Telarus VP of Cloud, Koby Phillips, meets with Effectual leaders Zach Shapiro and John White.
Koby Phillips (00:03):
Hello, I am Koby Phillips, the VP of Cloud here at Telarus, and today I am joined with John White, chief Innovation Officer at Effectual, alongside Zack Shapiro, VP of Data Solutions. So guys a little bit of background about Effectual would be tremendously warranted here cuz I cannot speak higher of a company that we’ve engaged with. You guys are amazing at what you do, and the whole idea here is to give a little bit more insight to exactly what that is. So if you guys want to kickstart it and let us know a little bit about Effectual and your go-to market strategy and where you guys really play within our, our environment, with our channel and particularly with our partners and their customers.
John White (00:44):
Sure. Yeah, I’ll start and then Zach can add any color that he wants to. So Effectual is a, a few year old company really focused on driving business solutions inside of AWS. So we provide professional services as well as managed services to customers in the commercial and the pub SEC world. And all of our focus really typically is, is really on three things. We’re either helping customers migrate into the cloud, so we’re taking their data centers and moving them into AWS, either landing them in AWS native or VMC on AWS. We’re helping them if they’re in the cloud already focus in and grabbing more data or grabbing insights outta that data. So we have a whole data intelligence practice that Zach runs or we’re helping our customers with developing new applications or modernizing applications.
John White (01:34):
So we’ll go in and we’ll help modernize customers apps that maybe are running an old monolithic app sets inside of their data center, or maybe they’re living inside of a mainframe. It will help them bring that into AWS Cloud and modernize that into microservices and actually get some more business value out of it than, than maybe what they’ve achieved in the past.
Zach Shapiro (01:54):
Yeah, and to add on a little bit what, what John was saying, for our go-to market we work a lot with partners and hyperscalers like AWS so the partner ecosystem, you know, we work with master agents just like Telarus to help, you know, increase the leads and all those type of things as well as value added resellers. Like, you know, you’ve seen press releases of us with Trace Three. You know, they’re a big partner of ours, so we do that as well as, you know, AWS, I think that’s an obvious one. Premier partner there we’re really tight with a lot of their verticals and different services they have. And they introduced us to a lot of customers. But also, you know, the last one I’ll mention is HashiCorp. You know, we work a lot with them and have immense Terraform experience. So, you know, we really lev leverage our channels and partner with other companies to grow our business.
Koby Phillips (02:47):
And I think what’s interesting there is obviously there’s a bit of competition potentially with some of the resale models for our partners, but some of the partnerships that you have there also open up additional routes to product that you guys can bring in and then help fulfill needs for the partners in our channel and their customers. So it sounds like you guys have a really good focused channel go to market strategy and we’re, we’re really excited to be a part of that. Now, we recently, you know, Zach and you and I sat down just briefly and Las Vegas a couple weeks ago coming off of AWS’s biggest event and which is called Reinvent, of course. I think the, was it north of 50,000 pushing into almost triple or six figures of attendance there? It was definitely back in full swing.
Koby Phillips (03:34):
And it’s a, you know, for us coming from our channel into the expanded technology reach that we’ve seen in the last two years, if I would’ve went to that event a couple years ago and walked around, there’s probably, you know, a big, a lot of gaps of technology we couldn’t get to. The thing that excites me continually is walk around and we’re bringing in more and more technology and Effectual you guys doing a tremendous job of that. I saw a lot of unique things that AWS is doing there and a lot of big takeaways. And as one of our premier go-to players for all things AWS as you guys outlined, you know, I’d love to understand what you guys took away from it. You know, Zach, John whoever wants to kind of dive on. I’d love to just get some key takeaways from what you guys are seeing coming off of that and what AWS is focused on in your opinion,
John White (04:24):
John. Yeah, I think, I think the show was definitely pretty insane compared to where we’ve been, you know, just last year with it. And I’ve attended Reinvents for probably the last six years now. So I’ve been to a whole bunch of them. So I think you’re right. I mean, the hype, the, the intensity of the people that were there were definitely a different feeling. It felt like the tech community was kind of back together again, which was pretty cool. And the one thing I did notice at Reinvent was there’s a lot of decision makers there and there was a lot of those people wearing the executive badges. And I think that was a big change is I, I think finally the attendees were, you know, the, the people that the companies have typically attended. They weren’t sending, you know, few people from down the stack and kind of learning to, you know, see where this might go in discovery in the future.
