(Photo: Cloud Bros. co-founders Binh Phan and Danny Anello.)
By Leslie Hughes, California Business Journal.
The term “the cloud” has been floating around since the inception of the idea of cloud computing in the 1960s, yet it didn’t become a part of our everyday vocabulary until a decade ago.
Yet, even today, it is still challenging to understand what exactly “the cloud” is. It is such an abstract concept that many struggle to even envision it. The cloud is a term used to describe a global network of servers, each with a unique function.
Of course, the cloud is not something tangible. As Founder Binh Phan of Cloud Bros. points out: “The cloud is not a physical entity. It is a vast network of remote servers around the globe which are hooked together and meant to operate as a single ecosystem.”
The servers exist “to store and manage data, run applications, or deliver content or a service such as streaming videos, web mail, office productivity software, or social media. Instead of accessing files and data from a local or personal computer, you are accessing them online from any Internet-capable device — the information will be available anywhere you go and anytime you need it.”
Few people know the cloud better than Phan and Cloud Bros. co-founder Danny Anello. With their 40+ years of experience in technology, Phan and Anello have occupied just about every role in the tech industry and have acquired 20+ professional certifications. During that time, they started to connect the dots and then put their heads together to form Cloud Bros.
“We noticed a recurring pattern: customers needed help and vendors struggled to provide that help as well as the professional services teams we engaged with,” Anello says. “They lack the skill set to be able to solve full-scale technical problems that require new ways of thinking. We saw a need for it in our role and that’s what led to Cloud Bros.”
The major problem that Phan and Anello noticed was the disconnect between the old world and the new “cloud” world. Most of the IT services and consulting companies that Cloud Bros. dealt with are, as stated by Phan, “very legacy, meaning they were not born and created in the cloud era. So they tend to have a lot of vested interest in solving the problems, but they are not equipped with the knowledge to solve the problems and modern challenges that we see.”
He used the cloud as an example. “Our company was born in the cloud, and therefore we are optimized to solve the problem of the customer with cutting-edge technologies.”
Phan and Anello, along with their team, work with a number of different clients: enterprise customers, government and commercial. “It ranges from retail to manufacturing to healthcare to modern software — it’s pretty much every single industry that exists,” Phan says.
Cloud Bros. only takes on clients who have complex issues. For those companies that come to them with basic, lower-level help, Cloud Bros. directs them elsewhere. “They are better off hiring someone else, someone who isn’t going to charge the high-consulting fee intended for bigger ticket problems,” Phan says.
Cloud Bros. expertise includes:
–Providing customers with the design, deployment and support of secure hybrid networks that connects devices and on-premise/mobile users to workloads or applications deployed in the cloud. Helping customers “migrate from a legacy or old firewall to a next-gen firewall (NGFW) while maintaining consistent security policies and operational model” is one example according to Anello. “Another huge demand we see is around Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD WAN). We can help customers build cost-effective, highly resilient and high-performance distributed networks that are optimized for cloud workloads and SaaS applications. SD WAN offers great benefits but a successful project often requires teams like us with unique expertise and experience to help customers navigate the many pitfalls during the deployment or migration process,” Phan says.
–Supporting customers with mergers and acquisitions. If a firm is merging with another company, “we bridge the gap between the disjointed networks and come up with the most optimal design to allow customers to easily integrate those networks without disrupting their business.”
–Designing, deploying and supporting secure wireless networks. “In many occasions, our clients called us to help troubleshoot and diagnose WiFi performance issues caused by poor design and implementation done by someone else,” Anello says.
–Helping companies in growth state. Says Phan, “A lot of VC-funded companies that in growth phase need help with the design and support for IT infrastructure. Those are the companies that really see the value in our services because they need to work at a faster pace yet they don’t have enough in-house expertise or staffing.”
–Moving to the cloud. “It’s not as easy as just saying ‘let’s move to the cloud,’” Anello says. “There is a lot of preparation. A lot of these customers are not equipped with the right skill set and knowledge to do this so we help bridge this gap to get their IT staff trained.”
There are many different roles that Cloud Bros. takes on with clients and “we see that growing even more in the future,” Anello says. “There are huge trends going on in the IT industry,” Phan adds. “Anyone who is doing any kind of digital transformation will need help with planning and implementation of cloud adoption. They want to take advantage of the benefits the cloud offers while maintaining secure on-premise networks and applications.”
Phan also sees a major adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI). “Companies can take advantage of ML/AI applications to provide insight into their business and customers. This allows them to make smarter decisions and to vastly improve customer experience and to stay competitive.”
“What this really means for IT services companies like us is that the business needs to not only to have the knowledge and experience with a wide range of technologies, but also the ability to understand the complexity of what it would take to help the customer go from the legacy world into the new world with the trends as mentioned. Any company that is not ready for this will fall behind. The old world and the new world are merging – and emerging – and an IT services company with an understanding of the old way of doing this with the ability to move to the new way of doing things are the ones who are going to win.”
Copyright © 2019 California Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.
Binh Phan, Founder/Technologist
Danny Anello, Founder/Technologist
2100 Geng Rd Suite 210 Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone number: 1-800-825-1723