Edge computing solutions provider Scale Computing recently announced its plan to stir its ship towards the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region with changes to its senior leadership team.
Scale Computing is actively broadening its global partner and distributor network, to foster relationships with distributors, local integrators, and technology allies. Notable partnerships include distributors like Climb Channel Solutions, Portland Distribution Benelux B.V., ITWay, CMS, ADN, and Pedab; integrators such as MBX and Simply NUC, and technology alliances with Lenovo, Acronis International Gmbh, and Avassa.
As the EMEA market continues to develop, Scott Mann, global channel chief and VP of international sales at Scale Computing tells EdgeIR exclusively that the company’s focus in this region, while it’s now being highlighted, isn’t a new development.
“We aren’t necessarily new to the EMEA market. I’ve been with scale for eight or nine years, and that whole time we’ve been in the EMEA market. I started out in North America, and then expanded outside of North America to manage everything from APAC and LATAM, and you see the same challenges with the EMEA market,” he adds.
Scale Computing has been around for about 13 years, entering the market as a software defined converged storage business and then quickly moved into an opportunity to include a hypervisor or virtualize that environment and was an early entry into the hyper converged infrastructure market.
Dave Hallmen, chief revenue officer at Scale Computing chimes in mentioning: “That’s where you offer a complete software defined infrastructure layer, and essentially enable customers to create virtualized cloud-like environments on premise. Having been in that business, we are very attractive to smaller businesses. The SME markets who are looking to implement cloud like features, but run it on premise. This enables them to have their own virtualized data centers, and we learn to hit certain price points to provide a simple to use environment.
“We learned how to manage many locations and then moved into the edge computing transform, when that started to create a hybrid environment where the cloud wasn’t the only solution that was required by these large edge customers. They had to have a hybrid environment where latency on certain workloads and security required on prem systems, but then also the elasticity of the cloud to store data and have resilient operations, was also a requirement.”
EMEA embraces edge
Focusing on the EMEA market was a natural evolution for the company. The technology involved in meeting the requirements of very large national and international businesses had many locations to manage with a small team of IT professionals. Hallmen says that’s what managed service providers do for smaller businesses.
“We are now offering that same type of innovative technology to manage many locations with one simple to use infrastructure,” he adds.
“Europe, in particular, is embracing these edge computing concepts much faster than some of the other geographies around the world, because of all of the requirements in different countries. It makes it difficult for an IT team to scale in country or on location to meet all the requirements.”
For the EMEA region, several factors may contribute to the growth of edge computing initiatives including industry-specific applications such as manufacturing and telecommunications, as well as smart cities and IoT.
Edge computing supports the development of smart city initiatives by enabling real-time monitoring and control of various systems, such as traffic lights and environmental sensors.
In healthcare, edge computing can facilitate the processing of patient data at the point of care, improving diagnostic capabilities and patient outcomes.
Major cloud providers often extend their services to the edge, offering solutions that cater to the unique needs of businesses in the EMEA region.
The regulatory environment can impact the adoption of edge computing. Understanding and compliance with local data protection and privacy regulations are essential for the success of edge initiatives.
Hallmen adds: “Another example would be imagine you are running a maritime business, and you have ships that are all over the world out on assignment, and something goes wrong with all the automated systems onboard, you’re not going to get an IT field service professional to helicopter in to fix what’s wrong during that journey.
“Our systems enable that ship to be 100% up and running with full high availability, full disaster recovery onboard. So if something does go wrong, they make it into port and then have services available when they are portside. These are the kind of things that a cloud connection could not do on its own.”
He also explains that AI is helping Scale Computing to create the self healing infrastructure that is providing that cloud-like experience on premises for their customers in the edge scenarios.
“Externally, you see it with all of our customers and leveraging AIoT. We’re seeing in the market that companies are currently looking to shift that foundation within the infrastructure so that they can start implementing these new technologies,” Hallmen notes.
“And from the European market, it’s very advanced with how they are leveraging AI and IoT and how fast that’s going to progress over the next few years.”
Scale Computing has a presence across EMEA, not excluding Africa and the Middle East. The company is also present in the UK for a UK region, France, Southern Europe, which Mann highlights the similarities in these markets but describes each as “a unique market in their own right.”
“Scale Computing’s system is self-healing and the system is highly available. We sell products in clusters that virtually eliminate downtime. One of the trends is to eliminate service calls. Most large companies that have hundreds of locations also carry field services contracts that require a technician to roll out on site when something goes wrong,” he adds.
“If your system is built to be available and resilient, you can dramatically manage down that cost of services or eliminate it, which is something akin to what I mentioned, when a ship is on a journey in the middle of the ocean, there’s no way you’re getting a technician out there. Having the system with that kind of dependability and resilience built into it, is essential.”
The other trend, he notes, is that the company is seeing a convergence of operational technology with information technology.
The convergence of operational technology (OT) refers to the integration and merging of traditional operational technology systems with information technology (IT) systems. Operational technology encompasses the hardware and software used to monitor and control physical processes, devices, and infrastructure in industries such as manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and transportation. This includes systems like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, industrial control systems (ICS), and other technologies used in industrial settings.
“You can eliminate separate infrastructure for video surveillance than that on general workloads for your IT infrastructure. We have many of our users using computer vision and imaging technology to run operations like understanding how long their queue is in the drive thru lane,” Mann adds.
“Helping with shrinkage problems, where reducing theft in retail is connected through their surveillance cameras and their point of sale systems. Having these technologies all running on a shared infrastructure is starting to happen at a higher pace of convergence. There is a building automation, where people are using access controls for entry or badges on doors, and have that connected with video for facial recognition, in addition to the access control. A lot of these things are converting into general IT workloads.”
When asked about the future of Scale Computing, Mann highlights that the VMware and Broadcom merger is currently creating a lot of anxiety with customers, especially channel partners, which is due to set the company up to position itself as a VMware alternative to that environment.
“That has really escalated the level of interest that end users and solution providers alike have been reviewing Scale Computing as a possible alternative to their VMware environments,” Mann says.
Elsewhere, Scale Computing recently announced that its SC//Platform has achieved qualification on Simply NUC’s Topaz device, and has become a component of the HE100 series. Both Mann and Hallmen express that the company will continue to deliver new features.
AIoT | edge | edge computing | EMEA | Scale Computing