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Canadian Cloud Leaders of Tomorrow: Kevin Crowe, Long View

Showcasing the movers and shakers of the Canadian Cloud industry

We’re starting a new series of articles here called ‘Cloud Leaders of Tomorrow‘ – The objective of which is to showcase the movers and shakers of the Canadian Cloud industry.

Our first profile is Kevin Crowe, Director Cloud Services for Long View, and this is a perfect start because within our overall theme of growing Canada to be a world leader in the field of Cloud, they are a shining example.

Not only is Longview pioneering Canadian-based Cloud services for Canadian customers, but they are also expanding aggressively into the USA market too.

Quite simply if Canada wants to be a world leader in this field then Canadian players need to be expanding globally, however equally the Canadian market has also been underserved by locally hosted services and so checking both boxes is key.

Just twelve years ago Longview was started in Calgary and had only eight employees – Now they are over 950 employees and have grown entirely organically to revenues of close to $300m, $50m of which is now coming from their USA expansion and $25m of which is from their new Cloud services, started only two years ago.

Cloud and Business IT alignment
This is very impressive by anyone’s standards and Kevin, who has been with the organization for eleven years, attributes this to their ability to relate to both the business executives as well as the IT buyers.

Kevin explains that there is some resistance to Cloud adoption due to fears over security and job losses, but as they come to realize that it’s a new growth market that requires new skills and importantly a better ability to link IT to business goals, and that demand is only accelerating, then these fears are calmed and they start to look for how it can better assist their organization.

Highlighting the type of modern organizational culture that Longview offers, Kevin is particularly adept in this role due to his MBA, which he gained through their ‘Career Life Plan’ that the organization provides to each employee.

Additionally he has also been trained as an ITIL Master, meaning he is able to engage IT executives at a senior level about the key trends that Cloud presents, most notably the automation and integration of the previously silo’d and traditionally distinct departmental functions like applications, hardware and networks.

Kevin explains that Cloud represents a fundamental paradigm shift in this regard, and that he has organized their Cloud strategy to reflect the two essential dynamics of the trend:

  1. Utility supply of IT services, like electricity
  2. Browse Yes Now – The ability to instantly satisfy user demand through on demand provisioning

This new mode of IT service delivery is fundamentally what Cloud is about, and with the exciting range of technologies they have baked into their Cloud platforms, they’re able to offer clients a suite of next generation tools that can be used for end-to-end management of modern IT environments, including ‘BYOD’ (Bring Your Own Device) programs, tablets and Blackberries et al.

Agility and On Demand Mobility
“We call this On Demand Mobility” says Kevin, “and it’s the unique capability we offer that differentiates us from other generic Cloud providers”.

It’s this agility that is attracting new clients to Longview. Kevin explained that it’s the market demand you would expect – Customers who are time-pressed and need IT services quickly can turn to Longview and what might have taken months to provision they can deliver in only a week or two.

By integrating key technologies, from other hot Canadian ventures like Geminare, they’re able to meet clients needs for a variety of needs like business continuity, leveraging the Cloud to do so quickly and via a streamlined utility cost model.

Critically they have also employed globally recognized best practices, such as FedRAMP, so that customers can be rest assured of security at the same time as this agility.

This combination of factors has enabled Longview to be recognized as the world’s number one MSP, an award they won for 2011 and are pleased to have learned they have just won again for 2012 – An award well justified for this awesome example of Canadian Cloud leadership.

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