The ATC is more than just a testing lab.

When talking about World Wide Technology (WWT) and what we do, the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) always comes into the conversation. Located alongside WWT’s state-of-the-art headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, the ATC combines thought leadership with technology integration and puts it all in a best-in-class lab environment. More than just a testing lab, the ATC is a collaborative ecosystem meant to design, build, educate, demonstrate and deploy innovative technology products and integrated architectural solutions for WWT’s customers, partners and employees.

At WWT, we understand that the myriad of emerging technologies can make it difficult for customers, partners or even our employees to decide the best integrated solution for their business and IT use cases. Often, customers are constrained by uncertainty over new and emerging technologies, time factors or lack of resources. However, given the rapid pace of technological change, it is critical to incorporate the latest technologies if enterprises wish to remain relevant.

However, it is getting increasingly difficult for enterprises to maintain their technological edge as business and tech converges. In this era of digital disruption, the traditional view of IT as a cost center is long gone. IT is no longer about installing the latest one-off tech product, but is rather about having a consistent, well-thought-out digital strategy that takes into consideration the complete needs of the organization. Digital success will not only require IT to be part of the business but it will also require IT to move at the speed of the business. Despite this, according to a 2018 report by IDC[1], most IT departments today are overburdened with routine support tasks instead of devoting their time and resources to drive technological innovation, enabling organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition.

To fully drive technological innovation, the time-consuming job of deployment and integration ought to be left to third-party vendors and other well-qualified service providers like WWT. The onus falls onto integrators like us to come up with methods to facilitate the rapid integration of new technologies with greater efficiency.

The ATC represents our ongoing focus and commitment to our customers’ needs. Combining $300 million worth of software and hardware with the expertise of our systems architects and engineers, the ATC ecosystem is designed to rapidly test and find the optimal technology solutions to address real-world technical and business challenges.

Some of the capabilities that our ATC provides includes:

Sandbox Environments

The ATC provides our engineers and solutions managers with a sandbox environment, ensuring that alternate configurations and new technologies can be tested in a separate mirrored environment without affecting day-to-day operations.

Lab-as-a-Service

The ATC also offers dedicated lab resources to streamline the process of infrastructure testing. In the past, such testing might take upwards of 18 months – but by leveraging on WWT’s OEM partners, existing data center infrastructure, as well as in-house expertise and test automation capabilities, the ATC can quickly provide proof-of-concepts and confirm functionality with existing systems in record time and with less cost as well.

Global Access

The ATC is not only a physical facility; it provides a 24/7, on-demand, virtually accessible service that extends far beyond its physical campus. For example, WWT has invested in several on-demand demonstrations of common configurations and integrated solutions, and these are all available via the ATC Portal, a web application providing online access to ATC resources via WWT’s own proprietary cloud portal. Our global Integration Centers also help facilitate the services of the ATC on a global scale. Proof-of-concepts can be conceptualized in the ATC and the global integration centers will then take charge of all the logistics of delivering a ready-to-deploy system.

Training

The ATC also provides an environment for in-depth training, whether on-site or remotely.  From basic “bootcamps” to detailed courses on storage and network management, WWT provides opportunities for customers to work with the latest technologies, combining both academic and practical knowledge into one blended learning solution.

As described above, the ATC ecosystem creates a multiplier effect of knowledge, speed and agility that reduces risks and accelerates decisions for our customers anytime, anywhere around the world.

Has your organization embarked on a digital transformation or tech overhaul lately? If so, what was your experience, and what did you wish could have been done differently? Feel free to comment below.

[1]The Business Value of Optimizing Datacenter Deployments, IDC, Feb 2018.

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