Among the many impacts to businesses since the pandemic, the need for digital transformation is accelerating like a Lamborghini on the Autobahn. A June study by Microsoft claimed that two years’ worth of digital transformation occurred between April and May this year. In addition, The Brookings Institution announced that the final weeks of March alone witnessed as much broadband traffic growth as would normally be expected in an entire year.
STEP CG, an Extreme Networks managed service provider based in Kentucky, is leveraging its partnership with Extreme to offer customers a variety of innovative, strategic, and affordable options for network and operational transformation. Cloud-managed networking solutions and services from Extreme and STEP CG are part of a compelling business strategy that truly allow businesses do more with less, while leveraging technology though flexible consumption-based models.
Adapting to Today’s Challenges and Opportunities
Billions of people around the world have abandoned offices to work from home. They are shopping, communicating, learning, and conducting business online like never before. Businesses are grappling with new network services models to support their dispersed employees. They are experimenting with online ordering, virtual dressing rooms, curbside pickup, and altered supply chains to meet the changing expectations of customers.
With Gartner predicting that IT spending will decline by $300 billion this year, a global drop of 8% from 2019, businesses need to figure out how to do more with less. They need to transform their networks rapidly to provide more remote access, while reducing expenses by moving some workloads to the cloud without compromising security and reliability.
“As an Extreme Networks managed service provider, we are able to offer affordable, flexible, and secure cloud-driven networking solutions that align to how customers want to consume these services,” says STEP CG CEO Ed Walton. “Extreme’s unlimited data feature makes it easier for our customers to gain access to historical data, compare results over longer timeframes, and use analytical tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Together, we’re helping to retool how enterprises are connecting laptops and devices, wired and wireless, to their data and applications.”
Reseller, Service Provider, Transformer
“At the same time as we’re helping businesses transform their networks, we’re transforming our own business,” says Walton. “STEP CG has gone from being a traditional value-added reseller offering products to providing network-as-a-service solutions based on Extreme’s 4th generation cloud platform , ExtremeCloud™ IQ.”
The company found that for many customers, traditional purchase models lack the flexibility to adapt quickly enough to the constraints and changing requirements of the times. Right now, companies can be hesitant to make big capital investments because their future network requirements, traffic volumes, and business models are in flux and uncertain.
“Aside from our cloud-managed, completely outsourced services model, which includes managed connectivity, we can also manage customer-owned infrastructure that has been leased or purchased,” says Walton. “But since the pandemic, we’ve seen the move to the cloud accelerate. Our customers are embracing cloud services and a more robust edge architecture as well as leveraging our expertise to support their dispersed workers and consumers.”
[Left to right: STEP CG President & CRO Rob Huff, STEP CG CEO Ed Walton, Extreme Networks PAM Matt Kilianski, and Extreme Networks Senior Systems Engineer Jim Clark]
STEP CG recently moved into new offices in Covington, Kentucky,and I gave them this transformer-like painting to symbolize how they’re helping Extreme customers to advance and transform their networks.
Freeing IT to Innovate
“Rather than fighting fires, dealing with hundreds of small issues each day, the IT departments that come to us for managed network services are now able to redeploy staff to work on innovation projects that are more core to their business and mission-critical to their business survival,” says Walton. “For example, we’re seeing a renewed focus on virtual services like telehealth and digital learning.”
All of these and many other requirements are driving the swift pace of digital transformation. The needs are acute and the road ahead uncertain. Being agile and collaborating to meet the needs of organizations across all vertical segments, Extreme and STEP CG are succeeding with expertise and solutions tailored to these challenging times.