Russ: Hi, I’m Russ Capper and this is BusinessMakers USA, brought to you by Insperity, inspiring business performance. Checking in today from San Antonio, Texas, and my guest is Rod Tanner, VP of Business Development with Network Alliance. Rod, welcome to the show.
Rod: Thank you, thanks for having me.
Russ: You bet. Tell us about Network Alliance.
Rod: Network Alliance is just about a seven-year-old organization and we are what some would call a systems integrator, but a little bit more than just that. We offer managed services, cloud services, and really are focused as an organization as to meet with our customers and understand their needs, their strategy, and their vision around what they’re trying to do with technology. It’s one thing to just install software applications, provide cloud services, or provide hardware. To me, it’s just putting a piece of equipment or a solution out there, but if it doesn’t align with the vision, it’s not really a productivity tool. The whole goal here is to provide our customers with tools that make their environments productive, and in some cases, tweak the bottom line and allow them to be successful.
Russ: Ok, such a happening space, and complex. That’s what it looks like from here. Does it look like from where you sit?
Rod: Every day. Every day I wake up it’s ever changing and complex. I think that’s the exciting part in what’s kept me in this industry for the better part of twenty plus years. Never an opportunity to get bored. When you think you’ve figured it out, you haven’t. It’s constant learning and growing as an organization, as an individual. So, all of those who either work with us, for us, or near us, it’s constant growth and change.
Russ: The whole thing about the cloud, which, I might be way behind schedule, but I started hearing about it five, six years ago and it sounded like everything is going there, and a whole lot has. There’s still a lot of people who want to keep it in house, aren’t there?
Rod: So, what I’m seeing and what we’re seeing in the industry is definitely the hybrid move. The cloud is definitely one of those terms that has gone on for quite a long time, really. We talk about it to customers, it’s not a new term. We’ve been talking about the cloud, really, for about eight years. Now, what it is, is that a lot of people have started to develop their own internal cloud. So, if you’re a large enough organization you really build your own internal cloud, in a sense. What it really comes down to is the as-a-service model. Being able to throttle up whatever you need, when you need it, and throttle down when you don’t, which gives you that economy of scale, if you will. So, whether it’s voice services, wireless services, network security, infrastructure, servers, applications, cloud allows you to dial that up and dial it down as you need and is a better expenditure of your money whether it’s capital or opex expenditure.
Russ: Is the internal cloud meaning that I have an internal cloud and the hardware, the servers are in my shop? Or does it mean I’ve sort of got this private group in the real cloud that’s my internal cloud?
Russ: All of the above?
Rod: Yes. It all depends on how you position it because an internal cloud solution could be where you have your own data center for your organization. You have multiple locations, let’s say, throughout a metropolitan area and/or throughout the country. And then you’ve built this whole data center that allows your employees or constituents to access applications anywhere, anytime. That is technically you building your internal cloud, if you will. Some of that could be colo somewhere, but only for your use. Then, the hybrid model, of course, flows into where you’ve put some of your applications or services to a third party, if you will, and then you have some things that are in house that are literally housed in house; virtualized, or bare metaled, in house. That’s where you get the whole internal cloud and then you get the hybrid.
Russ: Isn’t it sort of true that it all falls into this category of SaaS?
Russ: It’s all of that?
Rod: Yes, it’s as-a-service. We definitely, as an organization, are really moving and helping customers get to that as-a-service model because no matter what you do in today’s world, and it’s funny because I’ve talked to some customers who are apprehensive when you say the word cloud, because there’s this fear that someone has access to my information. Is it secure? Yes, it is. But here’s the thing, most people carry around this thing called a smartphone, right? Well, then guess what? Most of the world is utilizing the Cloud, so to say that you are afraid of the cloud, then you might as well not use your smartphone. Every application, anything you do today, whether it’s your contacts, your photos, an application to play a game, it’s all in the cloud.
Russ: Ok, so what about Network Alliance? You almost have to be big in the world of cybersecurity, right?
Rod: So, that word cybersecurity is a little loosely used, because, really, cybersecurity is about business assurance. Where you fall within the cybersecurity model depends. We do work with customers and provide services around network security, and some of that could be classified in the cyber, but business assurance is really what cybersecurity is about. Can you ensure that your day to day operations are secure, your data is secure, information secure? And then, it’s all about compliance. So, are you compliant? If you fall within federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, or PCI compliance. That’s where the whole conversation evolves. So, cybersecurity is kind of a broad statement and term when it’s used.
Russ: If you look at Network Alliance and you look at the future, where would the company think that they’re going to be, like to be in about five years from now?
Rod: In about five years from now we would like to grow and have multiple office locations. We are headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. We do business in the Houston area, Austin area, Dallas, also in Laredo, somewhat in the Corpus Christi area. We’ve also expanded and done some projects in Louisiana, we’ve done a few projects in California, but we would like to have a Houston and Austin office and expand our reach a little broader into central Texas, but again, because we can really service customers anywhere, anytime, brick and mortar may not necessarily need to be the move. We will definitely transform and mold ourselves as needed to make sure that we are providing quality service for our customers.
Russ: Rod, I really appreciate you sharing the story about Network Alliance.
Rod: Well, thank you for having us.
Russ: You bet. And that wraps up my discussion with Rod Tanner, VP of Business Development with Network Alliance. This is BusinessMakers USA.
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