The potential of edge computing to drive digital transformation strategies has made it an exciting frontier in the enterprise technology landscape today.
Organizations are evaluating ways to move their mission-critical apps and/or sensitive data stores to micro data center environments at the edge—for the sake of lower latency, higher reliability, lower cost, and better security. The power of edge computing doesn’t stop within the boundaries of enterprise ecosystems. These new hyper-converged, virtualized edge deployments can be leveraged by non-traditional environments like restaurants, retail shops, and small distribution centers. This possibility has resulted in a rapidly growing ecosystem of companies leveraging edge-based hardware, software, and services, while big OEMs are rapidly launching edge server product lines. From a broader industry perspective, cloud and communications service providers are providing edge offerings such that their clients can bring “computing” closer to endpoint users and devices. Edge computing is also being employed in Industrial IoT solutions to drive edge analytics and predictive maintenance.
"Our ability as an SI is to build, integrate, deploy, and manage an end-to-end edge-based solution architecture"
Aligning with these trends, Pivot Technology Services Corp is actualizing the game-changing and futuristic possibilities of edge computing in today’s enterprise and compute environments. An early leader in the edge computing space with its first Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC) software product introduced in 2015, Pivot began with a vision to become a leading IT solution provider/integrator in North America. The company has been executing the strategy to identify and acquire national and regional IT solution providers and systems integrators (SI) in the U.S. and Canada that were distinguished by their vertical industry expertise, deep services competencies and strong leadership. Subsequently, January 1, 2020, witnessed the unification and rebranding of the company as Pivot Technology Services Corp. that proudly supports approximately 2,000 enterprise customers, including more than half of the Fortune 100.
“Through the integration of acquired companies and Pivot’s incremental investment in targeted growth segments, the company has evolved to become a diversified IT solution and services provider with a robust portfolio of offerings that is optimized to help clients navigate their unique journey to digitally transform their business,” mentions Gary Wood, Vice President, Intelligent Edge at Pivot Technology Services Corp.
Deploying Edge-Based Architectures Seamlessly
Pivot views the deployment of an edge computing environment use case as a lifecycle that generally aligns to the following phases: 1) Consult/ Design; 2) Build/Integrate; 3) Test/ Certify; 4) Deliver/Deploy; and, finally, 5) Support/Manage.
Pivot has been playing an exponential role in delivering edge computing-based solutions like Private LTE and uCPE and SD-WAN
The Systems Integration and Service Delivery side of Pivot is fundamentally structured around this lifecycle view. “Our competency as an SI is to build, integrate, deploy, and manage an end-to-end edge-based solution architecture,” states Wood. The company delivers edge transformation workshops that help clients discover the value that can be unlocked through the deployment of edge computing-based architectures in the areas of edge applications (uCPE/ vCPE), edge networking (SDWAN) and edge connectivity (MEC, Private LTE, Enterprise 5G, HetNet). Pivot helps clients design a reference architecture for the edge infrastructure and then utilizes its factory integration capabilities to integrate the right mix of technologies and create a highly scalable solution. Next, the company leverages its network of thousands of field deployment resources to deploy the solution on-site. Finally, Pivot uses its advanced Digital Operations Center to provide 24x7 support, network monitoring and security monitoring services to ensure maximum solution uptime and optimal security.
Managing an End-To-End Edge- Based Solution Architecture
Pivot has seven integration centers in North America. These include scaled, factory integration centers in Alpharetta, GA, and Huntington Beach, CA, through which the company can deliver highly customized solutions. The integration and customization of a broad range of hardware and software products is a service competency that Pivot has developed and fine-tuned over many years. This competency, when combined with Pivot’s speed and agility as a nimble systems integrator compared to the Big Six players, allows them to react quickly to client requests. “Pivot has been playing an exponential role in delivering edge computing-based solutions like Private LTE and uCPE and SD-WAN,” mentions Wood.
Pivot’s recent collaboration with a leading global beverage brand exemplifies its capability in deploying end-to-end solution architectures with speed and agility. The client needed to move all their bottlers across Canada off the corporate core network in a very short window. To do this, Pivot needed to deliver and deploy over 6,000 workstations, more than 1,000 handheld scanners, and over 500 access points, as well as switches, wireless controllers, firewalls, and routers. The deployment spanned 64 sites nationally, and the full migration had to be completed and operational within a 72-hour window.
After four months of solution design and project planning and a month of pre-staging the operation in its integration center, Pivot mobilized nearly 500 field engineers and solution architects and completed the migration with zero downtime. Pivot also provided three weeks of 24x7 post-deployment supports to ensure that the migration continued to operate smoothly. This is a prime example of the fact that today, when edge architectures give enterprises the ability to push compute resources out to the scaled endpoints of their businesses, a prime technology partner like Pivot can handle the scale and complexity of such deployment—through every phase of the project lifecycle. The company brings the same value proposition to all its edge computing initiatives.
Even large channel partners with their own field engineering organizations come to Pivot to take advantage of its comparative agility and execution speed. In critical situations, clients can communicate their needs directly to the CEO of the company. This agility and responsiveness, combined with the diverse range of services and the broad ecosystem of technology suppliers, deliver significant value for Pivot’s clients.
Also, Pivot’s Center of Excellence Program (CEP) teams continually leverage and compile input from the analyst community (e.g., Gartner, IDC, and Forrester), partners, customers, and industry leaders/forums to identify the focus areas for innovation and investment. Each area is assessed for business growth potential (TAM), strategic fit, time to market, required skills, and technology. The CEP teams cross-collaborate to better develop and implement technology that must be integrated, scalable, elastic, and secure.
Building Out a Broad GTM Partner Ecosystem
A core pillar of Pivot’s go-to-market (GTM) strategy in Edge is Citizen Broadband Radio Service-based Private LTE for the Enterprise. Through partnerships with companies like Intel, Dell, and Commscope/ Ruckus, Pivot is able to deliver end-to-end solution architectures based on Private LTE for use cases across a range of industry verticals. Recently, Pivot was named by Intel as their 2020 U.S. Partner of the Year for its GTM strategy around Edge Computing and the Intel Smart Edge MEC software product.
Having carved a unique niche in the space, Pivot plans to advance its services capabilities and footprint and continue developing and delivering technology solutions across disciplines. “We will accomplish this both organically and through acquisitions,” says Wood. Specifically in the edge computing space, Pivot intends to build out its ecosystem of GTM partners and develop competency in the design/delivery/ deployment of Edge Computing-based architectures and use cases like Private LTE, which will further differentiate Pivot as an SI.