Expedient Explains How Cloud Technology Can Improve Disaster Recovery Strategies - comSpark Podcast

Steve Gruetter - Columbus Tech Power Player Honoree

Steve Gruetter

Director of Market Strategy - Central Ohio




Gaby Batshoun

Founder, CEO

GBS Solutions


To listen to the podcast, click here!


Director of Market Strategy (Central Ohio) for Expedient, Steve Gruetter, explains how cloud technology can improve disaster recovery strategies. 


Hello, and welcome to the comSpark podcast, where you will get to meet today's technology thought leaders. To learn more, visit comspark.tech.


GB: We’re here today with Steve Gruetter, who is the Director of Market Strategy at Expedient. My name is Gaby Batshoun, with Global Business Solutions, an IT company in Newport, Kentucky. I'll be your guest moderator today. Let's get started. What is your role at Expedient?


SG:  Well, Gaby, I have a very fun job. I get to do basically four things for Expedient. One of them is your standard business development where I’m meeting numerous other Central Ohio IT leaders. Also, I handle channel management, so I work with the reseller partners and the referral partners for Expedient. We have a handful of organizations here in town – well known, trusted managed service providers that actually resell the Expedient cloud. They've learned that the traditional method of selling hardware and maintaining it is dwindling as people move to the cloud, and they want to capture some of that revenue, so they ended up working with us. I get to do networking events and educational events, which is fun. And then we work on some special projects. One of the projects that’s decently well known here in Central Ohio is a leadership development program. We partnered with the Central Ohio CIO Forum. We brought on Metcalf & Associates, we’re sponsored by the City of Dublin, and we have our classes over at Ohio University in Dublin, and we teach leadership development – two classes of 50 mid-level management who are up-and-coming, who have been selected by their superiors as people in the industry who are on the rise, who are doing bigger and better things and have the potential to be CIOs. So, without a doubt, there are a lot of different hats that we wear here, but we're having a lot of fun while we do it.


GB: That’s very cool. That was my next question. You are very involved in the Central Ohio community, and I was going to ask you how you spend your time. But you answered part of it. So, do you mind adding a little bit more to it?


SG: Sure, sure. I can add a little color to this. So, the Expedient team believes in the markets that we exist in, that it should be a great technology environment. A close friend of mine who did an interview earlier today is Ben Blanquera, and he and I have been partners in trying to make our community better since 2001. He said back then, “Build the world that you want to live in.” And that really sunk into me. So, he and I and other people in town continue to help the community, help people with unemployment, help people with projects, build bridges of communication between people, in order to have a vibrant and successful technology community, raising all boats. And it's better for the community, it's better for our relationships in the community, and we all work together. So, we do a lot of this information trading. So, Gaby, I understand you're a managed services provider in the tri-state area, and if I'm going to be spending more time in your area and I've learned about your company. Now that's something that’s “Hey, I know somebody who can help,” right? And we may not be able to help, and that's okay, but if I can help somebody by introducing them to somebody else, I've done my job here. I'm a believer in karma and something good will happen to me with Expedient on the back end. So, those are kind of the efforts that we're making in the community where we're trying to raise all boats.


GB:  Very good. This would lead me to my next question. What types of disruptive technology are you involved in?


SG: That's interesting, Gaby. Thanks for asking that. In the data center space, there are new developments now. I don't know if there's anything in particular for this in the data center in the cloud space that would be labeled the disruptive technology like what Uber is doing to taxis and such, right? But without a doubt, the evolution, revolution of cloud technologies is continuing. Businesses are out there, they're looking for the financial advantages. They're looking to move from CapEx to OpEx and they're continuing to ask for things that are different from the current models of what Amazon or Azure do along those lines. So, we're listening to the community and there are some things out there that have been created in the cloud technology. And one of them is an on-prem private cloud where an organization that really values their data and absolutely has to have it onsite. They can't move it offsite for a variety of fears - think rural healthcare, for example. If their line was interrupted, then they wouldn't have the data that they might need to save somebody's life. So, it's important to have the data onsite, but they don't have the capability sometimes in the rural areas to find the talent to run a cloud effectively. So, a disruptive technology that we're introducing is, when you have a cloud but you're not paying for the hardware upfront, you're not paying for the software, you're not paying for the licensing, you’re paying for it on an as-needed basis on an OpEx model, not responsible for the hardware, not responsible for the software, the licensing or the hypervisors, or anything along those lines.  You're just using it, but it's still onsite, so that’s getting traction in that area.

Other aspects that we're pushing the edge on is what we call a push button disaster recovery. Gartner recognized us in their Magic Quadrant for it. Essentially, it’s where you can have not an active-active – active-active is pretty expensive – where it's an exceptionally warm hot site, where once you declare, you can move your environment a thousand, 2,000 miles, 30 servers, seven minutes, and move the network with it. So, all of a sudden all your IP range comes over, all your firewall comes over, all your VLANS come over. And where you honestly push three buttons and your entire network, your entire environment fields over to somewhere else and is more or less seamless. Yes, there's a downtime associated with it, but if you're talking RPO, RTO of 10 minutes or less, that becomes a financial advantage for the business in a situation like that without the massive investment in DRN infrastructure.


GB: That's cool. So, I mean, something like that requires somebody that knows what they're doing and has the capability of integrating a lot of providers together to be able to move IP numbers and all that stuff seamlessly.  Seems like you guys are doing a great job of that.


SG: It’s certainly a fun place that we're at with something along those lines. The technical expertise here is tremendous and we're thankful to help represent them. It’s fun when you're talking to people in the community and they say, well, no one's really doing this; hmm, somebody’s doing it – and we know there are others who are going to be following suit because it's disruptive technology and somebody will put their spin on it as well. But without a doubt, it's a good place to be right now.


GB: Awesome. Well, good. Thank you very much for allowing me to interview you. My name is Gaby Batshoun. Thank you, Steve, again. If you'd like to learn more about us, visit comspark.tech.com. Goodbye, until next time.


To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for 2019, contact Michelle Ziegler at michelle.ziegler@venuemag.net