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At a recent event focused on our Cloud, Networking, and Security offering, a customer approached me to ask some questions about next generation firewall products, after the presentation by Ryan Jensen (our manager for Cloud Networking and Security). The customer clearly thought I was in Sales (what CEO isn’t?), and didn’t realize I was DZ’s president, which resulted in some really awesome feedback that I might not have otherwise gotten to hear. He said he had no idea that we even had a focus on the space. He thought we were only focused on storage, and he needed some help designing security for some mobile “network in a box” setups that he was putting together for a big event.

That’s when I realized: We’ve really got to start beating the drum! Here’s DZ’s fastest-growing line of business, and it could be growing even faster if we got the word out. How did we end up in this situation?

In 2005, when DZ was founded, it was still pretty difficult to get all your data in one place and access it from any platform. DZ was originally founded as a services-only organization, and the promise of really great networked storage was one that was particularly exciting for companies, but they needed a little help getting there. We went wherever the work took us – low-voltage cabling, systems design, data migration, entertainment systems support, backup systems, and even fix a paper jam, if that’s what our customers needed. More and more, the work led us to solving storage and data transport problems.

After a few years, we had a relatively mature methodology for evaluating existing IT environments, and modifying or upgrading those systems to help our customers get the most from their tech investments. DZ became well known for helping find solutions for datasets that had unusual characteristics, be it strict performance requirements, widely varying file sizes, and very high filesystem count. I remember the first time we realized a customer had a billion files on a single system (not including the billion-file backup) – now THAT’s a lot of files!

Fast forwarding to the present day, DZ’s brand is synonymous with large successful storage deployments, facility buildouts, data migration, and transport/asset management. However, we’ve also done extremely well in the networking space, including some big name customers and large projects.

As the market changes, so do our customers’ needs, and staying focused on our services offerings helps us stay informed as to what’s most important to IT leadership in companies large and small. We’ve done some pretty cool cloud migration projects, and our Cloud, Networking and Security practice is growing fast.

It turns out that now, getting all your data in one place is easier than ever, and if it’s in the cloud, that means it’s connected to the internet, otherwise known as everything! This is an incredible leap in terms of how to centralize and help people access their data. As many of our customers are finding out, it also means that networks and security play an even bigger role in IT than the past. To that end, at the beginning of 2017, we officially launched our Cloud, Networking and Security practice, headed up by Ryan Jensen, a DZ veteran that was the clear choice for building the practice.

We’ve created some specific marketing materials around the new practice, and we’re going to focus some of our upcoming marketing and community events on Cloud/Network/Security. You’ll also continue to see us announce new product partners to help support the projects we do in this space.

Have you heard about our new practice? If not, would you like to? Let us know!

Signing off,

—Tom G.