CIOApplications engaged in an insightful conversation with Kelly Ratcliff, CEO and Jo Peterson, Vice President of Cloud Services at Clarify360 to gain more knowledge about the company’s procurement strategy and services, their unique value proposition, and how they are making a mark in the industry.
Please give us a brief overview of Clarify360 and what led to the inception of the company.
Clarify360 was founded in 2000 but our roots go further back in time. We started off as part of Avaya carrier services. Later when Avaya was acquired by private-equity firms, certain units of the business were sold off and that's how Clarify360 came into existence. We have made a few changes in our approach over the last 19 years but for the most part, we have retained the original model. The most important one being that we don't charge clients for our expertise. As a goal, Clarify360 compresses the IT sourcing cycles for our clients to help them realize maximum savings, increase performance, and eliminate waste. We mainly do that by finding smarter and faster ways to buy IT services.
Please throw some light on your services and solutions.
To put it simply, we make the IT sourcing process simpler. Most times when clients reach out to us they have very disjointed sourcing processes in place. We bring an overall cohesive look that is designed for the long term.
We start off every project by using a consultative approach, which helps us understand a client's existing technology environment, the goal at hand, the gaps that need to be filled, in terms of equipment or cloud, and benchmark a solution. Clarify360 takes complete charge of optimizing a client's current environment and their project management needs to the extent of even engaging in price negotiations with a supplier.
For maximum client benefit, we develop a set of decision matrices, where we weigh the suppliers across a number of variables. In colocation sourcing engagements, for example, we utilize a number of benchmarking tools or proprietary databases that capture information such as who are the colocation providers in a given locale, what kind of connectivity is available either at a client’s offices or in a local data center, and which hyperclouds are available in a given data center.
Think of us less as a services provider and more of an extension of an enterprise’s IT teams. Clarify360 largely addresses four initiatives: we reduce IT operational cost, help clients launch new IT services, modernize an organization's existing IT footprint, and help them improve their IT capabilities.
To understand the process better, let's take the example of your cloud and colocation services. How would Clarify360 help a client source and scale their cloud technology?
Whether a client's environment is one of traditional colocation, hybrid footprint, or 100 percent cloud workloads, we offer deep expertise in vendor-agnostic cloud sourcing. We usually follow a three-step process. After evaluating the cloud strategy, build, and migration, we look at the operations aspect of the cloud; how do we make the cloud process better. Lastly, we keep track of a client's cloud journey because everyone has a different maturity level in cloud, compliance, and optimization. Our aim is to constantly understand where we can bring value and if need be we can also disconnect antiquated services and project installments for our clients.
Our biggest differentiating factor is that we are an outsourced IT operations team that becomes an extension of your team
Oftentimes our clients have large cloud deployments, whether single or multi-cloud but they don't have a process in place to optimize their cloud spend. IT spends substantial money on the cloud, but when they need to apportion the cost and generate IT chargeback and showback, they are at a loss. We come in and help such clients optimize their current cloud environment as well as normalize the cost.
Clarify360 proved to be hugely beneficial for a large software firm spending well over $200,000 a month with a given cloud provider. We came in with a software that did not require them to replace their vendor, but the tool helped them right size, gain visibility, generate chargeback and showback, and ultimately the client realized a savings of over 20 percent monthly. The ROI spent on the tool was huge and all this was received in less than a month.
Given our strong customer-centric orientation, we haven’t lost a large client in the history of our business. We have done over 3,600 client engagements, worked on more than 1,500 collaboration projects, and dealt with over 300 variations of cloud migration.
What according to you are a few factors that make Clarify360 a cut above other procurement solution providers in the market? Also, give us a glimpse of your roadmap.
Our biggest strength is our people. Our team comprises expert engineers who have the ability to go in and understand a client's networks and cloud services and look at it from an engineering perspective as opposed to sales. We don't piecemeal solutions but offer a comprehensive view. We feel a client spends 90 percent of their day keeping the lights on and we come in and shoulder all their procurement needs, letting them focus on core operations. This is one of the main reasons why we are experiencing year over year success in the Fortune 500 space. Looking ahead, we are continuing to expand our solutions and expertise as clients’ demands evolve. Those emerging technologies include IoT, cloud security, multi-cloud administration, containerized approaches to cloud, and much more.