Meet the Insiders: Lubo Cheytanov
Added Thursday 12 March 2020
In this new interview for Meet the Insiders, we chat to Lubo Cheytanov, CEO of L3C - IBM Power experts. Here he shares how he got into his industry, how it’s going and what the market has in store.
How did you get into the industry?
I spent 21 years prior to starting L3C working for IBM, so my knowledge of IBM Power technology and the marketplace was already extensive. L3C are experts in IBM Power systems and we have unique knowledge in AIX (as well as Solaris and HP_UX) and Linux operating systems – specifically related to heavy workloads that require a specific performance, so my knowledge from many years with IBM is not wasted and provided the foundations for what we do with our clients today.
Why did you make the decision to start L3C?
Whilst at IBM I worked with the managed service provider programme and ran IBM’s midmarket business serving SMEs. I saw a gap between what the public cloud providers were offering and the challenges facing SMEs and realised that I could help bridge that gap by providing the knowledge and services around how to move legacy workloads to the cloud. There was also a gap in offering cost-effective remote system admin support complementing skill shortages in MSPs and SMEs alike. The more that cloud grows, the more the requirement grows too – but the larger players simply can’t provide the niche services that we do.
What size is the business and how has it grown?
We’ve seen steady growth, and although we’re six years down the line our offer is crystalising around market demands. We experimented in the early days testing the market with a number of offerings. We’re now at around £1 million turnover with a strong and impressive client base but will double in size in the next 1-2 years.
What are your plans for the future?
More and more companies are considering and thinking about AI and machine learning. We’re only scratching the surface at the moment, but there are two fronts that we’re attacking the market on. Firstly, deep learning for the life science and healthcare marketplace – data is being used to advance diagnostics, research of new products, drug development and in clinical trials - our cloud platform is optimised for the image processing and large data models this requires. We recently supported a leading client with a case study around radiology and processing of chest x-ray images (https://l3c.cloud/project-details/ai-use-case-in-radiology-l3c-and-imperial-college/)
Secondly, the growth of SAP HANA implementations on IBM Power servers as clients migrate to S4/HANA. SAP HANA is a relational database management system that can store and retrieve data in heavy-workload situations and our cloud platform is ideal to assist with such migration projects.
What has been your biggest achievement?
There are four big global IT systems integrators and we’re working alongside two of them to help with the IBM Power cloud. Our skills are required as part of the overall solution- which is definitely our biggest achievement thus far.
What makes L3C different or stand out from the competition?
We’re focussed on Unix and Linux operating systems rather than IBM i which makes us quite niche in terms of our skills set. Our expertise to be able to put Linux on IBM Power is really quite unique – so we’re one of few to benefit from this type of work.
Even though our data centres are based in the UK, we have our technical expertise in Bulgaria which offers us a rich pool of technical talent to tap into and deliver to customers at a very competitive price. Many of the global integrators lack the services we can provide to their end-users and choose to partner with us – we can white label our services for partners to deliver what their customers need cost-effectively.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone getting into the industry, what would it be?
Plan well! Make sure that you have enough resources financially and in people to maintain the status quo for a while, because even with the best planning things take time to come to fruition. You have to be prepared that growth can be slower than expected as you are building an annuity revenue stream.