Executive Viewpoint: Leveraging a Service Provider as a Strategic Partner
The virtualization of IT infrastructure has transformed the relationship of service providers and services consumers. Traditional roles of vendor and customer have evolved into dynamic partnerships aimed at cost-effectively delivering the most up-to-date IT assets needed to run a business. ThinkOn and Veriday, both Canada-based, have built such a partnership over the course of an almost eight-year relationship. Jason Stargratt and Chris Riddell recently provided insight into how ThinkOn’s secure and resilient cloud computing services and critical cloud infrastructure support the delivery of Veriday’s marketing technology to financial institutions.
Q. What is Veriday’s mission and service?
Jason: We are a software and solutions firm. Veriday Inc. is committed to helping our clients create engaging digital experiences for their users through the effective use of emerging technology. Through our collaboration and research, we identify opportunities in emerging technologies and processes like Digital Experience Platforms, Micro Services & Kubernetes, Machine Learning (AI), Design Thinking, Internet of Things (IoT), and Cloud Platforms to help improve our clients business efficiency and maximize their investment.
Veriday has developed a Digital Experience Platform – Digital Agent, a software-as-a-service offering that provides wealth management institutions and insurance firms with an advisor/agent marketing solution to enable more personalized connections and engagements. This is the first Marketing Cloud for Regulated Industries software as a solution platform.
Q. How has ThinkOn supported Veriday’s growth?
Jason: Five years ago, we migrated our infrastructure to ThinkOn, and they now manage a significant portion of our infrastructure and hosted platforms. ThinkOn is highly focused on data security and sovereignty, which is of prime importance to Veriday. They are a tremendous partner and I think of them as an extension of our team. We currently have over 200 VMs and with a self-managed datacentre,
we would have to install VMware on the supporting hardware and would be required to manage all the hardware and VMware infrastructure, but Chris and the ThinkOn team does all of that for us, which allows us to focus on our core solutions. We have access to vCloud Director, and can spin VMs up and down when needed, while ThinkOn manages the entire network and server fabric.
Chris: Veriday was one of our earliest customers. We’ve grown from two or three data centers when we started with Jason to 22+ data centers now, with a global footprint, all thanks to the VMware technology our service delivery infrastructure is built on. Probably the most critical and smartest decision we made was to leverage VMware’s hypervisor technology as an enabler of our services, and we were the first Canadian-owned VMware Cloud Verified Service Provider in Canada.
Q. How is Veriday leveraging ThinkOn’s storage tiers and backup and replication services to meet the needs of clients?
Jason: Everything between our firewall to our ThinkOn S3-compatible storage we manage with ThinkOn. They not only manage it but as part of the relationship, they have helped us architect it. ThinkOn has had a tremendous amount of input into how we’ve built our solution. We have complete confidence in our ability to respond quickly to client requests or issues and possibly failover if needed. With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, websites have become mission-critical tools, and as a firm having daily conversations with clients at every level, all the way up to the CEO level about how to reach their end-users without disruption. We have seen a dramatic uptick in platform usage and demand.
Chris: Veriday is leveraging ThinkOn in multiple data centers within Canada to maintain production systems, development systems, and quality assurance systems, and to provide disaster recovery services for the company and its clients. We provide the redundancy and backup and connectivity to facilitate how they onboard customers, provide business continuity services for those customers, and test the recovery mechanisms. We have the capacity to house future workloads in multiple geographies including
the US, UK, and the Caribbean, if needed.
Q. What does the future hold for Veriday’s relationship with ThinkOn?
Jason: Given the new state of the world, our clients right now are looking for stability and performance in the short term. Months from now, when everything clears up, I expect there is going to be strong demand for services, and we need to be agile, and being partnered with ThinkOn will maximize our agility as we roll out new features and functions to help our end users reach their clients.
Chris: We also need to make sure we stay in front of Jason’s future needs. Over the next year or so we’ll be moving into the Pivotal Kubernetes world to allow our clients to manage VMs and containers in a unified interface. Leveraging ThinkOn to build that out allows Veriday to focus on critical business operations and growth while we ensure we keep their underlying infrastructure optimized and on the leading edge.
VP, CLIENT DELIVERY, VERIDAY
Veriday provides enterprise marketing software for financial professionals. Drawing on 15+ years of program management experience, Jason Stargratt leads Veriday’s service team in ensuring projects are executed on time and efficiently.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, THINKON
ThinkOn is a wholesale provider of storage, compute, and networking infrastructure resources, and is a VMware Verified Principal Cloud Provider. With more than 20 years of leadership experience in B2B sales, Chris Riddell helps customers use technology to tackle their biggest challenges with cost-effective
infrastructure solutions to collect, protect, and mobilize their data.