Our insight


At the top of the year, Mike set out the challenges and opportunities we're all facing in 2018. More than a month in already, and I wanted to talk about the exciting ways Ideal is rising to meet those challenges, and help you seize and deliver on opportunities.

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I was lucky enough to spend 2017 as a Cisco Champion. If you're not familiar with the programme, it's a Cisco-sponsored network of technical experts, who love what they do, and are fired up about Cisco's technologies and solutions. Being new to it at the start of last year felt a bit like being a fresher at university, but the support on the programme meant that I quickly felt at home. I got so much from it over the year that I really wanted to stay on for 2018.

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This year's going to be an exciting one for Ideal as we expand our managed services portfolio and grow our cloud offering and expertise. We already apply best-practice security across our core architectures - enterprise networking, data centre and unified comms - and we wanted to ensure we could offer the same level of security expertise and reassurance as we expand our range of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions.

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If you follow Ideal's news, you'll know that we've recently announced promotions in our relationship with three of our key partners. In addition to our Premier level partnership with Cisco, we're now a NetApp Gold Partner, VMware Enterprise Solution Partner, and a Palo Alto Networks Platinum Partner.

These accreditations reflect our commitment to investing in the development of expertise across the breadth of our product portfolio, which includes security, network, storage, virtualisation, data centre and unified comms.

I believe this breadth and depth of expertise is unusual in a smaller IT firm, so I wanted to explain here why we make this investment.

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