It’s a crowded hybrid cloud market and there are many players with many offerings. It’s easy to get lost in this maze of choices. But the success of your hybrid cloud hinges on whom you partner with. Choose wisely.

The next time you can’t find something interesting to watch on Netflix, try this: Watch the hybrid cloud reality show. It has all the elements of a good drama including old enemies cosying up with each other (as the audience waits for the inevitable backstab), power plays as insecure old veterans battle newcomers and jockey for power, and the twists and turns as dark horses take everyone by surprise.

And we’re just in the middle of this show as the hybrid market keeps heating up. According to this report, the hybrid cloud market is going to go from $33 billion in 2016 to $91 billion by 2021. That’s a 22 percent compounded annual growth rate.

All that growth is being driven by a new realization among IT departments everywhere: There’s no going back on the cloud.

Gartner puts it nicely: By 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today.

IDC says that “more than 80 percent of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017, vastly driving the rate and pace of change in IT organizations.”

That’s the worldwide number. In its report, The State of Cloud in Southeast Asia, IDC predicts that “70 percent of enterprises in the Southeast Asian countries will commit to a hybrid cloud strategy.” Why all this interest in hybrid clouds? Quite simply because it represents the best of both worlds. Driven by a need to undergo

Why all this interest in hybrid clouds? Quite simply because it represents the best of both worlds. Driven by a need to undergo digital transformation, IT leaders are turning to cloud platforms, only to realize that neither an only-private nor only-public cloud strategy will meet their business’ needs. According to IDC, 60 percent of the top 1,000 companies in the Asia Pacific region will center their corporate strategy around digital transformation by the end of 2017.

That’s the worldwide number. In its report, The State of Cloud in Southeast Asia, IDC predicts that “70 percent of enterprises in the Southeast Asian countries will commit to a hybrid cloud strategy.” Why all this interest in hybrid clouds? Quite simply because it represents the best of both worlds. Driven by a need to undergo

Why all this interest in hybrid clouds? Quite simply because it represents the best of both worlds. Driven by a need to undergo digital transformation, IT leaders are turning to cloud platforms, only to realize that neither an only-private nor only-public cloud strategy will meet their business’ needs. According to IDC, 60 percent of the top 1,000 companies in the Asia Pacific region will center their corporate strategy around digital transformation by the end of 2017.

That’s the worldwide number. In its report, The State of Cloud in Southeast Asia, IDC predicts that “70 percent of enterprises in the Southeast Asian countries will commit to a hybrid cloud strategy.” Why all this interest in hybrid clouds? Quite simply because it represents the best of both worlds. Driven by a need to undergo

Why all this interest in hybrid clouds? Quite simply because it represents the best of both worlds. Driven by a need to undergo digital transformation, IT leaders are turning to cloud platforms, only to realize that neither an only-private nor only-public cloud strategy will meet their business’ needs. According to IDC, 60 percent of the top 1,000 companies in the Asia Pacific region will center their corporate strategy around digital transformation by the end of 2017.

For many CIOs, the big question is: Which technology provider do we partner with for a hybrid cloud strategy.

It’s a tricky question, one whose answer depends heavily on the specific needs and existing infrastructure of individual companies.

Yet there are some best practices.

How to Choose a Hybrid Cloud Partner
Choices are always hard to make. The more the choices, the harder it is to choose. That holds true for the hybrid cloud market.

There are so many players with so many offerings that it’s easy to get lost in a maze of choices. But it’s also true that you need the best of both worlds and features that aren’t restrictive. What do you do? Know enough to choose wisely.

Partner with a Provider with Multiple Tie-Ups
It’s essential that you partner with a provider who offers technologies that are at the forefront of what the market is about. Lenovo has partnerships with Microsoft—which is a major global vendor in public and hybrid cloud offerings with its Azure stack. That’s a big recognition of Lenovo’s relevance in the market as it is one of just four companies to do so and support a premium offering in the market.

It also works with VMware and the likes of Red Hat for open source technologies. Lenovo is also looking at partnerships in China and other components that are making its hybrid cloud solutions exciting. If you are looking for breadth of solutions and relevance to the market, it’s going to be hard to beat what Lenovo is offering.

Choose a Partner Who Cares About Your Needs
The component around cloud is that the technology is diverse. Larger format cloud providers won’t share their Unique Selling Proposition with anyone. What they do with their technology offering, nobody else can do. And in doing so they tend to push their agenda.

For example, they would tell you that your cloud strategy is dictated by the legacy solutions that you have. There’s a tendency to push that as hard as they can.

