Gravitant Cloud Service Brokerage Shows How Agile IT Is Done

The company takes all the components from effective supply chain management--the algorithms, software techniques, supply and demand matching--and applies them to IT.

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Even though Gravitant has been around a little while, it is still a next-generation IT company, because it's taking something that's still relatively new (cloud computing) and building a new business with it. And from the looks of things, what it makes, others seem to want.

The 9-year-old Austin, Texas-based company is innovating in this space because it is one of the first cloud-service brokerages in the business.

Gravitant's cloudMatrix cloud brokerage and management platform streamlines the assessment, design, procurement, provisioning and real-time governance of solutions across hybrid cloud environments. This makes cloud computing practical while speeding up deployment through Just-in-Time ITTM (International Technology Transfer Management).
It is important for systems integrators to understand cloud computing services and use them to meet their customers' IT needs, or they risk being passed by customers who go directly to the cloud on their own, Gravitant Chief Marketing Officer Praveen Asthana told eWEEK.

Treating IT Like a Supply Chain

"The question behind the philosophy here is this: Why can't we treat IT like a supply chain?" said Asthana, a former storage vice-president at Dell. "We decided to take all the components from effective supply chain management--the algorithms, software techniques, supply and demand matching--and apply them to IT."

In the past, this was hard to do because "IT was sort of a lumpy procurement business," Asthana said. "But with cloud and virtualization, this kind of constant becomes possible. We'd like to become the Ariba of IT."

Ariba's business commerce network combines industry-leading cloud-based applications with a large Web-based trading community.

This is also about giving enterprise employees a good reason not to use rogue IT--the use of unsanctioned public cloud services to help staff get their work done, or to cut corners doing it.

Gravitant gives IT managers a large menu of choices from which to choose, ranging from standard financial, human resources, procurement, sales and marketing, and numerous other functions to industry-specialized applications. It's all done on a subscription basis, and users pay for the services they use and no more.

Can Be Either Cloud or Onsite Deployment

The cloudMatrix cloud brokerage and management platform has a large library of APIs and is versatile in that it can be deployed as either a cloud service or as an onsite application.

Gravitant recently updated its platform with continuous cloud asset discovery and sync, plus the integration of government-certified cloud providers into its electronic services catalog.

Continuous cloud asset discovery--which started in the company's partnership with Amazon Web Services--enhances internal governance capabilities to discover and control shadow IT and provide alternate sourcing options, Asthana said.

Integration of government-certified cloud providers into the cloudMatrix electronic services catalog enhances external governance capabilities through secure clouds. Shadow IT is a serious problem; Pricewaterhouse Coopers recently reported that as much as one-third of spending on IT in an enterprise is of the shadow variety.

GreenPages Use Case

An example of a Gravitant use case involves systems integrator GreenPages, based in Kittery, Maine. GreenPages incorporated cloudMatrix into its cloud management as a service (CMaaS) offering that provides enterprises with visibility into, and control of, hybrid cloud environments.

"This was the last piece we really needed to have a complete offering," GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler told eWEEK. "Most management tools out there were not designed for clouds, and they're expensive and complicated to use. Gravitant's cloudMatrix fits right into our offering and help our customers fully realize the cost savings and agility of the cloud."

The State of Texas is now one of Gravitant's growing number of government or government agency customers. The recent federal mandate that all levels of government must move at least part of their systems to the cloud by 2016 has been a major influence for the company.

Gravitant was founded by Mohammed Farooq, who serves as CEO and chairman. The company partners with a number of major cloud storage and services providers; among them are Amazon Web Services, Savvis, Rackspace, Terremark, Oracle, GoGrid, and Hitachi Consulting.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...