an engagement that you came into where maybe the customer thought they needed this, but they ultimately needed something completely different. You know, what did they have versus what did they have then after the fact? And, and how did it help?
Alex Hughes (23:43):
Sure. the one that comes to mind is, is a, a customer that was running a, it was kind of a, a backend batch process each night that helped them to optimize, you know, here we have all of these the hospitality industry, so we have all these reservations. How do we optimize these to make sure that we’re, you know, using the most of our capacity and giving people, you know, their, their desired, you know you know, they, they asked for, you know, this specific spot in, in an environment, or they want these amenities, and how do we make sure that we’re kind of organizing them properly? And so they, they had worked with an open source software and created a container that would, you know, take in data, then it would, you know, crunch the numbers and figure out the most optimal solution and spit out, you know, here’s how you should reorganize these, these reservations.
Alex Hughes (24:31):
And so they started with a container and they realized pretty quickly that, you know, the, the hardware that they had OnPrem that they, that they needed more, more beef, right? They needed to be able to do more. And so rather than, you know, going and, and trying to forecast and figure out, okay, how much, you know, capacity are we going to need? Let’s look to the cloud, let’s figure out, you know, how can we use this magic agility and scalability and elasticity of the cloud for this specific use case? And so they came to us looking for help scaling, and we kind of started down the path of looking at functions as a service. But because of this specific workload, it was kind of atypical in the sense that it, it needed to run for, it would just run for as long as it needed.
Alex Hughes (25:14):
And we, you know, didn’t really, there wasn’t like a, an easy way to forecast exactly, or, or to be able to say, it’s gonna take this long. And so we, we had to kind of pivot and figure out a way of how do we take any number of these requests that are coming in and be able to scale them to a point where they can do their work and then go away. And so that was, that was kind of the problem that needed to be solved. And we, we architected a solution where using a Kubernetes cluster and then using a, a technology called keya Kubernetes event driven auto scaling. The idea is that we created this this workflow where anytime that they needed to run this batch process, they could just send a payload of data. Kubernetes would see, Hey, I, I just got, you know, a hundred requests for, to process this data.
Alex Hughes (26:03):
It would go and spin up a hundred different containers to go do that work. And then once the work was done, those containers would, you know, dissolve and go back away. They were ephemeral. And so the, the real big benefit to the customer was that when they weren’t needing this, you know, capacity, they weren’t paying anything for that, that compute. But then as soon as they had a, a whole batch of processes to run the cloud would spin up and do its magic and then throw them all back away and, and go back down to kind of a, a $0 resting state. And so that was a, a great example of kind of finally being able to use that promise of the elasticity of the cloud and yeah. And yeah, make that process more scalable.
Josh Lupresto (26:43):
Love it. Good stuff. All right. Dan, I’m gonna come back to you. You know, as you’ve seen some of this modernization happen over the years and to kind of, you know, get back to what Alex has been mentioning here the last few minutes, what’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned? You know, when you’re talking about these complex technologies, infrastructure containers, and you’re in these customer chats?
Dan Beeler (27:07):
Sure. okay, so definitely, and maybe, maybe somebody’s already picked up on this from a little bit earlier, but, you know w we have been a traditional infrastructure hardware selling var, right? And so with that, with years of, of, of practice at that, it, you know, it’s very easy to come at it from that infrastructure standpoint and perspective, but it’s really not the right way to, to get to the meaningful conversation. And really what you’re after here, the right way is actually to get to the, the focus on the outcomes, the business outcomes that the customer’s looking for from their application. So if that’s the case, then you gotta get close to application owners. You have to, you know, you, you, you really have to cross that aisle and be okay talking to dev leaders and DevOps leaders and customers because trust me, anybody on that side, they know exactly what that application is doing, what it isn’t doing, what it should be doing, and where they want to go with it next.
Dan Beeler (28:06):
And that’s that. It, it, it seems like we always back into conversations around containers, Kubernetes and the light, when that makes sense. And notice Alex talked about serverless, right? So at the onset of that you know, by the time Alex got involved, he’s trying to figure out what’s the best way to handle that function of the application, you know, so that’s probably the biggest thing we’ve learned here. And I might add too, that, you know, just like with any technology, if you don’t have resources on staff, I mean, we, we’ve now invested in these types of resources like Alex like software architects so that we could do this very thing. But if you don’t have those, I mean, Telarus has got a great stable of partners that, you know, we use those partners too to this very day. I don’t, I don’t know if we need to, are we dropping names or no? Is that, are we doing that?
