Top AT&T partner talks up private cloud benefits

Breakthrough Technology Group is leveraging legacy expertise in enterprise network connectivity and managed services to offer a midmarket cloud alternative.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

For obvious and legitimate reasons, many technology solution providers with a history in the traditional IT services world are centering their cloud integration and migration initiatives on private cloud infrastructure.

There are two big reasons: first it allows them to leverage existing expertise and skills, and second, many of their existing clients are reluctant to jump right into the public cloud. For some of those businesses, it's simply a matter of audit requirements. Others are concerned about the lack of management visibility that they might have within a public cloud environment, still others are seeking better isolation across a shared infrastructure.

The latest example I've come across of an integrator willing to oblige these concerns is Breakthrough Technology Group, a Morganville, New Jersey, managed service provider (MSP) that has been AT&T's top revenue-generating solution partner for the past three years.

"The discussion has been the same for the past four or five deals," said Jeff Kaplan, CEO of Breakthrough Technology. "Two of them in financial, one in manufacturing, and one in insurance. It's the same story: we are building them a private cloud in our datacenter."

Breakthrough Technology's solution is called BTG OneCloud and it includes virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), along with enterprise servers and storage area network infrastructure capacity that is fully redundant across two AT&T datacenters. "It's a little bit of a cross between public and private capabilities," Kaplan said.

One of the MSP's biggest point of differentiation for customer prospects is its long-time close relationship with AT&T. "Connectivity is a huge credibility factor for us," he said.

Jeffrey Bowman, chief financial officer for Breakthrough Technology customer Panama Jack, which uses the company for a Hosted Microsoft Exchange deployment, noted:

Costs are down, performance is notably higher, and around the world our team is empowered with secure, remote access from any device they choose.

That's a more traditional service, of course, but it gives you a sense of Breakthrough Technology's capabilities. Aside from its AT&T relationship, Breakthrough Technology is allied with Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft, and it uses NetApp as the foundation for its storage strategy, Kaplan said. Trend Micro services sit behind the MSP's antispam, antivirus, and other core security services.

Another reason to give the company a look is the people behind its cloud strategy: Joey Widener, vice president of business development, was previously a virtual desktop services product manager for AT&T; its chief technology officer (CTO), Adam Shapiro, was formerly a vice president of client architecture at Citigroup; and CIO Travis Sales was a VMware senior engineer and principal at ThinApp (prior to its acquisition by VMware).

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