HeleCloud is an Amazon Web Services (AWS)-only systems integrator and managed services provider (MSP), with offices in London and in the Netherlands, as well as an engineering camp in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The company has two sides to its business – the professional services side and a managed services side. CEO and co-founder Dob Todorov explains that the company provides cloud managed services as a “24-7 highly automated operation, which allows support for mission critical applications on the AWS platform”.
The company is helping a range of customers including CGI, the large systems integrator that is running the UK government’s smart metres programme, building and operating the cloud-based infrastructure on AWS. It also works with the likes of voice over IP service Rakuten Viber to review and optimise its security and compliance on the AWS platform, and financial services company Zopa to migrate large parts of its mission critical systems from hosting facilities to the AWS platform.
In regards to strategy, Todorov says that the organisation’s specialism in AWS is a key differentiator as it can provide everything from integration of ITIL v4, foundation and infrastructure support, security and compliance management, performance management, service and data availability, and cost management and optimisation. In addition, he emphasises the company’s focus on DevOps practices, and that it can provide continuous integration/continuous delivery as a managed service, is another differentiator compared to other MSPs.
So why do organisations come to MSPs? According to Todorov, it’s because many businesses are waking up to the reality of cloud, and that many of them had made the wrong assumptions about it.
“Many organisations made the assumption that in AWS, it’s all managed for you from AWS and therefore you don’t need managed services at all and that’s only partially true. It’s true that a lot of the conventional managed services provider work around hardware and connectivity is no longer required, but at the same time cloud requires someone to architect it to a fashion which is secure, compliant, high-performing and both cost and operationally efficient,” he says.
Todorov believes that organisations require help in building the cloud to meet these specifications, while also continually updating the platform to take into account the new features AWS releases on a frequent basis.
“Managed services providers can add value, by moving up the stack and making sure they automate and they involve DevOps principles on top of conventional IT service management,” he says.
“Cloud is becoming the mainstream platform for virtually all organisations; everything new is being built in the public cloud space, but a trend we’re not seeing is mass migration of existing applications unfortunately – so even though there are some projects, for the time being large organisations are keeping their existing estate in data centres or in the private cloud,” he says.
Of course, Todorov believes that shifting existing applications to the public cloud would be more beneficial to organisations, claiming that it’s a more secure and compliant platform for any type of application data – but clearly organisations don’t yet agree.
What about multi-cloud?
With organisations shifting to multi-cloud as a strategy, Todorov says the company normally goes into partnership with large systems integrators that have the capabilities to engage with platforms that are not AWS.
“In the following couple of years, I think we’re going to see cloud service providers move much more into the software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) space, moving beyond infrastructure. Also we’re going to see organisations storing large amounts of data, archived onto the AWS platform, and then using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse that data,” he says.