Josh Lupresto (28:50):
Drop ’em baby, drop ’em, <laugh>,
Dan Beeler (28:52):
I would say quest has become a very strategic partner for us because when we, you know, can only take it so far, they will take it the rest of the way, including finishing an actual you know, modernization project on the code side. So those partnerships for us are, are absolutely critical. So that’s I, I think I kind of went over the one question, but sorry. That’s
Josh Lupresto (29:15):
A beautiful answer. I was not gonna stop you at all. Great.
Alex Hughes (29:18):
If I could jump in and Yeah. And add to that you know, that that really is the goal is to kind of try to figure out what those actual business outcomes are and kind of work backwards from those, rather than trying to fit a technology, even though Kubernetes is really cool, it’s not always the right answer. Sometimes there’s, you know, it, it’s one of those tools that can do so many different things that everyone’s really excited about its capabilities. But some organizations, they just have a container that they need to run, or they just have an app that they need to run. And maybe, you know, having all of the, the dials and bells and whistles that they can tweak is not actually what they need. They really just need something more abstracted and simple, and they, they need to use something like serverless, and they need to use a tool that says, you know, here’s my code, please go run it. And don’t make me try to figure out all of the different a hundred different ways that I could architect underneath it.
Josh Lupresto (30:07):
Yeah, I, there’s a time and a place to be technical, right? I mean, one of my, I should really get royalties off this book, but I’m not there’s a book called Power Questions, which is one of the first books I ever read that taught me how to sell more effectively. And it, it just talks about the value of going into a conversation, making a bunch of assumptions of what you need to talk to your customers and your prospects about, and you just blah, you know, brain dump out on ’em, oh, this is a cool tech, this is what you need to do, this is what, blah, blah, blah. And the reality is you didn’t ever ask what they wanted and why they were doing it. And so, you know, it’s, it’s funny because you could get to the same end point, right? Maybe I get there if I just get you super excited about what Kubernetes is, and I nerd out and don’t let you talk.
Josh Lupresto (30:50):
Nobody really wants to listen that way. People wanna be talked to and they want their conversation and their, their points to be heard. So if I ask that to your guys’ point, why are we doing this? What are the struggle points? Is it about portability? Is it about, you know, and in your head, of course you’re mapping, look, I know this is a great fit, right? But I’m just gonna keep collecting, I’m gonna keep collecting and then I’m gonna just show them the technology. They don’t, they don’t care what it is. They don’t care what it’s called. They just want it to work. And, and once you do that, once they trust you of, Hey, these are my go-to guys, I’m not going anywhere else to help me. Cuz if they can solve for this, they can solve anything.
Dan Beeler (31:24):
Yeah. Yeah. The the show up and throw up tends to lead us to the quickest path to the door <laugh>. And so we try not to go that route very often.
Alex Hughes (31:33):
Yeah. Well, and, and really, you know, we’re helping a lot of our customers. It’s, it’s a, it is a journey, right? We have, it is the similar thing happened when a lot of customers would lift and shift everything they had in a data center to the cloud and then recognize, okay, I, I’m now paying more for all of this, but I’m, I’m treating it just like a data center. And so they’re not really getting the value of cloud anymore. And so, you know, some organizations would then repatriate everything back onto the data center and kind of just swing the pendulum, you know, both directions. And so we’ve recognized that, you know, with Kubernetes still, it’s, even though it’s been around a while, it’s still changing so rapidly. And we seem to have this, this chasm between, here’s a quick start and I can go and get an application running in five minutes, and then here’s, you know, the opposite end of look at this really cool dashboard, and I have, you know, thousands of apps running and really great Grafana, you know, dashboards and, and monitoring going, what, what about the in between spot?