Nobody knows who the clear winner would be in terms of cloud solutions. They look and feel different today and they aren’t interoperable. Therefore, you could get into a situation where you may decide to change that. Or you may go for a solution that’s more appropriate for general consumption.

For example, they would tell you that your cloud strategy is dictated by the legacy solutions that you have. There’s a tendency to push that as hard as they can.

Nobody knows who the clear winner would be in terms of cloud solutions. They look and feel different today and they aren’t interoperable. Therefore, you could get into a situation where you may decide to change that. Or you may go for a solution that’s more appropriate for general consumption.

For example, they would tell you that your cloud strategy is dictated by the legacy solutions that you have. There’s a tendency to push that as hard as they can.

Nobody knows who the clear winner would be in terms of cloud solutions. They look and feel different today and they aren’t interoperable. Therefore, you could get into a situation where you may decide to change that. Or you may go for a solution that’s more appropriate for general consumption.

You want to work with a partner who doesn’t have a different agenda and who wants to take the transformation journey from what it is today to the next generation datacenter.

Today, CIOs are looking for true partnerships. They don’t want vendors who sell a box. They are looking for someone who has the vision and ability to help them choose from a sea of choices without an agenda.

Lenovo takes the conversation around transformation much more seriously. It believes in providing organizations what they need. It believes in pushing for innovation but not for the sake of it. That’s a critical component that differentiates Lenovo in the market place.

The Enterprise-Grade Lenovo
Traditionally, Lenovo is largely perceived as a PC-maker but since its acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business in 2014, it became the third largest player in the global enterprise server market. The acquisition provided Lenovo with access to everything from factories, patents, servers, networking and software.

Along with the hardware, IBM’s talent pool of over 6,500 x86 experts—in different capacities—joined the Lenovo team. This gave Lenovo not just the machines but also the resources that best know the machines, making Lenovo’s offerings a complete package in the enterprise space. That’s an advantage Lenovo continues to hold.

Apart from its legendary acquisition of x86, Lenovo also sells over 50 percent of SAP HANA solutions. SAP HANA is primarily designed for x86 platforms, and with x86 in Lenovo’s kitty, it’s evident that Lenovo is today, not just a leader, but also a dominant player in the market.

There’s more. For eight consecutive quarters in the last two years, Lenovo’s customers have voted it the top-most reliable provider in the server vendor market. Thanks to the thermal engineering design capabilities of the engineers that came from IBM.

Apart from its legendary acquisition of x86, Lenovo also sells over 50 percent of SAP HANA solutions. SAP HANA is primarily designed for x86 platforms, and with x86 in Lenovo’s kitty, it’s evident that Lenovo is today, not just a leader, but also a dominant player in the market.

There’s more. For eight consecutive quarters in the last two years, Lenovo’s customers have voted it the top-most reliable provider in the server vendor market. Thanks to the thermal engineering design capabilities of the engineers that came from IBM.

Apart from its legendary acquisition of x86, Lenovo also sells over 50 percent of SAP HANA solutions. SAP HANA is primarily designed for x86 platforms, and with x86 in Lenovo’s kitty, it’s evident that Lenovo is today, not just a leader, but also a dominant player in the market.

There’s more. For eight consecutive quarters in the last two years, Lenovo’s customers have voted it the top-most reliable provider in the server vendor market. Thanks to the thermal engineering design capabilities of the engineers that came from IBM.

It also ranks number one in terms of customer satisfaction. In fact, in July this year, Lenovo’s ThinkSystem servers have achieved 42 #1 performance world records.

Lenovo’s High Performance Computing (HPC) market share stands at 18 percent—the second largest in a field of 10-plus vendors. In fact, Lenovo introduced the world’s first warm-water cooled super computer, making it one of the most innovative companies in the HPC space.

Lenovo’s partnership extends beyond creating appliances and Integrated systems for Azure, but also on Nutanix, VMware, Cloudian, Datacore, Nexenta and IBM Spectrum Scale. It’s on the strength of these partnerships and Lenovo’s belief in providing simplified solutions that make Lenovo a force to reckon with.

These capabilities across different offerings make Lenovo a great partner for your hybrid cloud needs. That sounds like a hybrid cloud provider worth investing in and gives you an opportunity to put up a great show—filled with incredible stories of reduced costs, immense scalability and customer satisfaction–for your business.

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HAN CHON - DIRECTOR, DATA CENTER GROUP, LENOVO ASIA PACIFIC

Han Chon
Director, Data Center Group, Lenovo Asia Pacific

Based in Singapore, Han leads Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) and Cloud initiatives for Lenovo in the Asia Pacific region. He has over 20 years of experience within the IT industry.