IP Pathways: Simplifying IT Infrastructure Modernization

Joe Shields, President As the technologies of yesteryear pave the way for new and better tools of the modern era, business transformation is inevitable. This transformational impact can currently be witnessed in the enterprise landscape, specifically in the domain of cloud applications and data centers. According to IDC’s prediction, by the end of 2020, 65 percent of the IT assets of most companies will be offsite in collocation and cloud data centers. As an after effect of this growth, businesses around the world are increasingly leveraging cloud and data center applications to simplify their IT infrastructure, reduce data center footprint, consolidate data storage and management, simplify virtualization, and optimize business application performance and security.

In spite of large, lucrative benefits, data center infrastructure is a complex investment that makes for a challenging endeavor for a multitude of businesses. Today’s organizations essentially need a robust data center strategy and the right partner to convert their data center investment into significant ROI while allowing them to seamlessly host their corporate resources in data centers without any hassle.

As a new-age technology reseller and services provider that identifies this crucial need, IP Pathways brings carrier-neutral and regional boutique data center facilities for modern enterprises at an affordable price point. Along with specializations in data center solutions, including NetApp, IP Pathways exudes unparalleled expertise in providing hybrid IT cloud solutions and an adaptive cloud platform. With world-class engineering services supported by high-touch customer service, the company focuses on delivering significant value propositions to its customers by enabling them to leverage their technologies as well as IP Pathways’ complete portfolio of data centers, managed solutions, and cloud solutions.

"Our two-pronged approach to future endeavors fundamentally translates into continuing to do all the good things that we have been doing so far, and simultaneously expanding our capability for the consumption services that our customers demand"

The company’s award-winning engineering team specializes in architecting, implementing, monitoring, supporting, and managing private and hybrid cloud solutions hosted on the client’s or their in-house proprietary data centers.

A Unique Client Approach

“We were founded on the philosophy of ‘do whatever it takes for the customer,’ and we achieve this using a simple formula of delivering best-in-class technologies and focusing on each customer’s specific interests,” says Joe Shields, President, IP Pathways. Serving a diverse customer base, IP Pathways’ approach to client on-boarding is also significantly unique.

We were founded on the philosophy of ‘do whatever it takes for the customer,’ and we achieve this using a simple formula of delivering best-in-class technologies and focusing on each customer’s specific interests

The company defines the scale and scope of its offering as it closely understands the customer’s vision, struggles, and concerns toward reaching their organizational objectives. IP Pathways then designs the best transformational strategy for the customer that fits them culturally and brings forth a compelling value proposition. “Overall, the key to our on-boarding process is our flexibility to meet the requirements of a diverse clientele. Therefore, it is imperative for us to continue to evolve and add services to our portfolio that can positively impact the business outcomes of the customers we engage with,” explains Shields.

The Road to Eminence

Starting out as a traditional value-added reseller in 2007, IP Pathways began serving as a professional engineering services practice covering all verticals. In 2015, the company established its own data center and began providing proprietary data center offerings, including hybrid cloud solutions and managed services. By joining hands with enterprise technologies like NetApp, Cisco, VMware, and others, IP Pathways embraced the advent of virtualization that led to the company providing private cloud strategies for organizations along with offering virtual desktop implementations. Today, with a complete range of solution portfolios, and data centers located in Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska, IP Pathways has established a distinct stature with its niche offerings. These range from backup solutions to hosted infrastructure to the company’s own private consumption cloud that allows IP Pathways to compete in the club of public cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft.

Shields states, “As we continue to add these solutions from our data centers in the Midwest, we are offering complete end-to-end data center IT infrastructure solutions, starting from the capital resale to consulting, from implementation to managed services and cloud offerings—a wholesome portfolio.” Recognized as a provider of a broad range of solutions, IP Pathways further proved its mettle with its fully redundant, highly available storage solution project for the State of Nebraska— where a new journey of a strong partnership began.

The Story of State of Nebraska

This one-of-a-kind partnership started about four years ago when Nebraska’s state government committed itself to a refreshing cause of providing innovative services to citizens—an endeavor that led the state to embark on a digital transformation for the simplification and modernization of its IT infrastructure.
Soon the state figured that the data is the common thread, and the ability to move data seamlessly is critical to providing services to citizens efficiently and cost-effectively. Due to legislative constraints, the state’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) team was asked to build an enterprise-wide system of all state contracts for government transparency. Following this, the state began rolling out plans to speed up services and cut costs through a paperless strategy. However, as officials looked across agency infrastructures, it became clear that disparate IT systems wove a web of complexity that had to be untangled first. The state also had to contend with unbridled data growth from an expanding population and large file sizes.

The state’s new CIO, Ed Toner, set in motion an ambitious and rapid plan for consolidation, and his frontline engineers’ trust and a previous successful partner relationship led him to IP Pathways—“a reliable partner who would provide us with a unified solution and help us centralize the IT organization and consolidate our agencies’ data,” says Toner. “We also wanted two active data centers so that we could have instantaneous failover and disaster recovery.” IP Pathways’ team worked with NetApp to build a strategy for consolidating the infrastructure on an all-flash solution with a NetApp MetroCluster array spanning the 50 miles from Lincoln to Omaha.
Toner states, “NetApp MetroCluster has been a fantastic asset for us, as it allowed us to virtualize 90 percent of our as well as the state’s servers and also implement a digital archiving strategy to securely archive data and free up large amounts of storage space.”

Today, the storage and the ability to simultaneously write to two sites are helping Nebraska in several other aspects such as security and the elimination of data centers. “When we started this project, we were highly unconsolidated. But, IP Pathways’ technologies significantly helped us bolster our business case in the state,” adds Toner.

Looking Beyond the Horizon

As IP Pathways plots its journey for the future, the company seeks to strengthen its service delivery model by optimizing its core service offerings. Shields says, “We recently trained and inducted a new group of trainees into our team to whom we reinforced our core philosophy of ‘do whatever it takes for the customer.’”

The second part of the company’s roadmap involves IP Pathways growing its cloud portfolio. Alongside investing in the adaptive cloud platform, IP Pathways has the intellectual property for developing its own public cloud strategy and will continue to enhance its technical expertise in order to include DevOps. The company also plans to work with containers in its consumption-based cloud environment and advance further to expand its expertise in automation by leveraging APIs and Kubernetes.

“Our two-pronged approach to future endeavors fundamentally translates into continuing to do all the good things that we have been doing so far, and simultaneously expanding our capability for the consumption services that our customers demand,” concludes Shields.

IP Pathways

Urbandale, IA

Joe Shields, President

Provides IT hardware and software, data center, cloud, professional and managed services, and hybrid IT solutions to small, medium-sized and enterprise customers across Midwestern America

IP Pathways