John White (05:10):
They actually want to put pen to paper and actually start to get some things done and get some results as they’re realizing, hey, this 2020 wake up call we had, we can’t be stuck in this situation again. We need to start pushing the business forward with our technology stacks. And I think that kind of goes with some of the theme that I heard from reinvent and it’s interesting for me. So last year I was at Reinvent as an employee of AWS, and so this year coming in, you know, not having some of the background coming into the into the keynote and that kind of stuff was kind of, kind of fun for me. It was like surprises almost. But I sat through Peter DeSantis keynotes Monday evening, which is my favorite. If you, if you attend Reinvent, that’s like the one you have to go to.
John White (05:52):
It’s the major nerd out session. And just looking at some of, you know, the data he was was presenting with how long they’ve been building and operating this infrastructure and these models and the problems they’re thinking about gives you some ideas on how far ahead they are and advance their head and inside their infrastructure. So now, just like any other business, they’ve, they’ve shored up their infrastructure, they can focus on all the applications and results they could drive above. And so I think listening to some of the other keynotes focusing in on the data side of it that I’m sure Zach will jump in on, as well as then kind of the re the revs that they had in providing databases as a service and, you know, those types of things. Making that, making that very complex thing that occurs in the data center today, very easy in the cloud was kind of that constant theme that I just kept hearing and hearing and thinking and I’m thinking, oh my God, all these executives, they’re here at the perfect time.
John White (06:44):
If they would’ve been here a few years ago, they’d been like, this is a science project. What the heck are you doing now? They’re like, oh my God, we can streamline our business. This, you can, they’re Zack will know more about it, but there’s like this whole zero ETL that was part of one of the one of the keynotes. And I’m like, oh my gosh. Like even I understand like that makes this super, super easy for those people that have these complex data sets all over the place. It makes it easy to, makes kind of AWS that that turnkey, you know, checkbox. So, you know, that’s my, my take on it. I was super excited, super pumped coming out of it, but I think, you know, a lot of other people were too, and I think we’re gonna see a lot of businesses and enterprises start putting the pen to the paper in 2023 to finally get some stuff done because they trust and where AWS is at.
Zach Shapiro (07:28):
I wanted to say, cuz John mentioned in the beginning, you know, Effectual is really focused on business outcomes and business solutions for customers, and that’s why we’re aligned to AWS. I mean, you see what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to create more and more managed services, more serverless, all the updates to glue and streaming into Redshift and zero etl, their whole to do all of that. It’s also the customer can focus on what is the actual business outcome you’re trying to drive The note, the less that’s, you know, cloud in the first place, less focus on managing your servers, managing operations, then comes DevOps for coders, then comes machine learning operations for data science and people creating models. It’s, it’s just trying to automate and, and streamline the operations so that people can focus on their actual day jobs and not like, oh wow, you know, this, this server went down or this security incident came on. Like now we gotta go analyze logs for the next 24 hours and stay up all night and make sure this doesn’t happen and patch it. All these, yeah, like again, all these serverless and managed service for AWS, they’re taking a lot of that out of it. So you could really focus on what drives your business forward and less focus on the operations that has to be there to run it that way.
Koby Phillips (08:38):
Yeah, I think that perfectly aligns with most of our partners go to market strategy with their customers as well as we’re always focused on business outcomes and driving the business conversation, not getting too into the weeds with the technical stuff. That’s where we bring in our engineers and and your guys are you guys in to have those deeper conversations. But one thing that I’m picking up here is we’re talking is there’s not anything that’s not a good fit as far as, you know, obviously there’s size and verticals and all that kind of stuff that always, that always comes into play, but as far as having the conversation, if the customer is already in AWS, Effectual, seems like you could come in and and do some really good stuff there. If they’re looking to migrate or they’re looking to get more operationally aligned and a lot more optimized across the board, that’s where you guys can come in and make a pretty big impact.
Koby Phillips (09:26):
Zach, you and I had a conversation when we were there and you’d mentioned you’d gimme an example of an account coming in and moving more to that modular based data set and product, you know, kind of productized that way and there was a substantial cost reduction, right? But that’s even, that’s just on the front end, not to mention the, the complete ripple effect that that has throughout all of the other areas of the business. You know, without getting too into the weeds, just maybe kind of a quick snapshot walk through that real quickly as an example for our partners of where you guys can come in and make a pretty big impact for customers.
