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There are, of course, big changes afoot in the U.S., and only the future knows what effects those changes may have on the already simmering M and A activity we’ve seen in the past few years, for OEMs and customers alike.

2017 is an important year for us at DZ. We’ve been at it for over 12 years now, and when we started, to describe our business model as “disruptive” would probably be a bit much, but we did have every intention of being as up-to-date as possible – and staying updated. Much of the customer feedback I’ve had over the years has been about how our clients appreciate DZ’s ability to keep up with whatever is new, with the understanding that “new” isn’t synonymous with “best for my business” in 100% of cases.

In the spirit of updated and new, in the next 60 days we are soft launching our “Cloud and Security” practice. This practice will be complementary to our existing networking practice, but will include new products and services focused on all aspects of cloud and security – including cloud migration, cloud deployments, and ensuring the security of corporate assets, wherever they may be – on-prem, hosted, the public cloud, or within SaaS applications. Formalizing and enhancing this practice (which has existed for a few years now) is largely in response to market demand and customer feedback. By now, almost all of DZ’s customers have migrated at least some test workflows – if not a large percentage of their workflows – to hosted or public cloud environments. As always, we’ve helped with the migration, organization, and protection of precious digital assets and application profiles. As Network becomes the focus of performance tuning and Security becomes a different challenge altogether, DZ has been helping our customers prepare and complete their migrations.

Our new Cloud and Security practice, in my opinion, will account for a significant amount of our services business in the future, and will require deep expertise, as well as its own champion. For this reason, I’ve asked Ryan Jensen to officially join my management team as our Manager of Cloud and Security. Ryan’s been unofficially our subject matter expert on these topics already, so it was an easy decision and a sensible transition.

For Ryan, this means some additional responsibility, as well as the ability to add some folks to his team, so he’s starting the year off with a list of some immediate to-dos…his first 100 days, so to speak. For those of you that know him, I certainly hope you’ll take the time to offer him some congratulations, and for those of you that don’t (yet) know him, expect to see him sometime soon – either in your conference room, or perhaps at your next DZ Solutions event!

Based on what we’re hearing from customers, we are expecting 2017 to be our biggest year ever, and I believe Cloud and Security will be a big part of that. How are cloud and security affecting your 2017 plans? Let us know!

—Tom G.