Interview with Michael Mossal, Digital Transformation Lead, Dimension Data Luxembourg.

Why did Dimension Data certify as AWS partner?

The AWS partnership is for Dimension Data a strategical milestone on the way into the hybrid cloud area.

Every hype cycle has its own players that rule the IT market. Open cloud services are dominating the IT market and AWS is the market leader by far. The US is 26 months ahead of Europe. While we are trying to get cloud players like AWS or Google to invest into our county, we did at the same time our best to protect our local market from external CSPs. That time is over. We want to attract startups and fintechs to build up their business in Luxembourg and the new circular of the CSSF is clearly a step in the right direction. Dimension Data, as one of the most relevant integrators on the global and local market, teams up with the best companies of the industry to provide best-in-class solutions.


What does it include?

Dimension Data on a global level has a primary focus on IT architecture and Hybrid Cloud solutions. Most projects today focus on IaaS. Our ambition is clearly to help our clients on their journey to open up their IT architecture to the open cloud. As a AWS consulting partner, we have a focus on migration projects. As a Managed Service Provider in Luxembourg we further have the ambition to become Managed Service Partner for AWS services. We want to offer our clients a 360-degree service contract for all their services that are running on-premise, in our Datacentres and in AWS. As a PSF in Luxembourg we deliver that service under the regulation of the CSSF. For that reason, we are very excited about the new circular that allows us now, to finally progress with AWS in the financial sector.    


How did we achieve certification?

Luxembourg was selected by Dimension Data Europe to become an early adopter for the AWS partnership. There were some initiatives in Australia and we associated them on a global Dimension Data account led by our local team. Indeed, we were blown away by the high level of interest and engagement that Luxembourg based engineers demonstrated about AWS. The outcome was overwhelming. We counted more than 50 AWS services accreditations overnight and 6 client references in Luxembourg. Belgium and Germany followed.


Why are you attending the prestigious AWS Re: Invent conference?

We have scheduled several executive meetings. Dimension Data Luxembourg’s team is super excited to act as the innovation centre for AWS within Dimension Data group. Indeed, Luxembourg has a special role to play.


What are your major take aways?

• The compute services in AWS are at the heart of an amazing pace of innovation growth. There is a far better security and compliance inside AWS than on-prem or at any local provider. The availability on compute level, without any clustering or other additional redundancy means, is at 99.99%. With the right sizing an IaaS solution in AWS will always outperform any on-prem solution in terms of availability, agility and pricing. While on-prem infrastructure always requires new investments, as a subscription based service, your cloud gets better and cheaper every day. In the enterprise segment we see more and more workloads running in containers. Building and maintaining a Kubernetes environment to manage container lifecycles on-prem, makes no sense from effort and cost perspective. No OS patching anymore and with Fargate on AWS even the management of the underlying VMs are now gone.

• Getting close to 60 availability zones within the next year, there is always one next to you. And your data stays in Europe.

• Databases are another big subject. Aurora is the fastest growing service in the history of AWS. More and more clients are migrating their SQL DB’s to Aurora. And as a client centric organisation and Hybrid IT integrator we take up the strategies of our clients.

• Finally, more and more Enterprise companies will run parts of their applications on top of AWS services. By having meaningful data in AWS thanks to Sagemaker, Deep Learning becomes accessible to everybody. With the new CSSF circular, the financial sector in Luxembourg could benefit from AWS Deep Learning. There is no need any more to build local solutions for fraud detection via pattern recognition that are very costly and struggle with the limited amount of local data. If you have your data in AWS your people will make use of it. BYOK (Bring Your Own Key) guaranties that the data cannot be decrypted by anybody else.

• Moore’s law got replaced by endless compute power in the open cloud. Neuronal networks are changing the game. Announcements like Alexa for Business or DeepLens are no longer just toys. They will change the way we organize meetings and the way we recognize objects based on deep learning and these technologies are now available for everybody. We will talk to our environment and the environment will recognize us. This will revolutionize business processes in every sector. Just think about what are the possibilities in healthcare. Relying on a locally hosted IT will close the door to all these options.

As an innovation centre for AWS, Dimension Data Luxembourg builds APIs to extend legacy framework of Enterprise clients with public cloud services. This allows our clients to leapfrog their competitors and play in the game of the Cloud Natives.


What’s your advice for CIOs and CDOs?

On a global level, there is no advise required. I have been talking to different global CDOs from F500 companies, like HSBC and they all are on the move to the public cloud. 68% of senior finance executives agree that a move to the cloud, or at least a hybrid solution is inevitable (Source: FSN The future of Finance Function Survey 2016). Cloud spending grows 6 times faster than the rate of global IT spending until 2020 (IDC). The IaaS market today grows 36% per year to a $34.6 B business in 2017 (Gartner). That market will accelerate over the next years. Enterprise clients need competent partners to succeed in that journey.

My advice for local CIOs and CDO is crystal clear: We are living in a global economy. Locally, we have everything within our reach to bridge the 26-month gap with the US. We should use the unique position of Luxembourg, to be one of the most agile countries in Europe and beyond. 

A very positive example was a recent discussion with a CIO of a F500 company in Luxembourg. They took the decision to move to the public cloud. His IT is today fully outsourced to Dimension Data as a Managed Service partner and it’s currently running on two local Datacentres in Luxembourg. His ambition is to use his current Managed Service contract to move all his services into Azure and AWS Cloud over the next two years.

As a small and agile country, it is easy for us to stay relevant during times of change. We can adapt quickly. That’s what we did well in the past and that’s what we should do now!


Interview by Marta Duponselle

Publié le 07 décembre 2017