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Silicon Valley in St. Louis

Organizations that take the traditional view of IT as a cost center likely will go away. Ones that view IT as a strategic weapon will flourish if they have a process to digest, evaluate and implement the onslaught of new technology. 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. With so much technology coming at them, it’s easy for enterprise IT staff to get stuck evaluating one-off, emerging technology products. This is an ineffective and inefficient use of their time. Instead, next-generation IT needs to be focused on building digital platforms that help differentiate and grow the business, ultimately improving customer, patient, fan and employee experience.

How do we deal with the overwhelming barrage of technology and our new digital world?

To start, we must understand that every business is a technology business, and that every business must have a digital strategy to survive and thrive in this new digital world.

The barrage of new technology is never ending and coming at us faster than ever. Consider the rise cloud, 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cybersecurity. This pace of change is the new norm.

Organizations that take the traditional view of IT as a cost center likely will go away. Ones that view IT as a strategic weapon will flourish if they have a process to digest, evaluate and implement the onslaught of new technology.

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. With so much technology coming at them, it’s easy for enterprise IT staff to get stuck evaluating one-off, emerging technology products. This is an ineffective and inefficient use of their time. Instead, next-generation IT needs to be focused on building digital platforms that help differentiate and grow the business, ultimately improving customer, patient, fan and employee experience.

Short animation shows how the ATC ecosystem has become known as Silicon Valley in St. Louis.

World Wide Technology (WWT) recognized this problem several years ago. We decided that the only way to eliminate the pains of evaluating new technology and help our customers reach their desired outcomes was to build an IT innovation ecosystem.

This innovation ecosystem is known in the industry as the WWT Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The ATC is a physical campus of buildings and labs that have been virtualized and made accessible to our customers, partners and employees around the world via our proprietary cloud portal.

Through the ATC, we design, build, educate, demonstrate and deploy innovative technology products, integrated architectural solutions and transformational digital experiences for our customers around the globe.

We bring hundreds of technology companies into a physical yet virtualized environment via the ATC. These companies are anchored by Silicon Valley heavyweights like Cisco, VMware, Dell EMC, NetApp, HPE, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and several others, but also include emerging tech players like Tanium, Expanse and Privoro. Individually these companies are impressive, but collectively, when integrated by WWT, we produce game-changing solutions.

The technology products and platforms in our labs are quite impressive, as validated by our customers, but the engineering talent that works side by side with our customers and partners is what drives the real innovation. The ATC ecosystem creates a multiplier effect of knowledge, speed and agility that benefits our customers anytime, anywhere, around the world.

The ATC cuts technology evaluation from months to weeks, sometimes days. What we consistently hear from enterprise customers is that it’s the knowledge, speed, agility and independence we provide that helps them make the most informed technology and business decisions.

As our lab engagements have grown more complex and technology integrations more inter-connected, we realized the need to encapsulate our intellectual property to further accelerate our enterprise customers’ ability to evaluate, architect and implement new technologies.

To that end, we have created our next-generation ATC platform. We focused on improving the customer experience while building communities of accelerated learning. Some communities are specific to new areas of technology — ML, AI, software-defined networking (SD-WAN), automation, cloud and security — while others are focused on industry solutions.

These communities and new digital experiences for our customers are truly one of a kind.

For instance, our Intel community is the only place in the world to have FPGA solutions up and running; our SD-WAN Community is the only place that offers a perspective on SD-WAN based on real-world testing; and through our Automation Community, IT has a place where they can go for ongoing learning and training.

As this next-generation of the ATC platform evolves, I expect community members will access our labs and experts to learn and educate themselves and others, get input and advice on key decisions, and share and collaborate on codebases and architectures. Together, we will design the infrastructure and outcomes that run our businesses.

There are multiple dimensions to the ATC ecosystem, but for many who have experienced it, they simply view it as “Silicon Valley in St. Louis.”

Take a look around our new platform and start building your knowledge base by joining the ecosystem.