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On the ramparts of resiliency: A view from an IT services provider

How are IT services providers navigating today’s challenging business environment and helping their clients do the same? I talked with industry veteran Joaquin J. Ochoa to find out.

If there’s one group of small and midsized businesses that need to stay light on their feet, it’s IT services providers. They have to be adept at optimizing not only their own technology capabilities, but also those of their clients. The COVID-19 outbreak has been a severe test of their resourcefulness. I talked with Joaquin J. Ochoa, SVP of Aviation Technology and Engineering at SubIT Co., about how his firm is tackling the challenges and how HPE is helping. Miami-based SubIT is a full-service provider of managed IT, hardware and networking solutions.

Robert Checketts: Tell me about the kind of work SubIT does with clients.

HPE Small Business IT solutions.jpgJoaquin Ochoa: It's a really a wide range of requests that we deal with, from server updates to full infrastructure upgrades, as well as helping them with cost analysis, budgeting, consolidating services … We do some big projects like helping airlines that want to set up new hubs, and we help smaller clients, like plastic surgery clinics, set up new locations as well. It keeps things very interesting and dynamic!

Robert: How has the pandemic impacted your work?

Joaquin: In all kinds of ways. Clients have a big focus on cost savings right now, of course. Data backup and redundancy are huge concerns, and we help them with that. Another thing we’ve noticed is a strong uptick in ransomware and phishing attacks. People are stuck at home, and hackers know all of the security vulnerabilities that creates. We can help them guard against those kinds of attacks.

But it’s not only COVID-19 that we have to deal with here in Florida. We're just getting into the heart of hurricane season and all the risks that brings, from flooding, to downed Internet connections, to power outages and loss of cooling. This is something that we deal with on a yearly basis. We have our own data center downtown with redundant power, Internet and cooling. And we constantly help our customers create game plans so they can deal with a problem if it arises. But dealing with a major event in the middle of a pandemic could be a challenge for a lot of companies.

Robert: How has HPE technology helped your business?

Joaquin: Since I mentioned hurricanes, I’ll start there. With HPE iLO [HPE Integrated Lights Out remote server management technology], anytime there’s a problem, I don't have to worry about going to customers’ sites and shutting down equipment. I just log in remotely, go into the iLO, and shut down the servers from there. And turn them back on when it’s safe.

When hurricane Irma hit Miami a couple of years ago, literally the minute it was gone I was able to start turning on three of my airlines, one of my schools and two of my medical firms remotely. I was able to get them up and running again without having to risk my life driving down the street, dodging downed trees and power lines. For me, as a managed services provider, that one capability really sets the HPE product line apart completely.

Robin: Any other products come to mind?

Joaquin: I’ll do a shout out for HPE support services. Anytime I sell a server or any product to a customer, I automatically include that. I always get the 24x7x4 pack – that’s a four-hour response time to get a server back online. That to me is unparalleled.

One time I had a server go down on a Saturday night. I called HPE and someone answered the phone – not an automated service, but a warm body to help me troubleshoot the issue. The agent said, “Give us an hour or two, we’ll be there.” And I was like, “Sorry, but I'm going to call BS on that. It's 11 o'clock at night, there's no way a tech is going to show up.” But sure enough, by one o'clock, the HPE tech was there with the replacement parts to get my server back up and running.

The support and the iLO are just part of the story. There’s the AI, the security functions, the overall product quality ... HPE really underpins the quality of the services we provide and the reputation we’ve achieved. That’s why I’m very comfortable advising a customer to put in an HPE server. I know I can count on HPE – my reputation relies on it.

 

To learn more about how HPE can help your IT services business, watch this on-demand video from HPE Discover Virtual Experience: Fast Forward to the Future of IT Services Not Expected Until Now. It’s packed with insights from HPE partners – including Joaquin – about the state of the sector and how HPE is helping companies navigate today’s difficult business environment.

Professional services providers in a variety of verticals confront challenges similar to the ones that IT specialists face: delivering services remotely, ensuring security, and doing more with less. Learn how HPE Small and Midsize Business Solutions can help your firm tap into the power of a hybrid approach in this new ebook: Professional Services Solutions for Small and Midsized Businesses.

You can find more info about all of our SMB solutions for specific verticals, including professional services, here: HPE Industry Solutions for Small and Midsized Businesses.

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HPE would like to thank Joaquin Ochoa for his generous contributions to this article.


Robert Checketts
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

RobertChecketts

Robert has over 25+ years of IT Marketing and Product Management leadership experience spanning country, Regional and WW organizations. Robert is a marketing executive with extensive experience in field marketing, channel marketing and product marketing on a global basis and is driven to deliver SMB’s end-to-end affordable infrastructure that’s secure from the start, optimized for every workload, packaged for many consumption models, ready to scale, and easy to manage.