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How Datacom transformed Santos' data through Cisco

How Datacom transformed Santos' data through Cisco

IT solutions provider gets in line with vendor's strategy of transformation and enablement.

One of Cisco’s many channel partners, Datacom, is standing behind the vendor's strategy around digital transformation, addressing its importance for evolution in the Australian industry.

Datacom Associate Director of Transformation and Enablement, Mark Hile, spoke to ARN on the ground at Cisco Live ’17 in Melbourne, highlighting the successes the IT solutions provider has had through its multi-year partnership with the networking vendor.

One of the success stories that has arisen from the long-term partnership between the two companies has been the development of the Datacom National Network, which is aimed at linking Datacom's entire nine data centre footprint across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

“About 18 months ago, we started building our [Datacom National Network] on Cisco on Cisco technologies," Hile explained.

"That has been live for about 12 months now and we’re continuing to work with Cisco on our network, which allows customers to transition smoothly to cloud.

"We are continually working with Cisco around new technologies and we will evaluate, based on customer feedback, if we will commercialise it. But we see great opportunities with Cisco," he said.

Hile highlighted its recent built-on-Cisco deployment for an Asia-Pacific oil and gas producer, Santos, suggesting that the rollout reflected changing storage and computing requirements in the industry.

Datacom was engaged to provide a new storage system that could handle and organise the vast amount of data produced by Santos’ exploration. The project was undertaken in partnership with Intel and Dell, using the former company's sensors, and the latter's storage technology.

“The Santos deployment was a Cisco Internet of Things approach that used sensors and big data to help the company figure out where the gas deposits were out of South Australia,” he mentioned.

As a result, the multimillion-dollar project is already producing results for Santos, according to Hile. The system can now quickly access data collected, improving the company’s efficiency and workflow processing.

In speaking about changing business requirements, Hile also said Cisco’s increasing move into the 'as-a-service' space will impact the channel, especially the traditional channel partners that gain value out of wrapping services around solutions.

However, Hile said the move is a result of market needs and wants, and the channel should evolve to make way for such changes.

“This will impact the channel; it’s transition that is the most difficult part – changing from the traditional monthly sales model to a utility-based model – and forecasting can be difficult with no minimum commit. It changes things a lot,” he said.

Hile also said that it’s no longer just about box moving, and that the channel should adopt change and take on a more consultative approach to the market, of which Hile said Datacom has been an early adopter.

“Customers no longer want the traditional lock-in long-term contracts; they want agility and flexibility, and they want a strategic partner that can help them realise their business strategy, not just do box dropping," he said.

“We are an easy partner to deal with, we put our customer’s needs as the top priority and that is what is needed in the modern world."

For the rest of 2017, cloud is on Datacom’s agenda, especially with its Datacom Cloud Solutions product from a national systems point of view, according to Hile.

“We are committed to the cloud technology, so we want to be focused around the right workload and the right solution, supported by our Datacom National Network and service catalogue,” he added.

Hafizah Osman is attending Cisco Live 17 in Melbourne as a guest of Cisco.

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