St. Pete Catalyst
By Margie Manning
Cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing technology sectors, and Vology wants to tap into that growth.
Vology, a Clearwater-based managed services provider, has been a premier partner to Google Cloud since November. Vology and Google Cloud celebrated their partnership Tuesday, when they invited IT leaders to Amalie Arena for a get-together to talk about how shifting some of their operations to the cloud could help their businesses.
The celebration also indicates how far Vology has come in its business transition. The company used to be called Network Liquidators and sold used IT products before changing its name to Vology in 2010. It’s now one of the largest privately held companies in the area, with $150 million in 2017 revenue.
“Providing industry-leading cloud services has become one of the fastest-growing segments of Vology’s business,” Barry Shevlin, founder and CEO of Vology, said in a news release when the Google Cloud partnership was announced.
Cloud computing involves using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. Businesses pay for the use of cloud services. Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Google’s parent company, did not disclose how much revenue it received from Google Cloud in its 2018 annual report, but said Google Cloud offerings helped drive revenue increases for the year.
The worldwide public cloud services market is expected to grow 17.3 percent this year to $206.2 billion, according to Gartner, a technology consulting firm.
There are several top cloud offerings, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and IBM Cloud, and Vology offers all of them, said Matt McColgan, director of member management for Vology.
“One of the reasons we’re leading with Google is their ease of billing, their cost effectiveness and candidly, they are competing really well in the market right now. They’re really going after customers and making it easier. They are the last one of the big four to market but I think they’ve learned lessons from some of the others and are trying to make it as easy as possible for customers to transition over,” McColgan said.
Managed service providers, or companies that remotely manage their customer’s IT infrastructure and have a field level knowledge of what their customers need, are critical components to being successful in the business, said Bryan Armalavage, partner engineer for Google Cloud.
“Without the Vologies in the world, Google Cloud will never really compete,” Armalavage said. “Vology is a new partner but they are an established partner in terms of their presence in the community and their capability. They’ve been in the industry for a long time. So for us, that means quite a lot.”
Google Cloud has invested $30 billion over the past four years in its public cloud infrastructure, building 15 data centers, a global fiber infrastructure, and a backbone that can support 1.6 petabytes, which is 2.5 times the entire output of the internet in one day, Armalavage said. He also cited security measures such as automatic encryption of all data, as well as a commitment to open source technology that allows users to move their workloads across any kind of environment.
Google Cloud is “enterprise ready,” Armalavage said.
“We are the newest to market, but we are gaining traction rapidly and along the way we’re learning a whole lot about how to engage the enterprise. That means we’re growing our field. Since I’ve started the field has grown by 4x. I was one of five sales engineers in the southeast U.S. when I started two years ago. Now there’s probably 40 or 50 of us,” he said.
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, has said the company plans additional investments.
“We are hiring some of the best talent from around the industry to grow our sales organization, and you will see us competing much more aggressively as we go forward,” Kurian said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference in February.