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How a Private Cloud Saves Money and the Environment

Stephanie Overby | Jan. 21, 2013
When Ricoh Europe realized its IT environment was both spiraling out of control and environmentally unfriendly, it turned to an IT services provider for help. Working with Infosys, Ricoh developed a private cloud that helped it consolidate nine data centers into two, cutting infrastructure costs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions significantly.

It's a new approach that Winham is bringing to Ricoh. "If we're going to build something for ourselves, there has to be a value chain for us both internally and externally," Winham says. Besides "It's embarrassing when you're selling a solution that you're not using yourselves. You look stupid."

Navigating the European regulatory environment has been the most difficult part of moving to the cloud, says Winham. "The data protection directive is interpreted differently in every country so you have to figure out what standard you should apply while also staying up to speed with your customers," Winham says.

Legislation regarding the location of financial data is even trickier. Ricoh had to get approval from the government of Luxemburg before it could decommission its data center there. "I never want to build a data center in Luxemburg again," Winham says. "Those nuances are the real pain. And it has nothing to do with the actual technology."

Of course, having figured out how to navigate the difficult terrain, Winham sees a new service line there as well--helping customers set up private clouds in Europe. "You've got to eat what you sell, and we've developed a lot of experience. One of the things we're looking to do is work out where the synergies are between Ricoh, Infosys and other partners to bring those skills to bear," says Winham. "Anyone can deliver the infrastructure or make it secure, but the process of how you do that within your business is key."


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