Crescent Enterprise Solutions: Spearheading Effective Solution Delivery

Tony Miranda, EVP Technology, Jeff Sarubbi, EVP Sales There is no shortage for run-of-the-mill consulting firms in the VMware space today. But, none come close to the uniqueness of what Crescent Enterprise Solutions has to offer. In fact, Crescent’s finesse is so influential that, seeing the success of its unique professional services engagements model, VMware sought to replicate it. After working closely with Crescent to develop a radically different approach to deliver better customer satisfaction, VMware is now pushing this new model into full production across the consulting technology stack. Right from initial contact through final delivery—including how to best gather and process key requirements, level of effort, and customer interactions—Crescent played a vital role in formulating this novel approach.

Founded in 2002 during the post-9/11 and the dot-com bubble burst, “we started working out of our bedrooms and grew the company to 6 offices and $60 million in consulting revenues in the first 6 years,” recalls Jeff Sarubbi, EVP of Sales, Crescent. Over the last few years, Crescent has significantly expanded its business and has increased its focus on full systems integration.

Innovative Methodology

Today, the ever-changing technologies in disruptive areas such as cloud and virtualization often present challenges to even the most flexible IT organizations. “Skilled technical resources with the experience to design and deploy new technologies are typically not available internally,” comments Tony Miranda, EVP of Technology, Crescent. Because the internal resources are still focused on legacy tools and lack the exposure to a broader range of emerging or even mature technologies available in the industry, the optimal solution to a problem tends to be overlooked quite often. This is where Crescent comes into the picture. “We are brought in to provide that crucial ‘external’ perspective,” he adds.

While the arguments over virtualization as a technology and its limitations are all but gone—thanks in large part to VMware’s technological advancements—it also added a new level of complexity. “It is no longer a matter of IF, but HOW,” notes Miranda. The ambiguity introduced by the same VMware technology that helped remove roadblocks to virtualization, is now causing companies to delay or even reduce the scope of their shift into the world of virtualized services. To assist companies in their decision making and simplify processes, Crescent has closely aligned itself with VMware, both in pre-sales engineering as well as a top consulting partner. “This not only helps us stay ahead of the technology curve, but also allows VMware to leverage our years of experience with their products and feed that valuable information back into the business to make a better product,” comments Miranda. This symbiotic relationship helps VMware know what is working and what is not, and ensures that Crescent’s engineers and architects can provide the best solutions based not only on what is available today, but for what will be coming tomorrow.

Crescent provides end-to-end solutions that include discovery, design, deployment, training and project management to augment an organization’s support team and enable them to take their focus off the minutiae and engage in the innovation process. “We have spent a considerable amount of time working around the table with VMware to help develop the best model for customer engagements,” points out Sarubbi.

We help IT executives understand how technology can not only solve their realworld problems but can radically influence their own customer’s perception in a very positive way

Extensive Technological Prowess

At Crescent, process automation and self-service enablement is a core competency and a foundational principle. “This is a discipline that has been leveraged for tremendous success with some of our largest customers and always provides the greatest return on investment for companies,” claims Miranda. Crescent’s VMware practice revolves around three distinct disciplines—vCloud and data center virtualization, automation, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) services. The company’s vCloud and data center virtualization comprises of core services such as initial design, deployment, upgrades, health check services, and physical to virtual consulting. “In our public, private and hybrid cloud design services, we integrate with VMware’s vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services and disparate private cloud integrations often associated with acquisition or large scale migrations,” says Miranda.

