MSP Logicworks Expands Industry-Focused Automation Platform For AWS

Logicworks, a New York City-based managed services provider that has been at the forefront of transformations in the channel in recent years, introduced on Thursday a range of software services it built to automate Amazon Web Services deployments for enterprise customers.

The customer-facing tools for deploying and managing infrastructure, packaged as the Central Automation Platform, stem from years of experience implementing cloud workloads for large customers, Logicworks CEO Kenneth Ziegler told CRN.

The software release illustrates a significant channel trend in which partners are developing intellectual property to streamline internal processes, then making those tools available to customers, or even the larger market.

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Logicworks' platform allows enterprises to embrace the latest AWS capabilities while ensuring their deployments are highly scalable, self-healing, enforce strict compliance and regulatory standards, and effectively manage cost, Ziegler told CRN.

"Our goal is to bring to bear Amazon's innovations to our customers via our automation systems," Ziegler said. The platform "removes all human error, achieves compliance and security and best practices. It gives you availability above and beyond what clients have in traditional IT."

The platform consists of cloud-formation templates that deploy infrastructure stacks tuned to the standards and goals of specific industries, as well as about two dozen bots that automate low-level tasks such as staging test and development environments or ensuring workloads are running in the right AWS regions.

"Ninety percent of our competitors are still doing this manually," Ziegler said, but that's "impossible to scale and have customer control. The public cloud was designed to be programmable, and we’ve created software to run the public cloud."

Logicworks was recently named a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for public cloud MSPs. The company has been in business for more than two decades as a managed hosting provider, but about five years ago it pivoted toward AWS and the public cloud.

Upon making that shift, Logicworks launched a product division that, in building out software, leverages the experience gained from managing AWS and Microsoft Azure for enterprises.

In December, the company raised $135 million to complete development of the platform project, expand its customer-facing tools, and improve user interfaces for them.

The Central Automation Platform can rapidly create industry-specific environments across multiple clouds, using the various bots to implement the desired state.

That means for health care customers, the system automatically ensures HIPAA compliance; or PCI compliance for those doing e-commerce. Media companies receive the benefits of maximum scalability. The regulatory automation is particularly valuable to the financial services industry — about 40 percent of Logicworks' revenue last year came from brokers, asset managers or investment banks — which require "extraordinary governance and security."

The platform currently is sold as a complete bundle, but Logicworks is exploring the potential to sell the various tools it contains a la carte.

Logicworks is also getting closer to enabling customers to entirely self-service their clouds. But it's important to keep up guardrails, Ziegler said, and not give customers access to options they shouldn't control.

The company is also tackling a new challenge that solution providers on the vanguard of the industry increasingly face: finding and striking deals with their own implementation partners.

Ziegler said his company is hoping to ink agreements with three to five global systems integrators and data center operators who can distribute the platform to a larger market.