On the eve of the COVID-19 lockdown in the country last year, the Sri Lankan government put in place a plan to ensure the nation’s digital transformation within 5 years. One of the goals included propelling the technology industry into a USD 3 billion export earner by 20241.
As organizations accelerate their digital journey in response to work from home policies brought about by lockdowns, systems integrators such as KBSL Information Technologies have been key in helping businesses navigate the shift.
One of the pioneers in the industry, KBSL, was founded in 1987 and now provides a wide range of IT-related solution in information security, network, data center and smart infrastructure.
“Our reputation is built around being able to deliver powerful technologies solutions in a manner that best fits the enterprise with an end-to-end value proposition,” said Ruwan Fernando, Chief Operating Officer, KBSL.
Linking up with VMware
KBSL has been a VMware partner for more than 10 years and is progressing from an Advanced Partner to a Principal Partner.
“We believe in providing best-of-breed, future-ready solutions to our customers, which is why we’ve partnered with VMware,” said Asela Seneviratne, Chief Delivery Officer, KBSL. “With so many organizations using VMware, the brand name has given us the edge over our competition.”
KBSL currently offers the full stack of VMware Software-Defined Data Center solutions, as well as the Digital Workspace solutions. Seneviratne noted that with the breadth and depth of VMware’s portfolio, KBSL is able to provide complete and integrated solutions to their customers, which proved vital during COVID-19.
During the pandemic, organizations were forced to shift to large-scale remote work, and they needed to enable employees to access applications from home in a secure manner. This opened up new opportunities for KBSL.
The systems integrator was able to empower its customers by providing digital workspace solutions such as VMware Horizon and Workspace ONE in order to manage the risks or the challenges posed to them by the pandemic. And more importantly, these solutions would help future-proof their businesses in the new way of working.
“Despite stiff competition, we were able to more than double our VMware business during the last financial year,” said Fernando. “If not for the partnership and the support we have from VMware, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
Over the last one and a half years, KBSL’s engagement with the local VMware team has gone up significantly, with regular meetings and quarterly business reviews. The VMware team also provided pre-sales support by advising KBSL on pricing as well as technical details.
In one instance, KBSL was pitching a large commercial bank to use Horizon for its 3,000 employees, but the bank had felt that it would be more cost-effective to buy laptops and use VPN instead of using virtual desktop infrastructure. The VMware team was on hand to help KBSL convince the customer on the value proposition and the security advantages, and together they provided the bank with a proof of concept, which the bank used in production.
“It took six months to close this deal but the VMware team was very patient and with us every step of the way,” said Seneviratne. “In fact, this major win got us the VMware Partner Value of the Year Award for 2021.”
Growing into the future
Over the years, KBSL has steadily built its competency in VMware technologies.
“I’m very confident that this partnership can be grown into the future and with that intention in mind, we have done a significant investment in building VMware capability within our engineering community,” said Fernando.
To date, KBSL is the first and only VMware partner in Sri Lanka to achieve the Master Services Competency (MSC) in Data Center Virtualization. The MSC is the highest technical certification given to a VMware partner. It is also on track to achieve the MSCs for VMware Cloud Foundation and Digital Workspace by the end of the year.
For KBSL, these certifications not only grow the team’s capability but they also give customers confidence in their design and deployment expertise.
Fernando added: “Working hand in hand with VMware, I’m sure we can help even many organizations in Sri Lanka to move towards their digitalization journey much faster.”