By Jack Wu, California Business Journal
As far as Orange County institutions go, St. John Knits holds quite a distinction, adorning the closets of the global power elite. Founded in 1962 by Robert and Marie Gray, the company created an undisputed reputation for luxury and quality that, even 56 years later, continues to expand globally.
What is helping to enable its growth may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of luxury fashion. One does not typically throw the terms “data center” and “private cloud solutions” around in the same sentence as “alluring” and “fashionable.”
Wayne Reed, St. John Knits 10-year veteran IT Manager, was certain that a cloud provider was the best option to streamlining the company’s technological infrastructure.
Ironically, St. John Knits’ large-scale search amongst giants Amazon, Microsoft and Rackspace, led it to a company located not far from its own corporate headquarters in Irvine, Calif. That company is Cloudtrek.com.
On Cloudtrek’s website, it uses the term “White Glove Private Cloud Services” as one of its top missions. The company also emphasizes “enabling agility, high performance and reducing complexity and cost.”
But most of all, Cloudtrek is about providing “first class private cloud services to help customers quickly deploy private cloud solutions, while preserving their need for greater control, predictable costs and ease of use,” says Cloudtrek CIO Chris Richner.
It is Cloudtrek’s “personal feel,” its expertise in controlling the IT cloud infrastructure through its “White Glove” treatment, and its end-to-end transition support that Reed mentioned when discussing why he chose this particular cloud firm.
“They performed and responded as if they where part of my own team,” he says.
Cloud computing is much more complex than simply storing and servicing out data. To further differentiate itself from competitors, Cloudtrek provides each customer with its own project manager, not just handing the company a form to fill out.
Just as St. John Knits provides its customers with something special, Reed wanted a provider that could offer something special as well. Cloudtrek isn’t just a cookie cutter cloud computing system, where a client has to customize its systems around them. Instead, Cloudtrek works to customize its services around the client, in this case enabling St. John to essentially build its cloud IT infrastructure from the ground up with complete customization.
Richner and the Cloudtrek team believe that the customer is always right, but they aren’t afraid to use their extensive experience and knowledge base to offer guidance in navigating choices and making decisions. Richner and the Cloudtrek team empower clients to streamline the process based on their preferences and priorities.
“Basically, Cloudtrek offers what the other companies couldn’t,” Reed says.
Reed compares what Cloudtrek offers in layman’s terms, comparing other cloud companies to cable companies: “You’d basically be paying for lots of channels and services that you didn’t need or want,” he says. “Customization means we pay for only what we truly need.”
Instead of offering IT infrastructure and a cloud-based data center as a pre-packaged product, Cloudtrek lets its customers choose the options they want and instead, offers it as a service, thereby becoming an extension of St. John Knits’s own IT staff with deep industry knowledge.
Imagine the effect this has on your IT department, which is freed up to perform more efficiently and to perform higher-level duties instead of being relegated to switch out hard drives. Your servers aren’t crashing in the middle of the night. Your data migration process is performed without interruption. By not having to store all the server equipment, which also needs to be constantly updated and replaced, you shrink your real estate footprint while increasing productivity and efficiency.
After speaking with both gentlemen, the question that I asked was “Why wouldn’t you go with Cloudtrek?” You’re being treated as an IT partner instead of just another customer.
Reed says that with these services available, there would be absolutely no need to build St. John Knits’ own IT infrastructure and continue to maintain it daily. Cloudtrek has streamlined the process in ways previously unavailable.
“Support is always live, always available, always willing to go the extra mile,” he says. “That to me feels like a true partner. Good luck getting that from the public providers.”
Igor Shalkevich, President
Vincent Vuong, CTO
Chris Richner, CIO
2460 Main Street
Irvine, Calif. 92614