ExecutiveBiz recently spoke with Jeff Henry, president of ViON Corporation, about his company’s role providing as-a-Service acquisition and information technology modernization to federal agencies.
“Budget, time and resources to implement IT modernization are the major roadblocks. Across every agency one or all of these rings true. Some agencies are spending the lion’s share of their budget on maintaining legacy infrastructure and carving out funds for modernization is difficult.”
ExecutiveBiz: Congratulations on your recent appointment to President of ViON Corporation. How do you see ViON positioning itself to maximize 2018?
Jeff Henry: We’ve been bringing the benefits of the as-a-Service acquisition model to the market for over 15 years – all in an effort to create a more flexible, cost-effective path to acquiring information technology for our customers. Now more than ever, we have seen a dramatic increase in interest for this approach and we’re helping a lot of organizations see a path forward and move past their challenges. This model and all our initiatives have always been about improving the customer experience while helping organizations overcome the challenges of IT modernization. We’ve worked to build strong relationships with leading OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] so that our customers can take advantage of the disruptive technologies they need for every facet of the data center faster and more effectively than with a traditional procurement model.
ExecutiveBiz: I understand you recently released your ‘ViON MarketPlace.’ Can you tell our readers what ViON Marketplace is and how it will impact federal agencies?
Jeff Henry: ViON MarketPlace is a new platform for acquiring IT, making it easy to shop, compare, quote, procure and manage technology across vendor platforms. ViON Marketplace provides a structure that aligns with the unique needs of federal agencies transforming to the next-generation data center and enables multiple technologies across manufacturers to be managed within one platform.
ExecutiveBiz: Within the federal government, where do you see the greatest opportunities for ViON to expand your X as-a-Service offerings?
Jeff Henry: With the DCOI [The Data Center Optimization Initiative] and the regular FITARA [Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act] scorecards, agencies are pressed for time, budget and support to implement new technology once it’s acquired. That’s where as-a-Service is breaking down barriers. Because it’s a pay-as-you-go model that uses OpEx [operation expense] dollars versus CapEx [capital expense], it minimizes many of the biggest hurdles to modernization. Agencies can start small and scale as needed. We’ve also found that with the support of our professional and managed services, agencies can get the ongoing expertise they need as they migrate to new infrastructures, which has typically been a major roadblock as agencies upgrade from legacy technology.
ExecutiveBiz: Federal agencies see the necessity for data center modernization. What do you see as the major impediments preventing the modernization? And how can ViON help the agencies deal with these road blocks?
Jeff Henry: Budget, time and resources to implement IT modernization are the major roadblocks. Across every agency one or all of these rings true. Some agencies are spending the lion’s share of their budget on maintaining legacy infrastructure and carving out funds for modernization is difficult. Meanwhile, with the pressures of meeting government mandates, time is of the essence and if agencies can acquire the technology, they can end up stuck on “go” and unable to implement effectively. ViON supports the customer across the entire process, from evaluating and procuring technology via established contracts through ViON MarketPlace to implementation with support services. We can help agencies spend their budgets most effectively with Data Center as-a-Service – paying only for what they need, when they need it.
ExecutiveBiz: What new technologies do you see on the horizon that will impact the industry?
Jeff Henry: Hyperconverged infrastructure is quickly becoming the go-to for infrastructure modernization, offering network, computing and storage in one solution with a smaller footprint and better overall efficiency. With HCI we can provide private cloud in an as-a-Service model to enable a hybrid cloud. This approach increases performance and access to actionable data enabling better decision-making and outcomes. The speed at which data is captured and the push for more robust analytics capabilities requires a different approach than we’ve used in the past. HCI offers a means to address this.
Additionally, AI [artificial intelligence], which is really just a more robust use of analytics and data, is gaining speed for data management and better outcome-based decision-making. When customers can better manage the speed of data, store and access it properly, new capabilities and opportunities emerge for how IT can support organizations’ success. New technologies like HCI, advanced analytics and AI are all designed with this in mind. I expect to see more agencies tap into them.
Jeff Henry joined ViON in May 2016. Before that, he was senior vice president and general manager of Hitachi Data Systems’ Americas sales and services division. He has also held senior leadership roles at Unisys, Hewlett Packard and Compaq.
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