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Hybrid Cloud and Composability

In this 10-minute informative interview, Avaya talks with ZK Research about innovation and capabilities that can help you create total experiences for customers and employees. We discuss Hybrid Cloud (in a distributed cloud model) and Composability and what they can mean for your business.


>> Hello, everyone and welcome to our webinar. I'm Julia Litvak, and I'm joined here by Laura Faughtenberry. We're both here at Avaya on the solution marketing team supporting Avaya OneCloud, that businesses around the world rely on to build effortless communication and collaboration experiences for their customers and employees. Today, we want to explore the concept of hybrid cloud in the enterprise communications world, and the idea of business composability. To do that, we invited a through subject matter experts in both of these areas, Zeus Kerravala, who is a Founder and a Principal Analyst at ZK Research. Welcome, Zeus, we're so excited to have you here with us today. To get us started, let's kick off with some definitions. Could you please share with us your definition of hybrid cloud? And also, could you please let us know what role do private and public cloud concepts play in the realm of hybrid cloud? >> This new definition of hybrid cloud is a lot more aligned with what the definition is supposed to be. Where we could actually take a workload and you could run a part of it in your private cloud or part of it in your public cloud. I've actually called this term distributed cloud when we bring in the concept of edge computing as well. Hybrid distributed cloud today, it's combination of edge computing, private cloud, public cloud, but all acts as one virtual cloud from an enterprise perspective that I can run my workloads across, and that's significantly different than what we've been doing before. >> Cloud communications is certainly not a new concept. But for business buyers, the market landscape can be quite confusing. Why would enterprise organizations make the hybrid cloud model their preferred choice over traditional models? >> As you get up to larger organizations, there's a lot of customization that's done, there's a lot of integration into workflows, there's a lot of integration into other applications, there's security concerns, there's data sovereignty concerns, I was recently in the [inaudible 00:02:00] tech show when I met with a bunch of Avaya customers, and these are some of the biggest customers. These are state governments, large hospitals, educational institutions, they're all deferring to hybrid cloud where they have more control over their data, but they also want to leverage a lot of the interesting capabilities, such as artificial intelligence. From that perspective, what hybrid cloud does is it creates the best of both world scenario for customers where they can keep the things that they want on-prem and keep them local, like a lot of their data and maybe even be able to swipe the assets and voice a little bit longer, but then move to a lot of the emerging technologies, a lot of the digital channels, a lot of the AI capabilities as virtual agents and bots. >> Cloud technologists have been continuously evolving over the past decade with a dramatic acceleration during the recent worldwide pandemic. What do you think made hybrid cloud the preferred choice during these transitional times? >> The new hybrid model allows enterprise communications to become composable in nature. But when you think of the type of experiences that a doctor might need when communicating with a patient or a teacher might need communicating with a student, those are a little bit different in nature. This new hybrid cloud, being programmable in nature, what it'll let you do is developers can create their own unique experiences, a line of business manager can create theirs with a the low-code, no-code interface, a lot of users will just use the stock application that's given to them. No matter how a user wants to consume this type of experience, they can now. The best way to think about it is, it allows us to use this experience anyway we want in a way that meets the worker's needs best instead of having the worker to have to adapt to the technology. >> So in your recent white paper about the hybrid cloud, you referred to several phases of cloud evolution with the distributed cloud being the most modern form of cloud computing. What is distributed cloud, and how do public and private cloud concepts align with it? >> When you think of traditional public clouds, it's a centralized cloud model that I run all my workloads and store my data in. And the benefit of that is, of course, it gives me one place to run all my applications. The downside of that though, is it's a centralized cloud, so there is some latency going to it from the cloud. So if you think of an application like say, facial recognition on airport, the amount of time it would take that image to be scanned, go to the cloud, and come back, well, that might be too late to be able to actually recognize somebody in real-time if they're a threat. In that case, you're going to want to take that cloud and you're going to want to move it to the edge, and that's the concept of edge computing where I have a cloud-like node, and I have it pushed all the way to the edge, but in essence, what happens is that all those different edge locations,your private cloud, and your public cloud, all communicate with each other to almost create, you can think of it as like a distributed cloud fabric, where I have consistency of policy, consistency of compute resources, and now I can run whatever application or whatever workload I want where I want it. >> It sounds like the hybrid cloud concept aligns very well with enterprise composability, and enables organizations to fully embrace it. I'd like to invite Laura to join our discussion at this time to dive a little bit deeper into the idea of enterprise composability and cloud. >> Composability is a big part of our Avaya OneCloud portfolio. Let's talk about that. But first, Zeus, can you please give us your definition of composability? >> There is a drive within businesses to make sure that we are providing a great customer experience and a great employee experience. Now, how do we do that? I could use a combination of tools, but now that creates a very disjointed type of workflow in which the user becomes the integration point for the data. So what composability allows me to do is it allows me to take the best experiences from say, CCaaS in the best experiences that I need from UCaaS, and compose them into a single experience. And that's the concept of composability. >> What do you think is the best way for organizations and companies to start embracing composability? >> Historically, we wouldn't have been able to do that because the application was what the application was. But in this composable world, I'm actually able to take, again, pieces of my experience and compose them into a single application. I think ultimately, we've put so much onus on the user to be the integration point for the technologies that sometimes we don't often think there's a better way. We want to be able to think about how I provide the best possible customer and employee experience. >> From your perspective, how does Avaya OneCloud compare to other cloud offerings available in the market? >> The cloud you have now is a cloud that's built on pure cloud-native principles. This a big difference for Avaya, a lot of the cloud platforms that we see out there from some of your competitors are really just, you can think of it as being PBX's in the Sky where Avaya's OneCloud, where it's built on all cloud-native principles, microservices, containers, things like that. And so every bit of OneCloud, you can think of it as a composable component. This journey that Avaya has gone down to shift from hardware to subscription to software to cloud, has put it in a position now where it's got a pure cloud-native backend, and that allows you to do a lot of things really quickly. >> Any closing thoughts or comments to anyone who might be a bit hesitant about embracing composability? >> It's important that you embrace composability because if you think the pace of change has been fast over the last five years, wait till the next five years because now we have the ability for every company to be able to work at cloud-native speed. Somebody once asked me to define digital transformation in one word and I thought about it and I said it's speed. For a lot of companies, they couldn't really take advantage of that because they didn't have the back-end, especially in the communication space but now it's here, and so we can move as fast as we want, the only thing that holds us back is ourselves. >> Wow, so many fascinating concepts that we were able to cover today. Evolution of cloud, distributed cloud, hybrid cloud, composability, thank you, Laura, thank you Zeus, and for all of you who joined us today, thank you for your time. I hope you enjoyed it. To learn more, please go to our website avaya.com, and do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you.