Zach Shapiro (10:03):
Yeah, I think it’s just really segmenting out different workloads, right? Like for example, one of the new things that AWS released that reinvent is now you can stream from Kinesis or managed Kafka straight into Redshift. You know, you don’t have to connect drivers, there’s no middle steps. You stream it right in Redshift almost becomes this live querying of streaming data. You know, like something like that is so huge, but that’s only for one part, right? That’s if you’re streaming data from maybe video, but then you could still have legacy database or batch jobs or all those type of things rather than, you know, having that all on one server or having a queue or those type of things like you were saying, using all this serverless technology to where it could just pick up, run for its millisecond, boom, go down, whether that’s a container, a lambda or anything. It just segments it out and also reduces the blast radius for, you know, issues are gonna happen. There’s, there’s no way wherever it get to a point where issues are not gonna happen. So if that issue happens and that thing goes down, it doesn’t affect so many other things and it’s a much quicker debugging session when, you know, you can isolate the issue to that point.
Koby Phillips (11:10):
Yeah. That, that continued driving of just what we need when we need it. Right. And I think that’s you know, John, that’s one of the things that, that you kind of mentioned pre-call, so I don’t wanna take credit for this, but and I’ll kick it back to you to to expand on it, but that going faster, right? That’s what, that’s what, you know, I, I saw it, the expansion of products, but getting everybody to what they need to get to faster than they ever have. Would you say that was, you know, again, your takeaway from the AWS like big theme for, for the show at least?
John White (11:42):
Yeah, I think they’re doing a great job of making everybody’s lives easier, making, you know, things work faster inside of their infrastructure. I think the challenge, and this, this is what I heard even when I was at AWS, is like, okay, great, John, you, we realize you have like a hundred different ways to do things. Like just tell me what to do. And I think that’s what’s what’s happening too, is like you look, and I think it was, I’m not, I’m not sure if I’m exaggerating you or not, but I want to say I read like 200 announcements, made it reinvent. And I think that was, I, I can’t remember if I read it on like TechCrunch or something, but 200 announcements is insane to try to like keep up and follow up with. And so like our theme this year wa for for reinvent was business Outcome accelerator.
Zach Shapiro (12:27):
And like a lot of how we’re doing that is by knowing what to do, when to do it, where to do it. Our deep partnership with AWS allows us to do that. I mean, we have hundreds of engineers focused on understanding how AWS works, and so we’ll take over customers accounts, you know, that they’ve done, they’ve gone to AWS, they’re, they have stuff in AWS, but the efficiencies, the cost side of things, the availability that, and the operations that they’ve kind of build it with are not exactly up the snuff for what we think we go and we help them kind of drive towards that, that optimal solution and accelerate them to where they want to go. And I think, you know, the big thing for any enterprises or that are out there listening to this is like, that’s what you need to start to think about is like, yes, your teams can do it and they’ll do it very well and they’ll do it with what they know. You gotta find a partner though that can help accelerate you to that business outcome and accelerate you to good and great because that’s where you’re gonna start to get the true value out of the cloud.
Koby Phillips (13:24):
Yeah. And what I’ve recognized is a lot of companies don’t have that team, right? Like you, they’ll do certain things, like you said, good and great, but what you guys can do and and for customers is not a lot of direct company skillset. It’s hard. I mean, there’s that skilled gap that is continuing to, to get wider, not smaller. You know, you had the great resignation come in and kick that and make it pretty big, and now you have a pending recession and people are like, oh, well then that’ll fill in great, no, no, not in tech’s still growing the other way, right? There’s, there’s a continual bigger job market. So companies like Effectual where you guys are going out and sourcing and getting that talent you just mentioned you were at AWS last year, now you’re over there, right?
Koby Phillips (14:10):
And you’re, you’re helping guide Effectual in, in the direction that they’re going within that AWS ecosystem that’s gonna be the norm. And so our partners are pushing, you know, clients to use more managed services. You guys obviously that’s the preferred, you know, solution for you guys as well to be able to come in and do that. What would you say as you guys are looking, you know, at profiling out or some things that are our partners can take away from where you’re like, go focus on this and the this is a great fit for Effectual and we’ll come in and, and make sure we we run our part and, and nail everything down for you.
John White (14:48):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, I think it’s just where you’re at at in your journey. I mean, a lot of the customers that are still sitting in the data center, right, they don’t know how to make the move. They don’t, they don’t have the experience on it. I mean, everybody talks about it, it’s doable, but then the analysts and the press people will scare the heck outta you that, oh, it’s gonna be so much more expensive when you get there. And so, you know, we, we find a lot of people, you know, that we help them get started and that saves them a ton of time and a ton of wasted resources in, in, in, you know, as they go along. So migration just starting their big, big focal point for us, managed services wrapped around and professional services wrapped around. It’s super easy. But this data intelligence, and I’ll let Zach talk a little more about it.
