Partner Insights

A Key Ingredient for Success at CDI—VMware MSCs

Written by Will Huber, CTO, CDI

Our CEO, Rich Falcone, frequently says “change or die is real.”

At CDI, we take that to heart – it’s one of the six principles in what we internally call “The CDI Way.” We understand that relying on the same old approaches and skillsets in this rapidly changing world risks becoming antiquated, so we must continue to stay ahead of the curve. A key ingredient for our success in the face of change is the VMware Master Services Competencies (MSCs).

VMware recently recognized CDI as the first VMware partner to earn all seven MSCs and the Cloud Verified credential offered through the VMware Partner Connect Program. MSCs validate our ability to deliver services related to specific VMware solutions. Earning an MSC requires significant investment of time and effort. A certain number of employees must complete advanced, solution-specific VMware certifications, and 20 or more customers must submit references.

A partner that spans both infrastructure and digital

CDI was founded in 1995 and serves customers around the world from multiple offices up and down the eastern United States. We also recently expanded our international presence with newly opened offices in Ireland and the United Kingdom. As the company’s CTO, I’m on the front lines with CDI’s customers and partners, getting a pulse on the market. With the help of our talented leaders and teams, we use that intel to build out our catalog of services.

We have two sides to our business. We have our “core” side of the business, which includes traditional data center and cloud infrastructure. Then we have our “digital” business, which is generally anything outside of infrastructure—for example, digital workflow platforms like ServiceNow, DevOps, and modern app development. CDI has a rich portfolio of professional services, managed services, and cloud services offerings across both the core and digital portfolios. VMware’s solutions fit play a key role in both the core and digital business units, something we find unique to VMware. For example, VMware offers solutions for traditional infrastructure with VMware vSphere on our core business side, and VMware offers its VMware Tanzu portfolio for modern apps on our digital business side. As many customers look to modernize their applications and infrastructure, having a portfolio that spans both sides allows us to meet customers where they are on that journey and provide value along the way.

Growth through strategic acquisitions

Over the last two years, we have grown the company through five strategic acquisitions aimed at either expanding our geographic footprint or deepening our bench with additional skills and expertise. For example, the addition of Plan B Technologies added a geographic entry into the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region while also strengthening our capabilities in the end user computing and Microsoft spaces.

P5 Solutions doubled our digital consulting capacity with ServiceNow. High Availability, Inc. brought a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, market presence and strengthened our capabilities in Managed Services, Security, and Microsoft.

Kintyre and Candoris are our most recent additions, each bringing a wealth of capabilities in new categories for us—for example with applications from Splunk and Salesforce, and with scale around DevOps and application refactoring and cloud native app development.

CDI is also making significant investments in our existing staff by providing training opportunities for engineers to learn modern platforms like Kubernetes and Tanzu.

“All-in” on the VMware strategy

CDI is “all-in” on the VMware strategy. We believe VMware is well positioned to play a key role in our customers digital transformation.

In particular, we’ve really bought into VMware’s modern apps strategy. We love what VMware is doing with Kubernetes and the rest of the Tanzu portfolio. CDI is investing heavily in this area, and we are proud to have earned the Cloud-Native Apps MSC—a true differentiator for us.

Few traditional VMware partners have crossed the chasm from the infrastructure to software world. We have the unique advantage of having helped customers deliver VMWare technologies essentially from their start. There are other integrators with the Cloud-Native MSC, but CDI is not a small, niche group of engineers—we’re an international team of experts who have made the investment and have the perspective of the last 20 years to be able to lead our customers to success in the digital world.

MSCs and Cloud-Verified make CDI the clear choice

Having all seven MSCs tells customers and prospects that we’re experts in a specific VMware solution area. That gives them confidence in our ability to help them get the most from their VMware investment.

We’re also Cloud-Verified, which is like an eighth MSC. It requires significant investment and is not easy to earn but is completely worth the effort. It shows customers that we can deliver the full set of interoperable VMware Cloud Infrastructure capabilities as a service. We can deploy core compute, storage, and network building blocks so that customers can run their apps in the cloud or their data center.

This is a big reason why our customers trust us to take care of their business.

For example, we were competing against several different partners for a project to help a longtime client and VMware customer deploy VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) and the VMware Tanzu portfolio. We pointed the customer to the VMware Partner Locator, which showed that we had the VMware Cloud Foundation MSC and the Cloud-Native MSC for the Tanzu parts of the project. It was a no-brainer—we won the project.

The MSCs also positioned us to quickly help our customers when the pandemic hit. A large hospital had intended to eventually move to VMware Cloud on AWS, but with the pandemic, they needed to fire up the infrastructure immediately and provision tens of thousands of VMware Horizon users on it. Our MSCs provided the hospital system assurance that we could help them.

Ultimately, we didn’t skip a beat with COVID-19 at CDI. We actually grew the business last year, with topline year-to-date revenue up 27-percent year-over-year.

Support for a core value proposition

Our core value proposition at CDI is our ability to take the customer through a digital transformation from start to finish. We know the traditional infrastructure world of IT and the new, modern app world of developers. We can stand in the middle and help these two groups communicate, even though they speak different languages and often speak past each other. That’s enabled us to create a lot of value. With the surge of modern apps, the hybrid work model, and a need for more security, we think that’s a really great place to be.

The VMware MSCs support all that. Customers know they can trust us because the bar for earning each MSC is high. They’re not easy to get, but it’s definitely worth the investment. We’re able to say, “Hey, we have these MSCs, and VMware’s rigorous Partner Connect Program says that we are as qualified as VMware is to deliver on these products.” There’s tremendous value in that.

Next steps

Stay tuned for more posts from VMware Partners like CDI who have earned all seven MSCs.

Interested in becoming a VMware Partner? Learn about the VMware Partner Connect program and how VMware MSCs can help your organization attract more customers and bigger engagements.

Looking for a VMware Partner like CDI? Find one using our Partner Locator.


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