Alex Hughes (32:27):
And that’s really where we’re trying to target our customers is, you know, they recognize they’re, they’re past the quick start. They have an application that now has more than tens of users. And so they, they realize that, you know, some of their some of the easy button stuff is no longer working, but they’re not quite to an enter full enterprise architecture. And so how do we help them through that journey of, you know, starting to apply, you know, enterprise patterns. And so using things like container containers and, and orchestration or using things like you know, service buses and message queues and some of these other, you know, patterns that will, will help them take those steps forward and so that they can continue to scale and kind of make those steps in between start point and, you know, full Kubernetes, bliss,
Josh Lupresto (33:11):
Bliss, Kubernetes bliss. So we should title that this I love that. Let’s final couple thoughts here. Dan, I’m gonna come to you first on this here. Second to last thought. If I’m a partner and I’m listening to this and maybe I’m in an adjacent area, I’m, I’m a technology advisor out there, and maybe I’ve sold CX or maybe I’ve sold network and I, I wanna get deeper into this. What’s your advice for that partner? When talking to customers?
Dan Beeler (33:41):
Yeah, I would say don’t, don’t, don’t fake it till you make it. Maybe try to go to, you know, your, your, your, your supplier options and find out who’s really good in this space and then bring them along. But, but first of all, it starts with talking to the right people. So one thing I would say right off the bat is, you know, even if you’re really good at selling CX or, you know, data center or whatever as a service and, and so because of that, you may have this hesitation to get across the aisle and talk to somebody about their application. It seems, seems scary, but it’s really not. First of all, customers that, that own those applications, they love talking about ’em. So let ’em talk, you know, let ’em let ’em tell you what’s going on with it and what their challenges are. Then, then maybe take that back you know, talk to your you know, your, your, your s rep and find out who would, who might be a good fit to go help come alongside you and, and take that conversation further. That’s what I’d say.
Josh Lupresto (34:36):
Love it. Alex, any other thoughts?
Alex Hughes (34:39):
I, I like that. I think you know, if an organization is running, running their own applications, especially custom applications, if they’re not at least considering, you know, moving into containers and modernizing, then they’re gonna be, they’re gonna be behind. And so it, we recognize that it’s not, they may not be in a spot right now. There might be some refactoring involved to get there. But now is the time to, to make sure you’re, you’re at least having those discussions and identifying whether, whether Kubernetes containers or, you know, other modern application patterns are, are, you know, if they’re ready for that.
Josh Lupresto (35:12):
Love it. All right, Alex, I’m gonna give you the final question. We’re gonna look out into the future as the ominous music plays as we look at this and, and kind of wrap up, you know, technology that’s coming out. We’re seeing all the open API or all the chatGPTstuff. Sure. Everything popping out. Where do you think this goes, right? How, how do you think that kind of technology applies as we go into more containers, more advanced into serverless, copilot comes out, what, what are your final thoughts? What are we gonna see late this year into next year? What’s it gonna look like?
Alex Hughes (35:45):
I’d say, you know, kind of maybe a, an approach is, you know, looking, looking out there at, you know, the, the CIS admins and, and the, you know, the people that have been taking care of infrastructure for infrastructure for their, their careers. You know, now’s the time when that this DevOps transition is, is really, you know, it’s been around for a while, but we’re getting to that threshold where if you’re not able to kind of keep up with the new patterns of, of using infrastructure as code and using immutable infrastructure and using containers and, you know, really relying on automation versus, you know, clicking around and, and doing things in portals now’s the point when it’s really, really important to kind of get onto that train and re-skill and, and look for opportunities to, you know, take advantage of the, the functionalities that are coming from these cloud platforms.
Alex Hughes (36:35):
But then even on-prem and, and really kind of lean into that and, and, you know, figure out how do I, you know, kind of develop this common ground with the developers and make sure that, you know, everyone’s on board with understanding how GIT works. And so that we can, you know, start contributing to infrastructure as code, you know, templates together. Looking for ways that, you know, we can use pipelines and automation to, you know, reduce human error and, and make things just work you know, more seamlessly. And so I think that’s, that we’re at that point now where we need to lean into the, the new DevOps patterns.
Josh Lupresto (37:09):
Love it. All right gentlemen, that wraps us up for today. Alex, thanks so much for coming on my friend.
Alex Hughes (37:16):
Thanks for having us,
Josh Lupresto (37:17):
Mr. Dan Beeler. Appreciate it. Good to chat as always. Absolutely. Anytime.
Alex Hughes (37:21):
Great to talk with you.
Josh Lupresto (37:23):
Hey guys that wraps us up for this week. We’ll take us out. Thanks for everybody for listening. If you got any feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re Always taking new suggestions. I’m your host, Josh Lupresto, SVP of Sales Engineering at Telarus.