John White (15:30):
I think that’s like our huge, you know, kind of golden arrow right now is like Zach and team have put together this super simple service all based on AWS that allows our customers basically throw all this data at us and then we produce insights, you know, for that, for that customer. And like that has been a huge lead in for us because that’s a problem that goes across any business is that they have data sets living everywhere. They have no idea what this data means. They want to get data value out of it. Cause that’s what they read and they hear about, and the board’s saying they need to do it and we don’t know how to do it. So we go and do that for them. And like, that’s another big, you know, opportunity. And I think the third one, and I’ll let Zach, he can go further on that one, but the third one is then the app modernization.
John White (16:16):
It means so many legacy apps sitting inside of data centers, even maybe even moved into AWS on their own. They need to get modernized. I mean, focusing on.net to move the.net core thinking, you know, old monolithic applications, moving them to microservices, all those places are, are good focal points. And if you bring us in to kind of help in the start of it, I think it’s a major, major, major change for the business. And then I think we find ways to work with, you know, different people and different partners then spin off certain things. Like there’s, there’s certain companies that are out there today that, that are, that are working with you. Like they can find niches, infin ops or security or, you know even procurement of like reserved instances and that kind of stuff. There’s so many opportunities inside of AWS where we can come together and we’re better together than if we try to go and do it on our own. So I think for me, I think the big, the big kind of outcome there is like, let’s just get the conversation started and find a different places where we can mesh because that’s how we’re gonna be able to, to really help their end customers and the businesses that are out there, they’re looking to try to make this journey.
Koby Phillips (17:21):
Fantastic. Zach, anything to to add on as we wrap up here?
Zach Shapiro (17:26):
Yeah, I’ll just add on a, a last piece that we talk about a lot and I talk a lot with customers is, you know, customers, partners, whoever, like, you know, I find myself in a lot of situations of people are coming in, they’re going, do I use this tool or that tool? Or like, like, can you show me like the risk of using that or doing that? And I always pull the conversation back of like, what are you trying to do? So when it comes to Effectual, and that’s why I love the whole business outcome accelerator thing, is, you know, the how, and John was saying it, there’s so many different ways. Even AWS put in all the clouds, right? Put in all the clouds, put it in Snowflake, put it in Databricks. Like you could solve this problem a million different ways, but it’s just what are you actually trying to do and who are the users and what are their downstream use cases?
Zach Shapiro (18:10):
So I think, you know, such a great fit with Effectual, even if they don’t know where they’re going yet or anything, we really have people who know how to ask the right questions. And I think that’s like a huge value add is sometimes the customer knows they have their business challenges. They might know that there’s data and applications sitting everywhere, but they might not actually know or even care about where the problem exists if, do they care about it, if it’s an API or an ETL problem, do they care that that Java code is not what they should do and they should rewrite it? No, but they care that they have a business problem. We can ask them those questions of what is that, where does the data reside? Who are your users? Like, what are their roles in the organization? And once we get all those questions, we could really go off and, and whiteboard an architect and figure out the solution and come back and be like, look, this is the way to go. And really the customer just wants to know that they’re, you’re gonna meet their business outcome. And I think that’s flipping it all on its head and selling the business and technology coming after. That’s a big thing for me. And I know John and I talked about it and everyone in the company that that’s the conversation that we can drive. And you know, it maybe they don’t know about the cloud yet. And yes, we do AWS, but I think really that’s the conversation you have before you even think about any of the technology.
Koby Phillips (19:28):
I couldn’t agree more. We our messaging aligns perfectly with you guys on that and the go to market. We’ll continue to look more in hearing more from all the things that you guys are doing, but I couldn’t give a, a higher, you know, stamp of approval or recommendation of getting you guys into the right opportunities. So we’ve had some really good success with you guys. I know we have some more stuff in the, the funnel with some of our partners and we’ll continue to push on any AWS related opportunities towards you guys because it’s fantastic at what you guys get in and do. So I really appreciate you joining us, giving us some insight again from coming off of Reinvent and more insight even more to like what Effectual is bringing to the table for our partners to utilize for their customers. So thank you both. John, Zach, have a great rest of your day. And, and to our partners, thank you for joining as well. And if you have any questions for Zach or John please reach out and we’ll get you guys connected and get you into that conversation with Effectual. Have a great rest of your day. Thank you.