Crescent has a deep bench of vCenter Orchestrator, vRealize Automation, and vCloud Application Director architects and engineers. “We have worked in some of the largest VDI deployments in the corporate sector and government,” states Miranda. On one occasion, the CIO of a pharmaceutical company contacted Crescent to address a significant resource allocation issue. The client had been using vCenter Automation Center for automated provisioning but had not placed any real controls or restrictions for their internal lines of business. As a result, “utilization began to climb with the release of self-service provisioning, and hardware deployment projections had to be increased twice within the same fiscal period,” reveals Miranda. Crescent then designed and deployed a comprehensive vCenter Operations Manager and provided the detailed transparency the client needed into usage and growth rates. In addition, Crescent’s team also deployed a Business Management Server, allowing IT to provide immediate visibility into resource costs and ultimately setup IT to recoup those costs via direct chargeback by line of business.

Putting Customer First

Above all else, Crescent Enterprise Solutions is a relationship driven partner. “We’re not interested in an anonymous transaction or a self-service express lane sale. We want to understand what’s important to you, where you’re trying to take your organization, and how your customers perceive your services,” explains Sarubbi. The company helps IT executives understand how technology can not only solve their real-world problems but can radically influence their own customers’ perception in a very positive way. This customer focus is an integral part of everything Crescent does. “Our customers tend to become some of our greatest advocates and for that matter—friends,” says Sarubbi. Moreover, even though the company is always working to build and maintain strong ties with industry leading and emerging vendors, Crescent is completely vendor agnostic.
“We ensure that our customer’s requirements and goals are driving the technology and solutions that we recommend, and not brand loyalty or manufacturer influence,” he adds. The company employs a unique staffing model that allows them to scale up and close new technology knowledge gaps more quickly than their competitors. “This means, we have the capacity to manage even the most complex of projects or initiatives through the entire project lifecycle,” emphasizes Sarubbi.

Being in business for more than a decade, Crescent has developed expertise in large scale integrations and complex automation models leveraging their internally developed IP and best practices. When the development environment provisioning for a large software company had become the longpole in the tent for all major projects, they approached Crescent. Miranda and his team helped the client to map the environment provisioning process from start to finish and created process teams to focus on individual components of the process. “We proposed both business and technology changes that would have a significant effect on total delivery time,” comments Miranda. By working cooperatively with the customer at all levels of IT and addressing both process and technology, environment provisioning times were reduced from 3-5 weeks to under 24 hours. Ultimately, that time was further reduced to within 8 hours from request to acceptance of a completed environment.

Paving the Way for a Bright Future

In this highly competitive world, Miranda and Sarubbi are confident that Crescent’s relationship driven business model will sustain the company over the long haul. “It is not just playing golf with the CIO, but building meaningful relationships and trust at every level of interaction with our customers—from executive staff to back office functions and frontline consultants,” indulges Miranda. The consultants are really where the rubber meets the road because, “if they don’t impress the customer, then everything else you’ve done would be pointless,” he adds. Crescent Enterprise Solutions really shines in this regard. The company places the same value in building strong relationships with its consultants as it does with customers, which allows them to retain the top performing engineers in the industry and make them available to customers. “Our ace in the hole; our secret sauce; is our ability to provide the best consulting resources in the industry faster than our competitors can provide mediocre ones,” says Sarubbi.

"We provide solutions based not only on what is available today, but for what will be coming tomorrow"

Stepping into tomorrow, Crescent is very excited about what is to come. “Our intention is to build a large system integrator with the same core values that we started with 12 years ago while working out of our bedrooms,” elucidates Miranda. The company also has a strategic partnership with a disabled veteran business enterprise business— DVBE / SDVOB—that allows Federal, state, and local government customers to take advantage of that spend. At the end of the day, Crescent is a relationship based company. To them, a customer’s long-term success is more important than any individual interaction. “We feel great about being able to grow this company well into the $200m-$300m range by sticking to our core values,” he adds. Moving forward, Crescent is intent on staying true to its goal of providing great customer service and having the technology know-how to compliment it.

Crescent Enterprise Solutions

Irvine, CA

Tony Miranda, EVP Technology, Jeff Sarubbi, EVP Sales

A VMware Solution Provider that specializes in vCloud Suite technologies including vCAC, vCO, and vCD.